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Florida Law Enforcement and FGCU UPD Respond to Day of Jihad

Adriana Hall

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal named Friday, Oct. 13 the “Day of Jihad,” calling Muslims to take action against Jewish communities worldwide and specifically mentioning the United States.

According to Chief of Police Jim Slapp, although there have not been any calls for concern or potential threats detected at or near FGCU, UPD is on a high alert and visibility status on campus. 

Slapp said that a statewide call on Thursday, Oct. 12 connected all law enforcement and members of the governor’s office to discuss intelligence developments.

“Everybody from the FBI to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been networking throughout the whole state and providing information to all local law enforcement agencies,” he said.

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UPD’s main concern is the safety of its students.

“You know the old saying ‘see something, say something’? We want people to definitely let us know if anything looks out of place or is out of the ordinary, no matter how insignificant it may seem; it could be important,” Slapp said.

He also gave an example of what a suspicious item may look like, such as a package or bag left unattended.

“It’s difficult at a university because people often leave their backpacks lying around. But even so, if it’s left unattended, let us know. We’d rather check it out and have nothing than not check it, and it be something,” he said.

FGCU Junior and Jewish American Isaiah Brownman has been following updates on the Israel-Hamas war. Israel is his home away from home.

“I saw the evil, and I saw the hatred, and it’s nothing that I haven’t seen before, but it’s terrible,” Brownman said.

He said that he’s spoken to his family about antisemitism, but he never felt it closely until now.

“When I first researched the attack in Israel, I realized it had always been something I learned historically or heard over the news overseas. But when I read an article online about LAPD taking high alert, it felt personal,” Brownman said.

He said he has no real concern for his safety, at least not in Fort Myers where the Jewish community is incomparable in size to the one in New York or Los Angeles. But even elsewhere, he said his faith in God serves as his anchor.

“It would break anyone’s heart, no matter how much God you got. But while many Jewish people’s thoughts can possibly run rampant, my only thoughts are, ‘Lord, why are you forsaking us? Let’s protect your people,’” Brownman said.

According to Brownman, the only thing he can do is pray, not only for Israelis and Americans, but for Palestinians, too. 

“When I read in the Bible to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I don’t just take that to mean the Jewish people. The Lord doesn’t desire anyone to perish—He loves all of us the same,” he said.

Brownman said he didn’t expect the quick response that local and statewide law enforcement had.

“I really appreciate that all law enforcement is so on top of everything. It makes me proud of America,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Cristina Pop, Eagle News Assistant Opinion Editor
Cristina Pop is majoring in journalism. She is a new addition to our team of editors, which has been her dream since she started grading papers with her English teacher in 7th grade and writing for her personal Christian blog. Aside from writing, Cristina enjoys volleyball and sunset swimming at the beach.

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