Americans should learn what 'jihad' really means. Uproar over a recent speech shows why.

"Jihad" is a loaded word, especially when you rip it from the context in which it's being used.

After a video of Muslim activist and Women's March organizer Linda Sarsour went viral, headlines began popping up around the internet claiming she had called for a "jihad" against the Trump administration, with some going so far as to try to link her to violent acts of terrorism.

Yes, she said "jihad" in her recent speech to the Islamic Society of North America. No, it doesn't mean what many of these outlets are trying to suggest — especially in the context she said it.


Sarsour called for nonviolent resistance to harmful people and policies within the Trump administration.

The nearly 23-minute speech touches on organizing, activism, building bridges within the community, standing up to oppressors, and a host of other topics that are well worth a watch if you've got the time. The key moment that seems to have been left out of many of the more sensational reports came when she actually defines "the best form of jihad" as "a word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader."

All GIFs from s khalil/YouTube.

"There is a man who once asked our beloved Prophet Muhammad ... he said to him, 'What is the best form of jihad or struggle?'

And our beloved Prophet Muhammad ... said to him, 'A word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad.' I hope, that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers, not only abroad in the Middle East or the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House."

Author Qasim Rashid came to Sarsour's defense, sharing an important series of tweets further defining what jihad actually is.

It's long but worth a read, starting here. He also shared a link to a resource about the efforts of terrorists to co-opt and pervert the term to mean something it's not.

Wherever your beliefs fall on the political spectrum, it's worth standing up for Sarsour on this. Because anything else is, as President Trump would say, "fake news."

It's a tough time to be Muslim in the U.S., and Sarsour is trying her hardest to strengthen the community's resolve to stand up for their rights as Americans to practice their religion freely and without fear.

"It's my duty to instill courage in Muslim communities, to motivate them to join the non-violent resistance against this administration and to always be unapologetically Muslim, because we have every right to be," Sarsour writes in a Twitter message. "The morale of Muslims is low, my mission is to lead by example with conviction."

Watch Sarsour's entire speech below. Regardless of your religion or political perspective, there's certainly a lesson we can all take from it.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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