Spike's Tactical in Apopka, Florida caused a stir among Florida Muslims Wednesday when they unveiled their newest assault rifle: an AR-15 called the "Crusader," which is inscribed with Christian symbols and verses.
The Orlando Sentinel reported the laser-etched decorations—which include a cross used by the Knights Templar during the Crusades—are deliberate, according to the ex-SEAL named Ben "Mookie" Thomas who came up with the design. Thomas, the spokesman for Spike's, told the Sentinel he didn't think devout Muslims would touch the rifle, adding, "Off the cuff, I said I'd like to have a gun that if a Muslim terrorist picked it up a bolt of lightning would hit and knock him dead."
Thomas told the Orlando paper that the gun's decoration and verse weren't meant to "insult or antagonize Muslims," but he did indicate a belief that there is a worldwide threat from Islamic terrorism and the Crusader symbolizes "shared Christian values" and a right to self-defense.
Hasan Shibly, the executive director of Florida's Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL), condemned the weapon to the Sentinel , adding that the U.S. needs "to have a conversation on gun violence." Sibly noted "utter silence" on U.S. mass shootings from gun makers and said, "It's time for them to stop trying to make a buck on this."
In reference to the Crusader rifle and stunts by other gun stores which angered the Muslim community, Sibly said, "They don't have to do outlandish things for us to engage them."
While Thomas said the shop wouldn't sell a weapon bearing verses from the Koran, it's worth noting that for $5, Spike's Tactical will also laser-etch a Confederate flag on your weapon. For less than $12, customers can purchase pink tees for their little shooters that read, "I'm proof my Daddy doesn't shoot blanks!" And the Sentinel reported that the shop does sell an AR-15 intended for women which it named "Pure Estrogen." See? There's a little something for everyone.
Photos by Screen grab