CAIR is attempting to reclaim the meaning of the controversial term in its My Jihad campaign that uses billboards on city buses to redefine what it perceives as American misconceptions of an Islamic practice.
“A common misconception of the word ‘jihad’ is that it means armed struggle or holy war,” CAIR Bay Area Chapter head Zhara Billoo told ABC 7. “The proper meaning of jihad, as many of us frequently describe it, is ‘to struggle’ and that’s it.”
Biloo said that the word has been “hijacked” by people “pushing anti-Muslim sentiment.”
So, CAIR is using bus advertising to show Muslims achieving personal goals, such as getting in shape, as a form of jihad.
One ad pictures individuals with varying pigmentation acting friendly and says, “My Jihad is to build friendships across the aisle.”
The Jihad ad campaign follows a series of controversial advertisement on buses in San Francisco and nationwide sponsored by conservative blogger Pamela Gellar’s American Freedom Defense Initiative. Those ads read, “In any war between civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man… Support Israel Defeat Jihad.”
Gellar responded to the pro jihad campaign by submitting counter ads to the San Francisco transit agency, as well as to the Chicago Transit Authority, which first ran the CAIR campaign. Gellar’s proposed series, “That’s #My Jihad. What’s yours?” uses pictures of Islamic advocates of violence, including Osama Bin Laden and Major Nidal Hassan.