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February 4th, 2013
04:38 AM ET

Muslim activists aim to reclaim the word 'jihad' with ad campaign

By Jonathan Helman and Athena Jones, CNN

(CNN) - A Muslim activist group has launched a new ad campaign to reclaim a word they say has been abused and distorted by Muslim extremists and by anti-Muslim groups.

The MyJihad ad campaign is using print ads and social media to educate the public about what they say is the true meaning of the word "jihad."

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the term as "1: a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also: a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline" and "2: a crusade for a principle or belief."

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam

soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF US TAX CODE, NO WONDER PEOPLE HATE THE IRS

    Qu'Ran shrinks brains. It is medically proven.

    February 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  2. ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

    IT IS TIME MUSLIMS ARE GIVEN EXPOSURE THERAPY. AUTHORS OF THIS ARTICLE ARE EXACTLY DOING THE SAME.

    February 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  3. ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

    Very first victim of Jihad was Mohammad himself. He ran and hid in water well outside his village (like Qaddafi and Saddam) when his loyal followers chased him with open swords.

    February 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      why his loyal followers chased him?

      February 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

      well he was found in bed (if you call bed) with under aged girl Aisha, later he agreed to pay penalties to girl's father and marry the little girl.

      February 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu ignorant from hindered gutter of hinduism, racism india. Making up stories like his pot head hindu santan, filthy goon man god, while high of hem.

      February 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Only by hinduism, lies of hindus, denires of truth absolute, fabricating hinduism lies, just like their hindu incest rial man god RAM.

      February 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

      If I am making stories so why don't you give your version of story? Was Mohammad hiding in a water well or not?

      February 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Your story is half true. Mohammad was chased by man eating desert lizards. He hid in well to save himself from lizard attack.

      February 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Nooooooooo profat muhammed was chased by viscous mountain goats. He was lucky he found a ditch to hide, but people say damn some stupid desert lizards pointed out his hide out to the goats and since that day, you know bro !!! lizards are enemies of muslims, true story !!!

      February 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  4. truth be told

    All so called atheists are liars but then so are muslims. Of the two better a muslim who has the chance of redemption than the self deluded atheist who has no moral value what so ever. A heads up to those muslim terrorists that wear bombs, if you can find a gathering of so called atheists you can really do a service for this world. There are not that many atheists so if you can gather a few and kaboom its a win win situation.

    February 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      hinduism absurdity of follower of hindu Mithra ism, racist savior ism called Christianity. Son of blessed Mary had nothing to do with.

      February 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  5. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Jihad is a word, with meanings of its own, STRUGGLE TO BE IN LIMIT OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE, BY ANY MEANS, against hinduism denial of truth absolute in life, borne out of hindu Judaism, filthy secular ism, self center ism in following of hindu Lucifer ism, filthy Atheist ism. Every human must do Jihad, first against his own hindu soul, filthy desire, than within immediate family and close circle and beyond, best of Jihad, struggle is to fight to eliminate hinduism, racism, against hindu sanatans, racist goons, men gods of hindus, ignorant s to have peace, Islam among humanity. No one in his right mind has conflict with Jihad, but hindus criminals living by their hindu soul, filthy desire like animals.

    February 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

      Qu'Ran makes brain shrink. It is scientifically proven.

      February 4, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Answer

    The word jihad will always mean/stand for killing and murder and blowing up people. You can't change the violence that is already engulf around that word.

    February 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Killing will stop immediately, if hindus criminals learn to live like human, by not following hindu Judaism, filthy secular ism in defiance of truth absolute, or face music, as long as hindus criminals are around civility.

      February 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Pete

      So, Muhammad was talking about blowing up people in the 600s?! Seriously?!

      February 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Eliminating hindus, deniers of truth absolute to justify hinduism illegality, do not deserve any better.

      February 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The point is that that's just what it means in English, not the meaning to the majority of people who actually use the word. In English we just adopted a specific small part of its use.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  7. ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

    Ji-had is an Arabic word, JI means a projecting arm of a crane, or minarets of mosques, muslims introduced minarets in mosques to watch Christian crusaders, the purpose of them was like watch towers in today's high security prisons.

