By now we have heard the news on TV, radio, and the internet that Friday October 13th 2023 is to be the “Global day of Jihad.” This has been met with many different reactions as the war in Israel continues into its 7th straight day with calls for escalation for the Israeli government. This has been a crazy and somewhat scary week in the news for many people. So let’s look at what is going on, what the “Day of Jihad” really means, and what it means for all of us.
War in Israel
First we must understand the current and past conflicts between Hamas and Israel. Hamas is an extremist terrorist organization that was born from the conditions of life in Palestine more than. There have been many clashes and attacks between them and Israel over the past 30 years. The results have been thousands of civilians killed, worsening conditions in Palestine, and billions spent to fortify Israel. On October 7th Hamas launched a multipronged attack in Israel which resulted in more than 1,200 Israeli civilians killed, thousands more injured, and several kidnappings. Both sides are preparing for an all out war.
Day of Jihad
The so called “Day of Jihad” came from a statement issued by former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal as a rallying cry to protest against Israel on Friday the 13th. The YouTube video has since been taken down, but he made several statements and calls to actions during the video to be carried out.
The Al-Aqsa flood
Al-Aqsa means “Furthest Mosque” and is located in Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel. This has long been a contested holy sight for both Muslims and Jews. During his video he called for a “Flood” of people, to protest the Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip which is home to over 2 million Palestinians.
A “Financial Jihad”
Next he asked for Muslim leaders to donate to help support Gaza after the damage from artillery and rocket destruction of infrastructure.
He ask political leaders to protest Israel’s planned invasion into Gaza.
Jihad by souls and actions
The final call to action issued by Khaled Mashal was the most concerning he made. He asked for Muslims around the world to be martyrs for Al-Aqsa, and fight against jews in the surrounding countries. Further he asked the Mujahedeen to ‘caravan and spill blood for Palestine’
These are words of violence were followed by other statements to show a “Message of rage” to “Zionist and America.”
First, we must understand that these statements are calling for protests, and violence against Israel and Jewish people in the Middle East. They go along way to further escalate tensions and perpetual instabilities in the area. However, these are the words of a terrorist, they are to be expected.
Impact of the “Day of Rage”
After these statements were made people in the United States reacted in many ways. Regardless of the various points of political banter that have been shared around the internet, actual steps were taken in many areas. Many large cities in the U.S. such as Los Angles, Portland, and New York etc. increased the number of first responders on duty. However, they made many direct statements to the fact there is not a credible or specific threat. Of course, this has done little to stop the internet from spreading fear.
GWOT and fear: Opinion Piece
For many of us who grew up during the Global War on Terror (GWOT) this is nothing new. We witnessed 9/11, the Boston Marathon Bombing, and countless other acts of terror.
So what significance does the “Day of Jihad” hold?
So far there have been many people who texted me personally “Call in sick tomorrow,” or “Stay home and don’t go to work.” I am, by far not the only person who received these. People across the U.S. are scared because of what they have seen and heard on the internet and social media. Fear is a cancer that spreads like wildfire.
I urge folks not to abandon reason for fear. The proliferation and spread of fear on the internet is insurmountable, but it is our individual choice not to listen to those who would have us afraid. At the end of the day we are American. Fear did not stop us from storming the beaches of Normandy, or invading of Guadalcanal, or the thousands of Americans who flooded recruiting offices September 12th 2001.
Regardless of the day we should always be vigilant and aware when we are in public (Get off your phone). Anything can happen at any time, and the more we retreat into our bubbles the less we are able to respond and react in an emergency. Always be vigilant and ready to react, never allow your perceived safety to lead to complacency.
My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” ― J.K. Rowling in Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Tacticon Armament.