Contrary to the images that we typically see in news coverage and other media, a jihad does not necessarily serve a destructive or hateful agenda. It is by definition an epic, spiritual mission. That mission may be to destroy all infidels, or it may be some other, more harmonious journey towards self-actualization.
I am not a destructive or hateful person, but I have a jihad. I am not a middle eastern arab, I am an Italian from New Jersey. I do not worship Allah, I worship Bruce Springsteen. And tonight, my god is in my Mecca: The Meadowlands. I must make a haaj to my Mecca and worship my god in the hopes that his geriatric body will anoint my face with his ben-gay sweat as he works the crowd. That is my jihad.
And thus I will not be around to host poker. Who wants to step up and take one for the team? Either way I will see you all next week, a more spiritually fulfilled person…