    February 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Foundation lost its meaning

      'Ji' is an arabic word,' had' is an English word, had enough of your jihad , shut the front door already!

      February 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      hinduism, absurdity of a hindu copy cat.

      February 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Minart represents truth absolute, not as you hind absurd from your hinduism, ignorance. hinduism, stupidity of hindus, ignorance.

      February 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

      stop Qu'ranic interpretation of everything stupid. Read Webster's declaratory for minarets. Minarets were used by muslim spies.

      February 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

      muslim spies = Pink Panthers.

      February 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Written by hindus, ignorant s, to preach hindus, ignorant s, get some education in truth of history and than spew your hinduism, absurdities.

      February 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • ISLAMISM FOUNDATION OF UNITED TEXT WORKERSISM©

      Can you swear on Allah's beard?

      February 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  8. Richard Trickle

    I'm a snappy dresser and a generally happy guy from the 1940's so i'll be reclaiming the word "Gay" if you don't mind...

    February 4, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Belief blog council

      You may perform a 'jihad' to reclaim your erstwhile ti tle

      February 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Pete

      How many fundamentalist religious people can sing The Flintstones theme without blushing? :-)

      February 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  9. John

    I guess they have not heard the saying "Actions speak louder than words".

    February 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • TC

      Sure they have. That's why they are acting to make a change.

      February 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  10. John

    While the meaning of the work jihad in Arabic means effort, taken into context, not simply of a few verses in the Qu'Ran but of how the "Prophet" waged war (effort) against anyone who opposed him, then it is not a stretch that jihad is used as a term by militant muslim factions.

    Assh- – - technically has a literal meaning for a part of the body too, but we all know that the far more used meaning if completely different.

    The same is true now of jihad whatever the original Arabic meaning. As it is usually used in the context of killing non-muslims ... welll .... you draw your own conclusions.

    The other issue that always exists with moderate Muslims is that a tenet of the teachings of Allah is that it is okay to lie, cheat, be deceptive, etc. in order to achieve the goals of spreading Islam. To that end, it is difficult to take any initiative like this as anything else but a Trogan Horse whose goal is to lull us into a sense of false security.

    February 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • 29ers

      Take the que from the QuRan and run for dear life. It is satanic verses as some wise person once said.

      February 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • New Athiest

      @29ers
      A bunch of wise people also said that the Ravens would lose the Super Bowl.
      Don't believe everything a 'wise' person tells you.

      February 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Whatever

      Islam means submission; tell me how can one be moderately submissive?

      February 5, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  11. Whatever

    Guess they'll have to "reclaim" the word Mujahideen as well, since it means Muslim guerrilla warriors engaged in a jihad.

    February 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  12. LUCIFER'S ADVERSARY

    REVELATION CHAPTER NINE. A new demonic BLACK AMERICA has arisen from both the black antebellum and the hip hop (GANGSTA RAP) nation and is based on stereotypical images of low class , poverty stricken and criminally prone blacks and has replace the black human population in both AMERICA and in AFRICA ,who were exterminated during the black holocaust during the years between 1968-1993-2001. It is this evil which will soon torment the lost souls of those who do not have the seal of the living GOD in their forehead. The devil's smoke. Neither SATAN nor will his fallen angels who rule AMERICA from those BLACK AMERICAN CHURCHES will be surprise by ANDRE HIMES miraculous survival in the future, since they knew what the white feminists as well as those whites who have a long history of embracing white supremacy did not know.

    February 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      It's all black peoples falts? Like the economic collapse, the murder of 15 million in WW2,or the massacres in sandy hook or aroura. Your prejudice is crazy. Your crazy if you think evil has anything to do with skin color.

      February 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • John

      Somebody forgot their meds this morning. You do realize you just look like an idiot posting something like that?

      February 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Big Shiz, you should learn how to spell, monkey.

      February 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Random Blogger

      Philistines like "Big Shiz" make their entire people look bad.

      February 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      Hey racist trolls,dont be mad just because white women like fuking black men. That's just how it goes. Bit chs

      February 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I believe this type of drivel warrants a trip to the gas chamber.

