Chicago Muslims trying to reclaim meaning of 'misrepresented' term 'jihad'
An Islamic-American advocacy group is planned to reclaim the word "jihad," as the term has been widely misrepresented by both Muslim extremists and anti-Muslim critics.
Starting on Friday, 25 Chicago buses will carry exterior signs that promote a more positive interpretation of jihad, as expressed by moderate Muslims.
The ads, which are being promoted by Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), will feature photographs of young Muslims alongside personal testimonials.
It will include slogans like, "My Jihad is to stay fit, despite my busy schedule," "My Jihad is to not judge people by their cover," "My Jihad is to march on despite losing my son," and "My Jihad is to build friendships across the aisle."
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the statements were culled from a social media experiment Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the CAIR created about two months ago.
Rehab asked his Facebook followers about how jihad personally related to their lives.
When answers started posting on his page, he then created a hashtag on Twitter (#MyJihad) and asked his followers to submit their answers there.
"We are taking ownership of our faith and taking it back from Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists, which both have hijacked the conversation, one through bloody actions and the other with extreme rhetoric," the report quoted him, as saying.