Superheroes are Gods.
We read stories of their glory and revel. We bear witness to their losses and mourn. We viciously defend the sanctity of their character against any who would misrepresent them. We attend gatherings with the fellow devoted. We pore over every word that has been written about them so that we may preserve an accurate account of our shared history. We look to their examples for guidance on living better lives.
Over the last two decades, the term “Jihad” has exclusively been defined as a holy war perpetrated by extremists. As such, when the average American hears the term “Jihad,” they conflate Islam with terror. Although the term has been hijacked by extremists, many Muslims in the US and around world don’t recognize Jihad’s contemporary application. For these Muslims, the term, which literally translates to “struggle,” is a personal struggle, or a mission. For example, someone’s “Jihad” could be giving up smoking or to strive to be a better neighbor, friend, husband, or wife.