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Sign at Oklahoma gun store sparks controversy

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MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Okla. – A sign at an Oklahoma survivalist store and gun range is sparking controversy.

The sign posted at the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear in Oktaha says, “This privately owned business is a Muslim free establishment, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

Chad Neal, the owner, says he doesn’t want anyone target practicing at his gun range, and then using their skills to attack other Americans.

“We do not want to have any jihadis training on our gun range and then going down to our local armed services office and having better marksmanship than they showed up with,” Neal, an Iraq War veteran, told The Tulsa World. “I’ve seen what Muslims and jihadis do to people. It’s just not going to happen in my store.”

The Council on America-Islamic Relations is questioning why the U.S. Department of Justice has been silent on the religious ban they say is “clearly illegal.”

“It is sad to see an Oklahoma business join the clearly illegal movement to deny service to American Muslims, and it is equally sad to note the silence of our government on this denial of religious freedom and equal access to public accommodations,” said Veronica Laziure, civil rights director of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter. “As a nation, we rightfully moved past ‘whites only’ businesses, but our national leaders seem unwilling to challenge ‘Muslim-free’ public facilities.”

Neal told The Tulsa World he has seen other cases of businesses posting similar signs in other states and he believes he is within his legal rights to do the same here in Oklahoma.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the sign uses the same language used by businesses that refused to serve African-American customers in the 1950s.

Brady Henderson, legal director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, says the ideas of public segregation and second-class citizenship “belong in the past.”

“Whether a business’ 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.”

CAIR is now calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to address the “illegal and un-American phenomenon.”