Recent weeks have seen one attack and one stymied attack on abortion clinics around the country. Both have shared a subplot of anti-Muslim extremism.
On Sept. 2, in the small central California city of Madera, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the local Planned Parenthood building, the first such attack suffered by the clinic in its 20 years of operation. Following the bombing, local news reports described burnt blinds on the front lawn and boarded-up windows. “I believe it’s extremists who want to make a statement,” said Patsy Montgomery, the clinic’s public affairs director.
Federal agents did not have to travel far to investigate: The FBI was already in Madera looking into the late August vandalizing of a mosque involving bricks and anti-Muslim graffiti. The mosque attack was just one incident in a wave of bias-motivated violence that has been building momentum all summer.
Anti-Islam animus was likewise a motivating factor behind another would-be abortion clinic bomber: Justin Carl Moose , a Christian radical and self-described “Christian Osama bin Laden.” The 26-year old Moose was arrested at his home last week in Concord, N.C., after it was discovered that his Facebook page contained bomb-making instructions and a stated intention to use homemade explosives against a local abortion clinic. As reported by the Charlotte Observer, the Facebook page maintained by Moose, who hung a Gadsden (“Don’t Tread on Me”) flag outside his home, “express[ed] anger at abortion doctors, President Barack Obama’s health care plan, and plans to build a mosque near ground zero in New York City.”
It is not at all surprising that Moose would mention abortion and mosques in the same breath. As an alleged adherent of the radical anti-abortion movement Army of God, he has likely absorbed the heterodox hate spewed by the Rev. Donald Spitz, an extremist who maintains a website in the name of the Army of God who combines calls for violence against abortion doctors with anti-Muslim invective. Spitz believes that Islam is “Satanic” and that Muslims “should not be allowed to live in the United States.”
It is a little strange, though, to hear a Spitz acolyte like Moose echo the newest conservative talking point about Ground Zero. Spitz and his fellow soldiers in the Army of God are not exactly known for their love for Gotham. According to Spitz, the city is a “sex perverted cesspool” that richly deserved the Sept. 11 attacks.