Back in October, Conservative American blogger, activist and executive director of the American Freedom Defence Initiative, Pamela Geller courted controversy by announcing plans to expand a pro-Israeli, ‘anti-jihad’ advertising campaign from its initial position on three subway platforms to include all of the buses in Manhattan.
In response, the public education campaign MyJihad has brought its campaign (to share the proper meaning of jihad as believed and practiced by the majority of Muslims) to the buses of New York as well.
Jihad means “struggling in the way of God”. The way of God being goodness, justice, passion, compassion, etc. It is ‘putting up the good fight’ as it were, against whatever odds or barriers one faces in life.
Jihad is a central tenet of the Islamic creed that has been widely misrepresented due, first and foremost, to the actions of Muslim extremists, with the knock-on effect that Islamophobes use these actions to further convince the public that such actions are the true face of Islam. Finally, a selective media understandably focuses on the sensational.
The campaign’s focus is on reclaiming Islam for the majority of Muslims, especially in relation to the public’s wider perception of what this means.
I enjoyed the campaign for its ability to combat such a negative attack so airily.