Islam Story: “My Jihad” in Washington
An American Muslim campaign to introduce the true meaning of Jihad has reached Washington D.C. in an effort to correct the public perception about the Islamic term. "The campaign has been met with tremendous support from across the board and, as expected, with resistance from the two extremes whose message of hate and divisiveness we are challenging," Sadaf Syed, an award-winning photojournalist, said in a statement released by the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) and obtained by OnIslam.net.
"MyJihad represents the average Muslim voice.” The "MyJihad" campaign was first launched by the CAIR-Chicago in December.
It aims to explain the true and proper meaning of Jihad as believed and practiced by the majority of Muslims.
Along with the official MyJihad website, the campaign includes putting up public ads on buses and trains, as well as a social media component on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where users are asked to tweet what their Jihad (struggle) is using the #MyJihad hashtag.
The Muslim campaign has so far been launched in two American cities; Chicago and San Francisco.
It has also made its way to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, where it displayed messages of Muslim and Christian unity during the Christmas season.
The campaign has also been introduced in Canada to help dispel fears promoted by Islamophobes about Muslims and their faith.
“As an American Muslim photojournalist, I am raised to become a medium for myself. That is my Jihad,” Syed, a San Francisco native who took the campaign’s photos, said.
Jihad is often stereotyped by Western media as meaning “holy war”.
But Muslim scholars have repeatedly affirmed that the word Jihad, which is mentioned in the Noble Qur'an, means "struggle" to do good and to remove injustice, oppression and evil from society.
Karen Armstrong, the prominent and prolific British writer on all three monotheistic religions, has criticized stereotyping the Arabic word "jihad" as merely meaning holy war.
US Muslims, estimated at between seven to eight million, have been sensing hostility in recent months.
A recent report by CAIR, the University of California and Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender found that Islamophobia in the US is on the rise.
A US survey had also revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.
A recent Gallup poll had found that 43 percent of Americans Nationwide admitted to feeling at least “a little” prejudice against Muslims.