      February 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      I'll be the one on the switch bi tch.

      February 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Correctlycenter

    Jesus said in John 14:6: " I AM the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me."

    February 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Pete

      Correction, somebody wrote that he said that, and he may even have believed it, but that doesn't make it any more true than any other thing that someone ever said about themselves, or someone else. It's words in an old book, man! Get a grip!

      February 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  14. Just think for a moment !

    This is a great article, my Jihad is to educate people clearing the misconceptions of Islam

    Quran Says..

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    ‘They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper." [2:135]

    “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

    The Messiah, son of Mary is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! [5:75]

    It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    They do not value God as He should be valued. God is the Most Powerful, the Almighty.[22:74]

    If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess. [Quran 6:116]

    “There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in God has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. God is Hearer, Omniscient.” [2:256]

    O people, here is a parable that you must ponder carefully: the idols you set up beside God can never create a fly, even if they banded together to do so. Furthermore, if the fly steals anything from them, they cannot recover it; weak is the pursuer and the pursued. [22:73]

    “God: there is no other god besides Him, the Living, the Eternal. Never a moment of unawareness or slumber overtakes Him. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who could intercede with Him, except in accordance with His will? He knows their past, and their future. No one attains any knowledge, except as He wills. His dominion encompasses the heavens and the earth, and ruling them never burdens Him. He is the Most High, the Great.” [2:255]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

    February 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Live4Him

      What kind of omniscient god would mistakenly identify the members of the Christian Trinity as Mary, Jesus and God?

      February 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Hey look everyone!!! Lie4him is starting a debate...My imaginary friend is better than yours....this should be fun!!!

      February 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • New Athiest

      @live4him
      If the mslims are right, then the bible is wrong – and YOU are the one incorrectly identifying the trinity. You have proven nothing.

      February 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  15. Mohammad A Dar

    In 2013, Jihad is a slang word for killing of non-muslims.

    February 4, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  16. Woody

    A skunk, by any other name, would smell just as bad.

    February 4, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  17. Saraswati

    I know someone (not Muslim) who is originally from a middle eastern country and accidentally used the second meaning completely secularly at a business meating in the US after septenmber 11...caused a nice silence from what I heard. I think she assumed the audience was a little better educated than they were. It's actually a useful word without an English equivalent...it will be interesting to see if more people come to accept def 2. But then we'd need another word to cover the nutters people now calls jihadists.

    February 4, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • what

      Which meat was she thinking of in the 'meating' while she spoke about jihad? human?

      February 4, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • ME II

      @Saraswati,
      Is "crusade" any better than "jihad"?
      Or are you talking about the second part of definition #1?

      February 4, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Saraswati

      @MEII, As the article points out neither definition is really right, and the way she used it was more like "large important struggle". She was just saying that the company had to persevere with its jihad on the new product paradigm (or something similar...I wasn't in the room). Anyway, it didn’t go over well. The meaning as in “struggle” had been all over the news at the time and this woman had lived almost all her life in the US so had been discussing it with friends and just assumed the more nuanced meaning was more common knowledge that it was. I jokingly use the word that way sometimes, but only with friends. Since I don’t come from an Islamic country it would be less likely to be misunderstood too.

      February 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing in 2013
    Prayer changes things

    February 4, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  19. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Putting ideas ahead of the well-being of people is the root of much evil. Remember, we did fine as non-thinking creatures before we evolved to the stage where jihads became possible.

    February 4, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  20. Irrational Exuberance

    If it wasn't CAIR saying these things I would have thought this was satire.

    Islam is not violent? Are we talking about the same Islam founded by a guy name Mohammad which has been engaging in warfare both internally and externally since its inception??

    //If people commit harm against innocent people, it will be in violation of the spirit of Islam and a violation of the concept of jihad.//
    This is where there should have been a follow-up question. Define innocent people. Are non-Muslims who refuse to submit to being ruled over by Muslims still innocent? Does refusal to comply with Sharia law make one non-innocent.

    February 4, 2013 at 7:38 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.