By: Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley
Plotting to burn down a community and murder its members all because of their religious beliefs does not constitute threats of terrorism, at least if you’re a Christian conservative extremist from Tennessee.
Robert Doggart, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year as an independent, has accepted a plea deal from federal prosecutors in which he admitted to interstate communication of threats. He faces a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
The 63-year-old Tennessean was caught planning to travel to Islamberg, a Muslim community in rural New York that’s the headquarters of Muslims of America. There, he intended to burn down a mosque, school and cafeteria and shoot anyone from the community who got in the way.
A federal wiretap revealed Doggart was plotting with members of a private militia to carry out the terrorist attack, according to the Times Free Press. In one call, Doggart was reported to have said, “we’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with 3 extra magazines and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.”
In a Facebook post, Doggart wrote: “Our small group will soon be faced with the fight of our lives. We will offer those lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God. We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.”
Muslims of America members are concerned that Doggart and his cohorts have not been recognized as terrorists. “Doggart is an example of the results of unchecked and rampant Islamophobia which has spread lies for years about our peaceful community,” the organization’s public relations director, Mathew Gardner, said in a statement, according to Heavy. “This man plotted to mercilessly kill us, kill our children, and blow up our mosque and our school. We have sound reason to believe he has already visited our other locations around the U.S. What other murderous plans do he and his private militia have and where are his accomplices?
“All would agree, if a Muslim did this, the perpetrator would be immediately identified as a terrorist then prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The examples are numerous,” Gardner said. “Therefore, we call on all branches of justice to see to it that this man is prosecuted for planning a heinous hate crime and terrorist act.”
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of MuslimVillage.com.