Brian Mast, the Afghanistan veteran running for Congress in Florida’s 18th district, which was home to spree-shooter Omar Mateen, said he is surprised that Americans are still surprised by Islamic jihad attacks.
“Islam wants to make Main Streets in America their new battlefield,” said the former explosive ordnance disposal specialist told Breitbart shortly after Mateen’s murderous attack on Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub.
Mast was in Michigan to be with his mother as she succumbed to a long illness. His mother was buried Saturday and the candidate was returning to Florida with his wife and two sons to Florida during the interview.
“Islam is the religion of terror … they’ve proven it over and over and over again,” he said. “It is just as obvious as who this enemy is it was obvious that the Nazis were our enemy in World War II.”
Islamists have brought terror all over the Western World, not just in the United States, said the former Army staff sergeant, who gave both his legs in Afghanistan, while serving with forces from Joint Special Operations Command.
“Islam is intolerant about anything different,” he said.
“I don’t mind saying it that way. If I had a religion and I named it: ‘Kill Everyone With Different Opinions Than Me,’ then nobody would be surprised if I went out shooting people,” he said.
“The fact that people are surprised, when this is perpetuated by those who fall under Islam is ridiculous,” he said.
Mast said he would push back on efforts by the Left to exploit this tragedy in their campaign to restrict gun rights. “Americans have to have the ability to defend themselves,” he said.
“It is the criminal, who find the route to get the weapon to use–whether that weapon is an explosive device, whether that weapon is an automobile, whether that weapon is a rifle–they are going to find a way to execute it,” he said. “Guess what? You need a firearm to fight back and that’s the reality of it.”
The former bomb specialist said his campaign office is four miles down the road from where the shooter lived. “You can believe that I think about somebody walking in that door someday because they fall under radical Islam and they don’t agree with what I say,” he said. “Guess what? I am going to be prepared and I want those who work for me to be prepared–it gives us that much of a greater chance to survive.”