A 24-year-old Oregon man — who told police that he was a “Christian warrior” — has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly firebombing a mosque last November.
Cody Crawford faces 10 to 30 years if convicted of firebombing the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center, which is about 200 feet from his house. Although his DNA has been connected to the crime scene, Crawford has maintained that he’s “100 percent innocent.”
In an unrelated incident, Crawford had ranted to police about Muslims, according to court documents.
“You look like Obama,” he said to a McMinnville officer in December. “You are a Muslim like him. Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too.”
The documents reveal that Crawford also told authorities that “only Christians could understand him, that he was a Christian warrior that they were persecuting.”
“You will never know the truth about the mosque,” he allegedly said.
The firebombing came just two days after Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who had occasionally attended the mosque, was arrested in connection with a plot to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony Portland.
Mohamud’s plot was reportedly uncovered with help from the Muslim community.
Mozafar Wanly, who also worships at the Corvallis Mosque, believes that Crawford’s alleged crimes were based on a ignorance.
“I would say to him, ‘I think you misunderstand Islam. Islam is the religion of the love. We love everybody. You are misunderstanding us,’” Wanly said.
Watch this video from KVAL, broadcast Aug. 25, 2011.