The indictment of Cody Crawford, who allegedly attempted to burn down a mosque in Oregon, is notable for a few reasons beyond the fact of the alleged crime itself. Crawford is alleged to have targeted the mosque in part because he recognized Mohamud Osman Mohamud, who was caught and charged in an FBI sting plot to bomb a Portland Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony, as one of the congregants.
Crawford seems to be the second instance we've seen of an alleged act of anti-Muslim terrorism being perpetrated on ideological grounds. As noted yesterday, Crawford told an officer while being arrested that "you look like Obama. You are a Muslim like him. Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too." But the indictment offers more details:
Crawford also made statements about Officer Macartney being Muslim and not a Christian like him (Crawford) and therefore, Crawford said that Officer Macartney was "going to burn in Hell like other Muslims." Crawford stated that Officer Macartney could never be a Christian warrior and also stated that any time anyone fucked with a Christian warrior it would result in retribution.
Crawford also accused the two detectives who arrested him of being "secret Muslims."
During their contact, Crawford told the detectives, "I don't give a fuck what happens to people like you." Detective Roach asked Crawford what type of person he was referring to and Crawford responded, "Secret Muslims." Crawford then said, "If you believe in jihad, you're working for the wrong God." You're a jihadist. You are a jihadist. Crawford later indicated that there is a difference between Muslims and jihadists. He said, "Muslims are cool. Jihadists are not."
The affadavit suggests Crawford was not a particularly competent criminal if guilty -- investigators found batteries with the same identifying numbers as a flashlight left at the scene of the original arson, and further searches turned up the equipment allegedly used to set the original fire.
But what's disturbing is that in his outbursts, Crawford didn't merely express hatred toward Muslims. His statement reflects a particular ideology, namely that Muslims are covertly infilitrating American society to sinister ends and that he has some duty to respond as a "Christian warrior." In that sense, like Olso terrorist Anders Breivik, he seems to have been influenced by the rhetoric of existential war between Christianity and Islam.
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