A Tulsa man who is charged with making threats against a local mosque and is being held in a mental health facility said he is not a violent person and that his message has been misinterpreted.
Jesse Quinn Harrison, 33, was charged Dec. 28 with transmitting a threatening letter and with malicious intimidation or harassment under Oklahoma's hate-crimes statute. The charges allege that Harrison sent a letter to the Islamic Peace Academy "with the intent to intimidate."
The charges also allege that a video showing Harrison "smearing pork on the Quran and (on a picture of) an Islamic religious figure and grilling those items" was posted online by Harrison with the intent of producing "violence directed to others because of their religious belief."
But Harrison told the Tulsa World that although he recognizes that the video could be offensive to many, it was not his intent to harass Muslims. He said his goal was to "shine a light on the hypocrisy and fear that drives so much hate" and that the video is an exercise of his First Amendment right to free speech.