NYC teachers received state training against “anti-Muslim bias” and were taught that the meaning of jihad is “struggle” and not holy war

Some teachers present strongly questioned the workshop, accusing the authorities of seeking to trivialize a term that is used to justify violence and terrorism.

The New York City Department of Education organized a training against “anti-Muslim bias” with New York teachers where the hosts taught that the true meaning of jihad is not holy war but a term associated with “struggle” and resilience.

According to a video published by the New York Post (NYP), during the training, the trainers trivialized the meaning of the term jihad, used by terrorist groups such as Hamas, Al Qaeda and ISIS to glorify and justify violence.

In fact, in the materials collected by the NYP, it is seen that even the person in charge of training teachers against anti-Muslim “prejudices” stated that jihad could simply mean “to get fit.”

The way in which Muslim extremist groups use the term jihad was completely ignored throughout the training.

Likewise, according to the New York newspaper, a Department of Education trainer also told teachers that Sharia means religious observance but “did not mention brutal punishment and persecution of women and minorities by Sharia regimes including the Taliban in Afghanistan.”

The webinar “Understanding Muslim Experiences and Combating Anti-Muslim Bias,” was organized by the city’s Human Rights Commission on February 20 and was held within the framework of the war between Israel and Hamas after the brutal terrorist attacks of October 7. A seminar on antisemitism is also planned.

Teachers present at the seminar questioned the definitions provided by New York Department of Education trainers but were systematically ignored.

For example, one of the teachers said he sent a message explaining that the Encyclopedia Britannica states that the term war is included in the definition of jihad. But the host ignored the teacher’s comment.

Likewise, another teacher said that the Department of Education was applying a strategy “straight from the Joseph Goebbels handbook” in redefining the term jihad during the seminar.

Another professor commented that the workshop “was a brazen attempt to use semantics to avoid discussing Islamic extremism,” the NYP reported.

Meanwhile, a Jewish professor strongly questioned the training material in statements to the New York newspaper.

“They are trying to normalize jihad, but we have to address the elephant in the room: that for many radical Muslims, it means violence,” said the professor who attended the training.

“It’s a form of subliminal messaging and brainwashing. By changing the terminology it becomes easier to say and repeat, especially for children. It’s like genocide doesn’t mean genocide anymore and terrorist means freedom fighter,” he continued. “When someone hears a word like jihad, they now associate it with a struggle to go to the gym rather than violence.”