A Muslim Army Reservist who is also a Council on Islamic/American Relations (CAIR) activist sought out an Oklahoma gun range once he discovered they had a “No Muslims” policy. Once he was booted from the range, he had the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) file a discrimination lawsuit against the range, Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gun Range:
Fatihah, who is a board member with the Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Oklahoma chapter, said he went to the gun range after learning about the sign. He said the owners of the store were pleasant and welcoming until he told them he was Muslim.
“At that point, they started treating me with suspicion,” Fatihah said.
A similar lawsuit was filed by CAIR last year against a gun shop in Florida, but that case was dismissed by a federal judge who determined CAIR could not prove its members were harmed by the store’s Muslim-free policy, Henderson said.
The owners of the range say they created their “Muslim Free” policy in August of 2015, citing customer feedback after the mid-July “lone wolf” Islamic terror attacks on two U.S military facilities in Chattanooga, TN, which saw four Marines and a sailor murdered. Range patrons at Save Yourself did not want to share a firing line with Muslims, fearing that Muslims would turn on them.
There are no Muslims residing anywhere near Oktaha, Oklahoma, that we could determine. It is a tiny town of just 390 people in eastern Oklahoma. The “No Muslim” policy appears to be a combination of a political statement and blatant pandering for free publicity on the part of Save Yourself. Fatihah and his allies in CAIR, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center had to find the range in order to sue it, but not before there was a shooting at the range… by an idiot “guarding” the store who dropped an incompetently-secured old single-action revolver.
I have very mixed feelings about this case.
I’m a huge fan of the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights, not only the Second Amendment. It all holds together, or it all falls apart. Here, we have competing interests. Save Yourself has a legal right to choose their clientele (their First Amendment), and yet I’m strongly against discrimination based upon race, sex, or religion (Fatihah’s First Amendment right).
In the end, I have to come down on the side of Save Yourself, for what to me is a very simple and concrete reason.
Islam is not “just” a religion.
Islam is at the same time a religion, a political movement, and a judicial system, and has been since it’s very beginning. When practiced faithfully, Islam does not seem compatible with our Republican form of government. When you consider the tactics of lawfare and violence so often used by Muslims in their continuing 1,400-year war against every other religion that exists, it does in fact seem reasonable to find them to be a threat.
It’s worth noting that a similar lawfare case filed on behalf of a CAIR (a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood-linked group which the United Arab Eminates formally designated as a terrorist group in 2014) activist was thrown out by a federal judge in Florida.
I must think that the same mechanics are in play in this Oklahoma case.
Fatihah was not a regular patron of Save Yourself, but instead traveled to Oktaha, Oklahoma in order to create an excuse for what seems to me to be a frivolous case which hopes to chill the free speech rights of this gun range in specific, and other gun ranges that might be considering similar policies.
As we continue to have “lone wolf” Islamic terrorist attacks by Muslims against other American citizens, I’d make the argument that gun shops and ranges, perhaps more than any other form of business, has the right to be more selective in their clientele. In fact, the ATF and DOJ have typically encouraged gun stores and ranges to err on the side of caution and be more selective and restrictive than just abiding by the textbook letter of the law, suggesting that gun store and range employees block transactions based on body language, speech, and other behavior that sends up warning signals.
This CAIR case should be dismissed as the one in Florida was. Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gun Range and their customers have the First Amendment right to free association, and while I thank and respect Raja’ee Fatihah for his service to this nation, his rights are not being infringed by the policies of a gun store he’d ever heard of until he decided to wage lawfare against them.