Commentators, including Representative Matt Gaetz, have said that the United States would not be intimidated by a “Day of Jihad” on October 13 after a former Hamas official called for it.
In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Khaled Mashaal, the leader of the militant group’s diaspora office in Qatar, called for Muslims to “go to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday” to demonstrate in favor of the Palestinians as the crisis with Israel escalates.
According to a transcript published on X, he also urged Muslims “to exhibit fury” on Friday and “send a message of rage to Zionists and America” in a video uploaded to YouTube that has since been taken down.
Adding the “F*** around and find out” acronym FAFO, Florida Republican Gaetz reminded Mashaal that Floridians carry firearms and are not intimidated.
In contrast, conservative podcast host Joey Mannarino advised his listeners to stay inside unless there was an emergency that day.
More than 108,000 people follow Jason Howerton on X, and he recently said not to be paranoid, but you should be prepared.
A second Twitter user, the owner of a gun shop in Tennessee, polled their X followers on what weapons they planned to carry this coming Friday.
Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in the United States, rebuffed Mashaal’s appeals, saying they condemn the terrorist acts and their appeals for further violence are not something any practicing Muslim should listen to because the first rule of jihad is to protect civilians at all costs.
Al-Marayati claimed that these strategies not only went against Islamic norms but also contributed to increased fatalities on both sides.
Hamas led the bloodiest Palestinian militant attack in Israeli history on October 7. Israel then began its most severe airstrikes against Gaza in response. At least 1,300 Israelis had been murdered as of Thursday. Authorities in Gaza told the Associated Press that 1,350 Palestinians had been killed. Around 150 Israelis have also been taken hostage by militants.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared war and ordered all aid to the Gaza Strip to be cut off.