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Local Muslim Launches Campaign To 'Reclaim' Meaning of 'Jihad'

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 15, 2012 7:00PM

Photo courtesy of Facebook page.

The Council on Islamic-American Relations Chicago launched a public awareness campaign in which they hope to reclaim the meaning of the word "jihad."

The campaign, "My Jihad," uses social media platforms to ask area Muslims what jihad means to them and their own struggles (using the hashtag #myjihad) and ads on CTA buses and trains promoting the campaign, which is a response to "Defeat Jihad" ads placed on CTA buses last month by Pamela Geller's American Freedom Defense Initiative.

CAIR-Chicago executive director Ahmed Rehab, who's behind the campaign, told the Sun-Times the term "jihad" has been twisted by groups such as Geller's so that its true meaning is obscured and the word is most closely associated with "holy war."

“Jihad in Islam simply means the struggle to a better place,” Rehab said. “Whatever barrier or burdens that you have in your life, you are asked, you are tasked to muster in the inner courage, the inner resolve, the inner determination to overcome those personal barriers, personal issues.”