I happened to be in my car, listening to the radio during President Bush's speech to the U.N. General Assembly, and being the wordophile (?) that I am, I noticed the number of times he used the word struggle. "Struggle," of course, is the simplified, soundbyted (?) translation of the Islamic concept jihad. And I got to thinking, what would an Americanized concept of jihad be like?
Of course, there are other religious concepts that America could commodify if it so chose. The recent book The Gospel According to America dips the good news of Jesus Christ in red, white and blue, for example. But yet to be considered is American shalom, the Hebrew concept most often simplified and soundbyted (!) as "peace." What's American shalom look like?
I'm reminded of a papal soundbyte from decades past: "If you want peace, work for justice." Jihad and shalom are both represented, and the pope's signature gives it the aura of gospel. And as if Islam, Judaism and Christianity in one sentence weren't enough, what's more American than giving mad props to justice?
I'll tell you what's more American than giving mad props to justice: T-shirts, that's what. So in the spirit of American private enterprise as vehicle for world salvation, I propose a new t-shirt that will bring the big three monotheistic, Abrahamic religions together: "Good News: Shalom Is Jihad." There now, can't we all just get along?