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The Center for the Study of Islam Democracy

Why I hold a jihad at the White House

Why I Hold a Jihad1

After watching Obama in the White House for a year, I have come to believe that he is a typical politician who makes promises in order to be elected and, once elected, starts planning to be reelected. This may explain why he doesn’t seem to have the courage to peacefully engage the Muslim world or to end the injustice the United States inflicts on Muslims in the name of its “war on terrorism.”

I recognize that not all Muslims support Obama or want to work with him; some continue to resist U.S. occupation of two Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), resent U.S. bombardment of two Muslim countries (Pakistan and Somalia), resent U.S. threats to bombard two Muslim countries (Syria and Iran) and resent U.S. military intervention in another Muslim country (Yemen).
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I believe Obama’s basic problem with the Muslim world is his inability to understand — or perhaps his denial — that the Qur’an tells Muslims to stand up against injustice, particularly if they are treated unfairly by non-Muslims, which stands out in the form of blatant military occupations.

This brings me back to the five Muslim Americans who wanted to “help the helpless Muslims.” I am not arguing about whether they are “jihadists” or “terrorists,” “would-be martyrs” or “traitors,” or whether they should stand in front of a civil or a military court when they return to the United States.

But I believe, as they do, that jihad is not terrorism. As the sign I held in front of the White House implies, “terrorism” hasn’t been clearly defined. Even the United Nations hasn’t agreed on a definition. And the Qur’an, which says the faithful Muslim is closer to God than a non-devout one, clearly asks the faithful to sacrifice their time, money, family and/or life to end injustice.

I am not faithful enough to sacrifice with my money (I barely make ends meet), with my family (I want them to be near me) or my life (I don’t think I have enough left). So this weekend I will resume my jihad in front of the White House — peacefully, silently and alone.

The writer, a journalist in Washington, is a correspondent for Arabic newspapers and magazines in the Middle East. His e-mail address is

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