On Thursday night, two Palestinian terrorists – Cousins Muhammad and Khalid Muhamra - sat quietly in the Max Brenner café in Tel Aviv. Disguised as businessmen, suddenly they jumped up and began a deadly shooting spree. They murdered four Israelis and wounded more than a dozen.
On Sunday morning at 2:02 a.m., Omar Mateen entered the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and began a rampage that has become the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
What connects a Tel Aviv café in Israel and a gay bar in Orlando? It’s a common ideology dedicated to make war on the infidel.
We are at war! Whether we recognize it or not.
Islamic ideology divides the world in two. One part of the world is called the House of War; the other is the House of Peace. The House of Peace is the part of the world already under the domination of Islam. Think Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, or Iran.
The House of War is the area of the world not yet under the subjugation of Islam. Think Israel, the United States, and Europe.
This war takes many forms. It could be the war ISIS fights on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. It could be Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Or it could be suicide bombers striking an airport in Brussels; it could be a café in Tel Aviv or a gay bar in Orlando.
It’s unlike the war my father fought in World War II. He battled in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. He knew where the frontlines were. Today, we don’t have the luxury of knowing the location of our enemy. Today the frontlines could be the Pulse gay club in Orlando, a county office in San Bernardino or that Brussels airport.
Terror is their tactic.
In my book ISIS, Iran and Israel: What You Need to Know about the Current Mideast Crisis and the Coming Mideast War, I cite the Quran that states: “Your (Mohammad’s) Lord revealed to the angels: ‘I am with you, give the believers firmness; I shall put terror into the hearts of the disbelievers. Strike above their necks and strike their fingertips.” (Sura 8:12)
They want to terrorize us and whittle away our will to fight.
Both the Muhamra cousins and Omar Mateen drew their inspiration from a poisonous atmosphere either in the small West Bank village of Yatta or online in a Florida suburb.
It’s also likely a Muslim holiday drove them on their suicidal missions.
Just days before the Tel Aviv murders, Hamas wrote an article called “Ramadan, the Month of Jihad, Fighting and Victory over the Enemies.” It praised “jihad for the sake of Allah (is) the pinnacle of Islam … one of the best and noble deeds.” After the rampage, Hamas praised the “heroic” shooting.
Mateen himself seemed inspired by the Islamic State. For example, he called 911 and pledged allegiance to Abu Al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS. He also cited the Tsarnaev brothers responsible for the Boston marathon.
Last year FBI Director James Comey warned of this danger when he stated, “ISIL in particular is putting out a siren song through their slick propaganda through social media that goes like this: 'Troubled soul, come to the caliphate. You will live a life of glory. These are the apocalyptic end times. You will find a life of meaning here fighting for our so called caliphate. And if you can’t come, kill somebody where you are.' That is a message that goes out to troubled souls everywhere; resonates with troubled souls; people seeking meaning in some horribly, misguided way.”
Comey went on to say the FBI has active ISIS investigations in all 50 states.
Mateen likely followed the Pied Piper battle cry of ISIS leaders like Abu Mohammad al Adnani who declared, “Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbelievers whether he is civilian or military.”
After the Tel Aviv attack, Jerusalem Arabs cheered and applauded at the Damascus Gate. Others in the West Bank passed out candy. We asked Itamar Marcus of the Palestinian Media Watch what could explain this reaction to the deaths of Jews.
“So why are they giving out candies in the street? Because when a population is told that this is what their god wants of them, this is going to bring about the redemption of humanity, killing the Jews is a condition for the redemption of humanity," he replied. "So of course then it's a celebration every time an Israeli is killed.”
Sixty five hundred miles and an ocean separate Orlando from Tel Aviv. But three men driven by a murderous ideology attacked both of these cities. They are the foot soldiers in a war not just against Israel and the United States, but on Western Civilization itself, the House of War.
Finally, Gordon Robertson, CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), issued the following statement on the June 12 terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida:
"Today, we mourn the deaths of innocent Americans who were murdered by an Islamic terrorist in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The attack appears to be well planned and specifically targeted against the gay community. There is no justification for this terrible act of violence. All people, regardless of sexual orientation, have the absolute right to be secure and live safely in the United States of America. We at CBN strongly condemn this act of violence and offer our condolences to the loved ones of all those killed or injured. We also commend the Orlando Police and the FBI for their swift response, ending this nightmare and saving the lives of those they could."