“An Apopka firearms manufacturer is catching heat over its new assault rifle, called The Crusader, which bears a Christian cross and a psalm from the bible.
Some members of the Islamic community have taken offense at what Spike’s Tactical says is behind the religious features.
The company’s spokesman said it has to do with discouraging extremist Muslims from using the rifles.
Former Navy SEAL Ben Thomas said guns he trained Iraqi police to use have ended up in Islamic extremists’ hands.
He said he came up with the idea of putting the Christian cross and a prayer of war on an assault rifle, believing these guns would be rejected by the extremists.
Thomas that with the help of his pastor, he chose Psalm 144:1, about the Lord training hands for war and fingers for battle, for the weapon.
He said the idea evolved after hearing how Islamic extremists are using U.S.-made weapons stolen from the Iraqis.
“To perpetrate these rapes and murders, and it hurt me because I was over in Iraq and I trained those Iraqis and I handed them the guns,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the company is targeting Christians who believe in their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Channel 9’s Kathi Belich asked if it was also a publicity stunt.
“We believe reasonably if you can pay $1,400 you can have any guy you want, but if you choose this one that you at least share some values with me,” Thomas said.
Thomas said when word of the new assault rifle hit the Internet two days ago he had people calling him hateful, and many other things.
The Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations called it a “shameful marketing ploy” and an attempt “to profit from the promotion of hatred, division and violence.” It said only one of the 250 mass killings this year involved a “self-proclaimed Muslim”.
“It’s just a piece of the Christian bible and a Christian cross and it’s my product and you don’t have to buy it,” Thomas said.
The crusader costs about $1,400 Thomas said the company has sold four on the first two days on the market.”