A Muslim who sued a gun range in Oklahoma that banned members of the Council on American Islamic Relations over the group’s terrorism links has dropped his case.
The American Freedom Law Center said Tuesday the lawsuit brought by Raja’ee Fatihah, a board member of CAIR’s Oklahoma branch, was summarily dismissed.
The complaint had named as defendants Chad and Nicole Neal, who own the gun range.
“In his motion, Fatihah claimed that dismissal was necessary due to a ‘change in circumstances,’ namely, that the Neal’s replaced their ‘Muslim-Free’ establishment sign with a ‘Terrorist-Free’ establishment sign and that they do not have a formal policy of discriminating against persons at their gun range based solely upon the person’s religion,” AFDC explained.
“But nothing has changed. This lawsuit was a setup from the beginning, and Fatihah and his lawyers knew they were going to lose at the upcoming trial scheduled for July 9, 2019.”
The Neals posted a new sign closing their gun range’s doors to members of al-Qaida, antifa, CAIR, Hamas, Hezbollah, HLF, IAP, ISIS, the KKK, Muslim Brotherhood and other violent groups.
The Neals never banned Fatihah from their premises based on any prohibited category or characteristic, including religion.
And they do not have a policy restricting access based on religion or any other protected category.
But they do ban anyone who may create a danger for them or their other customers.
They contended the lawsuit was a setup “to create a controversy and a disturbance at a gun range.”
Fatihah had been represented by CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation criminal trial, the largest terrorism financing trial prosecuted.
The United Arab Emirates also has declared CAIR a terrorist organization.
The case developed after Fatihah went to the gun range “armed with a loaded (round in the chamber) military-issue handgun strapped to his side, a military-style rifle slung over his shoulder, magazines loaded with approximately 140 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, a concealed recording device in his pocket, and a dangerous agenda: to create a controversy with armed individuals at a gun range.”
The defense team said he was hoping he would not be allowed to fire his weapons “so he could file this meritless lawsuit and run to the media with his pre-arranged ‘Islamophobia’ narrative.”
AFLC co-founder Robert Muise said CAIR’s “extremely reckless and dangerous attempt to set up a lawsuit to make a political point has failed.”
“They put lives at risk by sending an armed individual into a gun range to create a controversy with our clients, who were also armed. This case has always been about public safety. Nothing has changed. Apparently, CAIR and the ACLU didn’t want to put CAIR’s nefarious ties to terrorism on trial, so they caved in. And in the end, the good guys won … yet again.”
The Neals originally posted a “Muslim-free” sign as a political protest after the 2015 Chattanooga, Tennessee, attack by a Muslim terrorist.
The Chattanooga attacker had trained at a gun range, and the Neals decided their facility would never be used for such a purpose.
Before the lawsuit was filed, the range posted a nondiscrimination policy online but promised also to “defend our policy not to allow radical, or extremists persons, groups, or establishments to do business at our establishment.”
Its written policy, based on the inherent dangers of guns, said it will not serve any person or organization associated with terrorism.
When Muise questioned Fatihah during depositions, the CAIR board member admitted it was a legitimate policy.
They eventually replaced the “Muslim-free” sign with their new one because it faded over time.
AFLC Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi said: “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. … 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. This type of litigation by CAIR and the ACLU weakens our local and national security. People should be outraged by their filing of this lawsuit.”