Does an American gun range have the right to exclude Muslims who are members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations because of the group’s ties to terrorism?
That question could soon have a legal answer as a Muslim has filed a discrimination suit against the owners of a gun range in Oklahoma.
A federal court dismissed the discrimination complaint by Raja’ee Fatihah against Chad and Nicole Neal, owners of Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gun Range in Oktaha, Oklahoma. But the judge set a trial to resolve conflicting accusations.
Fatihah claims the range owners banned him because of his religion.
But the Neals claim he was banned from the range on Oct. 23, 2015, because after telling Nicole Neal he was Muslim, Fatihah “took a threatening stance, revealing his handgun to her, and recklessly created a controversy and disturbance.”
Nicole Neal claimed Fatihah had a “concealed recording device, a rifle over his shoulder, and a handgun that appeared to her to be loaded.”
She later discovered Fatihah was a board member of CAIR’s Oklahoma affiliate.
The American Freedom Law Center, which is representing the Neals, said the court found a genuine dispute of material fact that must be resolved by a trial.
AFLC co-founder Robert Muise explained: “Here, we have a situation where CAIR is trying to advance its political agenda by creating a conflict between armed individuals at a local gun range in order to file this meritless lawsuit. If Fatihah’s motives were as pristine as he would have the court believe, he wouldn’t be going to a gun range with a secret recording device, armed to the teeth, and confronting the owners about an issue that he knows was contentious and, in fact, dangerous.
“Had Fatihah’s motives been pure, he would have reached out to the Neals to alert them and to schedule a time to have a civil conversation about Islam, if that were truly his goal, as he claims in this case. Rather, what Fatihah did here was reckless. And that recklessness alone is enough to ban him from the range. Operating a gun range is a dangerous business. This isn’t a lunch counter. Fatihah was engaging in a dangerous game, one that should not be shielded by federal or state law.”
AFLC’s senior counsel, David Yerushalmi, added: “The law does not require a gun shop or gun range owner – owners of an inherently dangerous business – to equip or train the next jihadist. CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation criminal trial – the largest terrorism financing trial prosecuted to date, the FBI has severed all ties with CAIR, and the UAE has declared CAIR a terrorist organization.
“Consequently, our clients’ public safety concerns were entirely justified. Not only do our clients have a right to refuse to serve someone they believe to be a public safety risk, they have an obligation to their other customers, employees, and the community to do so.”
The AP report on the case emphasized that Fatihah was an Army reservist.
The report confirmed he found out about a sign establishing the range as a “Muslim-free” environment and deliberately went there to confront the owners.
The report 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.”