I just listened to a public radio story about a positive ad campaign designed to a reclaim the word jihad from Muslim extremists. It is a word that has been used to make Islam sound like a religion that inspires terror. That was behind the baseless lie that President Obama was a secret Muslim despite loads of evidence to the contrary.
I have long understood that the true meaning of jihad is a deep and powerful internal struggle. In that context one can say that my jihad has been to rebuild my life from the ruins it was mired in many years ago. The latest phase has been this past year as a certified peer specialist. I have won the struggle to control my thoughts, actions and emotions. The battle to find someone with whom I can share those things is an ongoing one but fortunately in is not all consuming. I still attempt to inspire the people I am assisting. I want them to remember me after they no longer need our assistance because they have found other levels of support. Being and inspiring is a good combination.
I think back to the jihad in public school as I struggled against racism, war and imperialism. I marched to a different drum, one that was more attuned to the need for social justice than wearing the latest fashions. It was a conscious choice. I am dismayed today over the amount of wasted time and energy on what I consider trivial matters dealing with the lives of famous people as against forging solutions to the endless wars we have been fighting.
I have been a secularist most of my life but I understand that many words are common to many different types of people. I am for the peaceful jihad that people of goodwill seek and I reject the misuse of the word and the demonization by hate filled individuals seeking to paint Islam as something that it is not.
- Religion: #MyJihad is to not let others dictate what Muslims are (ionglobaltrends.com)
- #MyJihad Is To Not Let Others Dictate What Muslims Are – OpEd (albanytribune.com)