It is a mess everywhere or so it seems! Now add to that list another story from Oklahoma, which epitomizes xenophobia and bigotry.
A gun store and shooting range in Oktaha, a small Oklahoma town near
Muskogee, has joined a growing list of U.S. businesses that advertise themselves as “Muslim-free.”
Gun range manager Chad Neal, a medically discharged veteran who was deployed to Iraq in 2003, said last month’s shooting at the military recruiting station in
Chattanooga, Tenn., prompted him to hang the sign in the door of the business, called Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear.
“I didn’t want any terrorists, or Muslims, cult, whatever you want to call them, training on my gun range,” Neal said. “There is a military recruiting station in the mall in Muskogee, and I thought this was one thing I could do to help protect our local soldiers.”
Council on American-Islamic Relations, which tracks businesses that ban Muslims, called for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.
“It is clear to us that the establishment of Muslim-free zones is a violation of the law,” said
Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR. “There are clear laws that prohibit discrimination based on religion. This kind of thing is in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the American spirit of respect for the rule of law.”
Awad called the equating of Muslims with terrorists “beyond ignorant.” He said that there are individuals in many faiths who commit terrorist acts.
Neal and his fiancee, Nicole Mayhorn, opened the store in December; Mayhorn is the owner. He described the pair as “Christian Constitutionalists who love the country.”
The sign says, “This privately owned business is a Muslim free establishment, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Thank you.”
Awad called the Muslim-free zones a return to segregationist practices of the past.
Segregation was shameful then, and it’s shameful now,” he said.
But Neal said the rule had nothing to do with segregation or race.
“I know the
Quran says about lying to infidels and killing infidels. I don’t want them practicing those religious beliefs on my range.”
Last month, a gun shop owner in
Inverness, Fla., likewise declared his business a "Muslim-free zone" in response to the Tennessee shooting rampage.
The state chapter of CAIR has filed a federal lawsuit against the store, charging that it violates the federal public accommodations law, according to Reuters.
Last year, the owner of a shooting range in Hot Springs, Ark., said she was prohibiting Muslims from shooting on her property, citing security concerns after the
Boston Marathon bombing and the Sept. 11 attacks. The Justice Department confirmed in April it was monitoring the Arkansas gun range after requests by CAIR and the ACLU to do so.