An army reservist in Oklahoma is reportedly accusing a firing range of refusing to serve him because he is Muslim. Raja’ee Fatihah is pressing legal charges against the Save Yourself Survival and tactical Gun Range in Oktaha, Oklahoma.
Fatihah alleges that he was asked to leave the shooting range after informing employees that he was a Muslim. The lawsuit also claims that a sign outside the range called it a “Muslim-free” business, reports the Daily Mail.
“Whether the sign in question says ‘no Muslims’ or whether it says ‘no coloreds’ or whether is says ‘no women’ or ‘no Christians’ or ‘no Buddhists’ it is just as un-American and fundamentally it is just as wrong,” said director of the Oklahoma chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union Brady Henderson.
Fatihah claims that he went to the gun range after hearing that it had a “Muslim-free” sign on display. He said that the shooting range employees initially welcomed him, until he mentioned that he was a Muslim.
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“At that point, they started treating me with suspicion,” said Fatihah.
The attorney for the gun range alleges that Fatihah was refused service due to his “belligerent attitude”, not his religion.
The range owners claim that their Muslim-free policy is protected as free speech, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
“The only thing the law prohibits is if somebody denies services strictly on the basis of religion, and that didn’t happen here,” said Robert Muise, attorney for the gun range.
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The Council on American-Islamic Relations is pressing the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute the gun range owners.
“It is sad to see an Oklahoma business join the clearly illegal movement to deny service to American Muslims, and it is equally sad to not the silence of our government on this denial of religious freedom and equal access to public accommodations,” said Veronica Laizure, civil rights director of CAIR in Oklahoma.
The range in Oklahoma is not the first business to draw controversy by putting up an anti-Muslim sign. A lawsuit was filed last year against a Florida gun store’s anti-Muslim policy, which is part of a larger trend of ‘Muslim-free’ policies by businesses.