“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.” – Ahmed Rehab on O’Reilly Factor, 8/6/08
We’ll get to Jamal Said’s ties to Hamas and other Muslim fundamentalist groups shortly but first…
The “My Jihad” PR campaign launched by Ahmed Rehab, the Executive Director for CAIR Chicago appears to be backfiring in a major way, thanks to the efforts of Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs. This can be known by looking at how effective Geller’s ads, which use Rehab’s use of the word, seem to expose the stealth nature of Jihad.
Another key indicator is the fact that Rehab is now on the defensive and having to fight Geller instead of building on any momentum he had hoped to create from the propaganda found in his ads.
Via the New York Times:
There is an advertising war being fought here — not over soda or car brands but over the true meaning of the word “jihad.”
Backing a continuing effort that has featured billboards on the sides of Chicago buses, the local chapter of a national Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has been promoting a nonviolent meaning of the word — “to struggle” — that applies to everyday life.
Supporters say jihad is a spiritual concept that has been misused by extremists and inaccurately linked to terrorism, and they are determined to reclaim that definition with the ad campaign, called My Jihad.
“My jihad is to stay fit despite my busy schedule,” says a woman in a head scarf lifting weights in an ad that started running on buses in December. “What’s yours?”
However, Geller seems to be getting traction, in part, because Rehab’s ads seem to ask those who see them, to take it on faith that Jihad is what the ads say it is. Conversely, Geller’s ads use facts about how murderous jihadists have interpreted the word. On top of that, the contrast is all visual.
Mimicking the My Jihad ads, they feature photos and quotations from figures like Osama bin Laden and Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in 2010. “Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah,” says one ad, attributing the quotation to a Hamas television station. They end with the statement: “That’s his jihad. What’s yours?”
The leader of the second ad campaign, Pamela Geller, executive director of the pro-Israel group American Freedom Defense Initiative, has criticized the original My Jihad ads as a “whitewashed version” of an idea that has been used to justify violent attacks around the world.
“The fact that some Muslims don’t associate jihad with violence does not cancel out that so many do,” Ms. Geller said. “I will go toe to toe in this matter because it’s an attempt to disarm the American people.”
Of course, compounding all of this in Geller’s favor is the ties Rehab’s group has to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the ties Rehab himself has to an Imam by the name of Jamal Said, the prayer leader at the Bridgeview mosque in Chicago. Said’s mosque was visited by Abdullah Azzam, who was the spiritual mentor of none other than Osama bin Laden.
Not only that but Walid knew Jamal Said quite well during his time in Chicago and said the following in an interview and explained that relationship while expressing frustration for the willingness of the city’s mayor not to raise any objections:
“Abdullah Azzam was the colleague of my mentor, Jamal Said… They had a ribbon cutting celebration in Chicago in which the mayor of Chicago (Richard M. Daly) was present. The Muslim Society there – Jamal Said – was donating a park for the community and there was the mayor like nothing was happening.” – Walid Shoebat (Unsung Davids p. 303)
So, does this mean that we’re supposed to believe Rehab – a guy who has vouched for a colleague of bin Laden’s mentor – instead of Geller?
What’s your Jihad, Ahmed?