MyJihad Is to Not Let Others Dictate What Muslims Are

Huff Post: By Monique Parsons

Chicago, Illinois – Angie Emara’s son, Adam, was just 4 years old when he died from complications of Hunter’s Syndrome in 2009. Every day since, Emara, 35, of Naperville, Ill., has struggled with a painful and private grief.

In December, she took her heartbreak public — to the side of a city bus, to be exact. Cuddling with her three grinning children, her youngest clutching a photograph of little Adam, the ad reads: “#MyJihad is to march on despite losing my son. What’s yours?”

It is one of five that appeared on the side of 25 Chicago Transit Authority buses last December and debuted in Washington, D.C., subway stations on Jan. 28.

Emara and her moving story are part of a Chicago-based campaign known as #MyJihad, an effort to insert a broader, and more nuanced, definition of “jihad” into the public discourse. The Arabic term, often mistranslated as “holy war” or narrowly defined as religiously justified warfare, is at its root actually a synonym for “struggle” or “striving.”

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