The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago (CAIR-Chicago) has launched an ad campaign with the intent of re-packaging the word, “Jihad” so that it means something much softer than what reality has been telling the world it means. The Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, Ahmed Rehab, is featured in the videos below.
Ads have gone up on buses in that city that say things like, “My Jihad is to build friendships across the aisle” and “My Jihad is to build bridges through friendship” and “My Jihad is not to judge people by their cover”. That last one is our personal favorite because we actually agree with it. We are not judging CAIR or this campaign at all by its cover. That “cover” is what we warn you about.
To illustrate that, let’s take a look at the man behind this ad campaign.
Here is a statement from Rehab about the campaign:
“Jihad is a term that has unfortunately been widely misrepresented due to the actions of Muslim extremists first and foremost, attempts at public indoctrination by Islamophobes who claim that the minority extremists are right and the rest of us are wrong.”
“The MyJihad campaign is about reclaiming Jihad from the Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists who ironically, but not surprisingly, see eye to eye on Jihad. It is also about pushing for an intelligent and informed understanding of Islam and its concepts and practices in the media, the educational circles, and the public. Most of all, this campaign is about giving voice to our views, our practices, and simply put, our reality, a reality that is too big to be left out of the conversation.”
Ok, so based on his stated problem with Muslim extremists, what is Rehab’s standard for extremism? Does it include radical, fundamentalist imams who are connected to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood? If not, then Rehab is not interested in distancing himself from extremists at all. It would mean he’s only interested in creating that perception.
By the way, there is a word for that.
Now, let’s go back to August of 2008. Rehab was on the O’Reilly Factor to discuss the resignation of Mazen Asbahi from the Barack Obama campaign as the Muslim outreach coordinator. The reason for Asbahi’s resignation had to do with a Wall Street Journal article that connected him to a radical Imam named Jamal Said. The Imam’s radical connections are well-chronicled.
As an aside, our very own Walid Shoebat knows Said very well and can attest to his radical extremist allegiances. Walid worked under Said during the former’s terrorist days in Chicago and insists that Said is precisely the kind of Muslim fundamentalist that Rehab says is part of the problem he is trying to solve with the “MyJihad” campaign.
On August 6, 2008 Rehab was asked about Asbahi and Said by O’Reilly. Take note of what he said about Said specifically:
“Imam Jamal Said, who I know personally to be a great American faith leader and not a radical Imam, as the Wall Street Journal falsely stated.”
Here is that exchange between O’Reilly and Rehab.
Now, here is the quite flowery video from CAIR-Chicago’s website about the “MyJihad” campaign. Remember, the intent of this campaign is to take the word “Jihad” away from the “extremists” on both sides (the terrorists and the Islamophobes). If so, has Rehab since renounced his support for Imam Jamal Said? If not, does he think it would have been appropriate to do a “MyJihad” ad for him?
See if you can spot one? We couldn’t.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see a “MyJihad” ad for Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi too? After all, both he and Said are Muslim Brotherhood guys. Where does Rehab come down on that one?
Like we always say: Keep talking, CAIR. The First Amendment isn’t just about freedom of speech; it’s also about freedom to see, hear, and interpret.
BNI has more on this campaign.