Raja’ee Fatihah is a native Oklahoman and a member of the Army Reserve.
Last October, he went to a Muskogee-area gun range to work on his marksmanship.
Things quickly took a turn when Fatihah identified himself as Muslim.
“Muslims in Oklahoma and around America are faced with the constant fear that we are guilty until proven innocent,” said Adam Soltani, executive director of CAIR-OK.
The range has a sign out front, letting Muslims know they are not welcome.
“When I went to the range, I knew about the sign they had up,” Fatihah said. “I thought that, by putting a face to the label of ‘Muslim’ and giving them some personal interaction, some personal engagement, I could help them to understand that there was nothing to fear.”
The lawsuit claims the policy violates Oklahoma’s non-discrimination law as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“It effectively says, if you limit access by race, gender, religion, physical disability, that’s discrimination,” said Brady Henderson, legal director of the ACLU.
The owner has gone on the record in the past saying he doesn’t want anyone target practicing at his gun range and then using their skills to attack other Americans.
Fatihah believes he should be afforded the same rights and privileges as anyone else regardless of religion.
“The whole point is for people to understand there is nothing to fear about Muslims, to get my story out there and hopefully to prevent this from happening to other people, not just Muslims but Americans of all faiths and no faith traditions,” he said.