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Tulsa Army reservist files federal lawsuit claiming religious discrimination at gun range

A state employee who is also a U.S. Army reservist has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was kicked out of an Oktaha, Oklahoma gun range because he is Muslim.

The lawsuit claims Raja’ee Fatihah, 29, an employee of the state Department of Human Services in Tulsa was asked to leave the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gun Range, which had a sign posted declaring the premises a “Muslim-free” establishment.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Muskogee on behalf of Fatihah by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleges religious discrimination.

“Whether the sign in question says ‘no Muslims’ or whether it says ‘no coloreds’ or whether it says ‘no women’ or ‘no Christians’ or ‘no Buddhists’ … it is just as un-American and fundamentally it is just as wrong,” said Brady Henderson, legal director of the ACLU Oklahoma chapter.

Fatihah is a board member with the Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Oklahoma chapter. He said he was drawn to the gun range when learning the sign was posted there. 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.

American Freedom Law Center lawyer Robert Muise,  who has represented other gun shop owners facing similar lawsuits in other states, now represents the Oklahoma gun range.  He said that Fatihah was denied service because he was belligerent, not because of his religion, and that the sign declaring the shop a “Muslim-free” business is protected free speech.

“The only thing the law prohibits is if somebody denies services strictly on the basis of religion, and that didn’t happen here,” Muise said.

Fatihah denies the accusation he was belligerent.

Formal complaints have been filed with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding similar incidents in Arkansas, Florida and New Hampshire.

Civil rights advocacy group Poverty Law Center released a report this week which suggests that anti-Islamic rhetoric is on the increase and becoming more mainstream.


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