In an example of purely ignorant racism, a shooting range in Arkansas turned away two prospective customers because the owner believed the men are Muslim. While that in itself would show blatant discrimination, it turns out the men she told to leave aren’t even Muslim. The father and son are of South Asian descent and have brown skin, which appears to be the justification the owner used in booting them from the premises.
The Arkansas Times reported on the story Tuesday after speaking with the son, who requested that his name not be released. The man explains he and his father went to The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs to spend some “guy time” together shooting guns. He pointed out that he is a college student who attends away from home and hadn’t been to the shooting range in a while. The man explained that he and his father used to go to the range before with no problems but it has “changed ownership recently.”
The current owner, Jan Morgan, was profiled by the Times last September when she declared her gun range a “Muslim free zone.” Her declaration made her something of a celebrity among the 2nd Amendment and gun rights crowd. In her essay, she said the reason she was banning Muslims from her establishment is her belief that Islam is a theocracy. Here is her explanation:
I view Islam as a theocracy, not a religion. Islam is the union of political, legal, and religious ideologies. In other words, law, religion and state are forged together to form what Muslims refer to as “The Nation of Islam.”
It is given the sovereign qualities of a nation with clerics in the governing body and Sharia law all in one. This is a Theocracy, not a religion.
The US Constitution does not protect a theocracy.
Now, we can debate whether or not certain followers of Islam feel it is a theocracy and that governments should be run following the tenets of Islam. However, the fact that Morgan points to “The Nation of Islam” to make her point shows just how utterly ignorant and ridiculous she truly is. The Nation of Islam is a black separatist movement based in the United States that uses Muslim teachings and has had ties with other Islamic leaders, but only has a core membership of about 50,000 and hardly speaks for Muslims around the world.
When the Times profiled Morgan last September, they wondered how she was going to determine who was Muslim and who wasn’t when they walked through her doors. Well, it appears that they got their answer — good old fashioned racism. According to the prospective customer, once they started filling out paperwork at the counter, the woman assisting them (presumably Morgan) told them that the range was a Muslim free zone and asked if they were Muslim. Both of them said they weren’t, but the father asked why the range didn’t allow Muslims. After a short conversation, the woman told them that they needed to leave or she was going to call the cops on them, saying “I don’t think you guys should be here.”
As the man explained, he and his father have brown skin, which may have made her suspicious of their supposed religious affiliation. He also pointed out that she said, “I would hope if you were Muslim you guys wouldn’t be cowards and would be up front about it.” The college student told the Times he wouldn’t be pressing charges or taking any further action, but did want to get the story out due to the intolerance he faced. A call to the gun range from the Times was not answered as the paper said the person answering quickly hung up on them.
After the Times had run the story Tuesday afternoon, Morgan responded with a Facebook post of her own. In her post, she provided pictures of Indian customers of hers, claiming she serves brown-skinned people all the time. She also took a shot at the “liberal mainstream media” (natch) and said she has the right to refuse service to anyone she deems to be a danger or acting irrationally, perhaps implying that the two customers in the Times piece acted out of line or exhibited dangerous traits.
Anyway, if you aren’t a Muslim, or have no problems supporting a business that plays on xenophobic fears, then make your way down to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and go shoot some guns!
Image via JanMorganMedia.com
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).