Muslims booted from mall following 'very strange' behavior
A Muslim couple in Arkansas dressed in a thobe and hijab were taunted on social media and are planning to move after getting tossed from a mall while holiday shopping.
Alan and Daphne Crawford and their son were removed from Fort Smith’s Central Mall on Saturday after others grew concerned about the family’s supposedly suspicious behavior — but they claim they were just minding their own business and enjoying themselves.
Cops said Alan Crawford was recording people in the mall, which was against the rules. Photos of the couple and their son being removed from the mall were posted on Facebook, and were shared several thousand times.
The Facebook posts included phrases such as “terrorist threat on the mall” and “Muslims have been scoping the layout of the mall,” according to KFSM. The Crawfords were not charged with a crime.
“I probably would absolutely destroy a bacon cheeseburger or some fries with bacon on them or something like that,” Alan Crawford told the station after he was asked if he was a threat.
“Two weeks before this we went to the mall when we were scouting out the mall the first time, quote unquote, we ate a load of bacon cheese fries, which ISIS would happily kill me for, because I’ve read my book I’m not supposed to eat bacon and I did it anyway.”
Sgt. Daniel Grubbs of the Fort Smith Police Department told the Daily News on Tuesday that the Crawfords were acting suspiciously, and that the shoppers did the right thing by reporting them. Sgt. Grubbs said he believed the Crawfords had recently converted to Islam, and were seen in regular clothing the day after the incident.
“You can take race, religion and sex out of the equation,” Sgt. Grubbs told The News. “Any suspicious activity, you encourage citizens to come forward with it.”
Sgt. Grubbs said the Crawfords, who live across the border in Oklahoma, have a history of strange behavior. He brought up how some people may not have come forward after witnessing suspicious behavior before the San Bernardino terror attack earlier this month.
“One of the subjects told me that she thought he was acting very strange,” read the police report filed by Fort Smith Officer Anthony Cox. “I spotted the subject walking down the hall by the food court and he was holding his phone up and he was walking as if he was video taping the mall stores.”
When Officer Cox asked Alan Crawford for identification, Crawford saidhis ID “was in his front pocket and it was against his religion to pull up his ‘Man Dress’ to get it,” according to the police report…