‘Muslim Free Zone’: Arkansas gun range bans Islamic customers
Pointing to various acts of violence carried out by Muslims – the recent beheading in Oklahoma, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the World Trade Center attacks in 2001 – the owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs, Arkansas, announced this week that she was making the facility a “Muslim Free Zone.”
Owner Jan Morgan made the announcement in a post on her website, according to Raw Story, but that page appears to have been taken down as of Tuesday evening. Excerpts quoted by the website before the post was removed, however, offer some insight into the reasons behind her controversial decision.
“This is not a coffee and donut shop. This is a live fire indoor shooting range,” she wrote. “In the range, people are shooting guns in close proximity to each other, so my patrons depend on me and my discretion regarding who I allow to shoot beside them. One mistake in judgment on my part could cost innocent people their lives.”
I've sudden urge to learn gun (and bigotry) shooting in AR - Gun Range Owner Declares 'Muslim Free Zone' - Y! Finance http://t.co/YqetShPRWh
— Bryan Conn (@4bryan) October 1, 2014
Specifically, Morgan said that Islam tells followers to hurt and kill people who choose not to convert to the religion, adding that she has received death threats for voicing her opinion about such verses from the Koran. She also called Islam a “theocracy” instead of a religion, claiming it is not protected by the US Constitution. Therefore, she argued, the ban does not infringe on Americans’ religious freedoms.
“Two Muslims walked in to my range last week with Allah Akbar ring tone and message alert tones on their smart phones,” she wrote. “They spoke very little English, one did not have proof of U.S. citizenship, yet they wanted to rent and shoot guns. Their behavior was so strange, it was unnerving to my patrons. No one would enter the range to shoot while they were there. Some of my customers left.”
Still, Morgan insisted that many of her customers come from numerous religious backgrounds, including atheists. When religions start to call for violence, though, she said her position takes on a new role.
“I not only have the right to refuse service but a RESPONSIBILITY to provide a safe environment for people to shoot and train on firearms,” she wrote, as quoted by local KRMG news.
The decision ignited debate between Facebook commenters who both agreed and disagreed with the move. One commenter called the business “blatantly bigoted” and questioned how employees would be able to tell Muslims apart from other customers.
“I also wonder how, exactly, one determines if a person is a Muslim or not,” the user wrote. “There are Muslims who look just like everyone else. If you don’t stop your discriminatory practices, you deserve to be put out of business.”
Others, meanwhile, raised concerns over Sharia law and expressed support for Morgan.
“That’s awesome!!” wrote another commenter. “I wish every business did the same. Good luck to ya.. And God Bless.”