#MyJihad Twitter Bout Takes One Round

by Garibaldi

Danios has been writing a series on Understanding Jihad which rebuts Robert Spencer‘s lies, decontextualized and selective usage of Islamic texts and history to advance myths regarding Jihad. The series is unfinished, but has been credited for bringing much needed facts and perspective to the understanding and meaning of Jihad.

One aspect that is yet to be covered is how the majority of everyday, regular Muslims relate to Jihad, and what it means to them. Today, in response to Geller’s racist ad campaign calling Muslims and Arabs “savages” whilst juxtaposing “Supporting Israel” with “Defeating Jihad,” Muslims (and non-Muslims) have taken to Twitter to relate what Jihad means to them with the hashtag #MyJihad (h/t: Fred A.). Here’s a description from the Facebook page about the impetus for the campaign,

There has been a lot of commotion recently in broadcast and social media about hate ads placed in the NY Subway by islamophobe Pamela Geller that states:

“In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
What many on both sides of the debate are missing is that at the heart of the problem is the blatant misuse of the word “Jihad” as if it were an acceptable synonym of say “terrorism.”

Islamophobes aside, many Americans remain confused about this.

The best response to the hateful ad campaign is to convert it into an opportunity to get to the heart of the problem and to reclaim the word “Jihad,” a word many Muslims have shied away from and left to the ravaging of the ignorant in both the Muslim extremist and anti-Muslim extremist circles – both of whom seem to ironically agree on a bloody definition for the word. I love Jihad! Not Jihad the perverse way Bin Laden & Pam Geller define it. But: the struggle against ignorance, injustice & hate. It is the struggle against the darkness in ones own soul. It is the struggle to be patient in times of adversity etc.

Jihad is not savage, except in the minds of those who are too lazy or too careless to wish to understand a well-documented 1400 year old concept in both Islamic literature and Muslim life.

My Grandma’s Jihad was against diabetes and MS while bedridden for seven years. #MyJihad is against bigotry and hatemongering. What’s yours?

1. Tweet #MyJihad and tell us what your Jihad is.

Also this will be more than a twitter campaign. There will be an ad campaign as well in public transportation in various cities. The best tweets will be used as ads, so tweet away.

so:

2. Donate and help us get physical ads on billboards.
http://www.cairchicago.org/make-a-donation-form

Non-Muslims welcome, tell us about your Jihad too!

Anyone with the slightest bit of knowledge of the Arabic language and Islam knows that Jihad literally translates to “struggle.” Hence, the preponderance of involved Twitterati are relating the concept of Jihad to their everyday struggles and tying it to a spiritual dimension rooted deeply in their faith. It is clearly an attempt to reclaim the meaning of Jihad from the extremists and absolutists in both the “West” and the “East,” who feed off of each others hate.

An interesting interaction involving perennial anti-Loon Ahmed Rehab and hate monger Robert Spencer underscored how such campaigns can be effective tools in turning the hate machine’s propaganda on its head:

Robert Spencer made the mistake of tweeting at Ahmed Rehab with what he thought was a wisecrack and witty side-busting tweet, but ended up receiving a rhetorical Jiu Jitsu flying kick which left him floored. The question still stands Spencer, are you going to “watch” yourself now as part of your “Jihadwatch?”

Fox News Labels Pamela Geller’s Work “Inflammatory” And “Anti-Muslim” After Promoting Her For Years

by Oliver Willis (Media Matters)

On today’s edition of Happening Now, Fox News obscured language in Islamophobic billboards created by conservative blogger Pam Geller’s American Israel Defense Initiative, deeming the language “so inflammatory we’re not going to show it to you.” While Fox seems to have finally drawn a line on Geller‘s bigotry, the network has promoted her for years.

The ads, currently posted in NYC subway stations, read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad.” Fox blurred the word “savage” when showing the ad to viewers:

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority initially refused to run the ads, on the grounds that it violated their policy against accepting advertising that demeans individuals or groups on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin. Geller’s group sued the MTA and in July a federal judge ordered the agency to run the ads, saying that the content was protected speech.

During the segment, Fox’s panelists agreed that they “hate” the message in the ads, while they avoided mentioning the obscured text. Despite Geller’s claims to the contrary in the accompanying video package, Fox described the billboards as “anti-Muslim” in their on-air chyron.


It seems odd that Fox would suddenly exhibit this sort of sensitivity.

The network has regularly featured anti-Islam commentary as a part of its regular programming and has often invited Geller as a guest despite her long and well-documented history of bigotry.

While she was campaigning against plans to build the Park51 Islamic community center in New York, Geller appeared on Fox several times to make bigoted comments about the center and Islam.

She described the center as a “mosque” that “basically embodies the very ideology that inspired those attacks on 9-11.” She also said ”I don’t know why” the developers of the center “want to stab Americans in the eye with that.” Geller also compared construction of the center to building a “Ku Klux Klan shrine” near a black church in Alabama.

Fox also gave Geller a platform to promote her book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and was given airtime to promote and fundraise for her campaign suggesting that honor killings and terrorism are representative of the Islamic faith. During one of the appearances, she claimed that President Obama “was giving seminars in sharia finance” a week “after he nationalized some banks.”

Fox networks have also hosted Geller to push bizarre conspiracy theories. Hours after Obama released his long-form birth certificate last year, Geller appeared on Eric Bolling’s now-defunct Fox Business program to analyze a poster-sized version of the document and decide whether it was “Photoshopped.” (Sample analysis from Geller: “This whole border is suspect.”)

And that’s just what she’s said on Fox. Geller has a long history of bigoted and hateful comments: describing Democrats as “National Socialists,” claiming that “Jews refuse to get on Obama’s trains,” describing President Obama as an “anti-semite,” and alleging that he “was involved with a crack whore in his youth.”

Fox is not new to the world of Pamela Geller and their sudden sensitivity — after playing a substantial role in mainstreaming her bigotry — rings hollow.