A lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. state of Missouri against a firearms store that allegedly denied a Muslim woman service.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Baldwin & Vernon law firm, on behalf of Rania Barakat, filed the lawsuit against Frontier Justice.
After waiting in line for an hour, Ms. Barakat was told she would have to remove her hijab due to a policy at the range that banned headgear with the exception of front-facing baseball caps.
The complaint reads: “Defendants have denied Muslims who wear hijab entry to Frontier Justice, based on violations of their dress code policy, while allowing similarly situated individuals who wear head caps or other clothing that similarly covers the neck and head to enter their facility and access to their services…
“Since at least 2016 to present, Defendants implemented policies and practices that deny Muslims, on account of their religion, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, accommodations of the establishment known as Frontier Justice.
“These policies and practices have included (1) banning headwear, including religious headwear such as hijabs, but permitting front-facing baseball caps, and (2) otherwise denying Muslims admission to the establishment while offering admission to similarly situated patrons who are not Muslims.”
The lawsuit also claims that the range has a history of discrimination against Muslim customers in particular, turning them away. Ms. Barakat, who was with her husband, had to leave after the store manager allegedly became aggressive and loud, stating that “it is New Year, and we are really busy.”
Kansas Board Chairman Moussa Elbayoumy of CAIR said: “It is completely unacceptable for a business establishment to deny service to customers based on their religious beliefs – and that is exactly what Frontier Justice has done. The claim that a hijab somehow presents a safety issue is merely a bad excuse in an attempt to justify a pattern of discriminatory treatment of Muslim women.”
Zanah Ghalawanji, CAIR Staff Attorney, said: “The actions of Frontier Justice have made it clear that Muslim women are not welcome in their establishment. The treatment Rania Barakat received from Frontier Justice represents a clear case of religious discrimination and a violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act. We demand that they end their bigoted, discriminatory policies and practices and allow Muslim women to use their services like any other customer.”
A partner at Baldwin & Vernon Law, Kevin Baldwin, said: “This case is about equality in all aspects of American life and about ensuring those promises and ideals set forth by the Founders “to secure the blessings of Liberty” not just for themselves, but all who came after. This case is about a better America for all.”
Reacting to the development, Frontier Justice in a Facebook statement said that the dress code was created in 2015 and they remain firm in their stance that they do not discriminate against anyone.