An Oklahoma business faces controversy after declaring their store "Muslim-free".
Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear store and gun range in Oktaha posted a sign on their window stating they are a "Muslim-free establishment". The sign also states "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone".
The business released the following statement about the sign via their Facebook page:
Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear and Gun Range is now a Muslim free business. We will not support or condone those who hate our country. We love our country and want our fellow Americans to know we do not tolerate terrorism. They have come to our home and attacked us on our soil. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Thank you.
Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear manager Chad Neal says he and his fiancee, who owns the gun range, do not plan to take the sign down and say safety is their number one priority.
Neal says the sign wasn't posted out of animosity but in response to the deadly military shootings in Chattanooga last month.
Veronica Lazuire, civil rights director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma chapter, says it is sad to see an Oklahoma business deny service to American Muslims.
"As a nation, we rightfully moved past 'whites only' businesses, but our national leaders seem unwilling to challenge 'Muslim-free' public facilities." Lazuire said.
CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani says his group is asking those who support constitutional rights to contact the businesses.
"Contact the businesses that announce these segregationist policies and urge their owners to follow the law by serving customers of all faiths and background," Soltani said.
CAIR reports the U.S. Department of Justice has "remained silent" on the business bans. Brady Henderson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, says the ban doesn't belong in Oklahoma, or anywhere.
"If the ideas of public segregation and second-class citizenship belong anywhere, they belong in the past. Whether a business's policy is 'no coloreds' or 'no Muslims,' it is making the same choice to put hate and ignorance ahead of traditional American values like freedom and equality." Henderson said. "It is important that we as citizens speak out against the growing movement to resurrect Jim Crow."
Oktaha is approximately 15 miles southwest of Muskogee.