MUSKOGEE, Okla. (CN) – An Army reservist represented by the American Civil Liberties Union dropped his federal lawsuit Tuesday against an Oklahoma gun range after it agreed to remove a “Muslim free establishment” sign and begin serving Muslim customers again.
Raja’ee Fatihah, of Tulsa, moved to dismiss his claims against Chad Neal, Nicole Neal and their Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gun Range in Oktaha. Fatihah sued in 2016, claiming he was denied service due to his religion and that he was asked if he was part of a jihad.
Fatihah’s attorneys with the ACLU said the Neals removed the discriminatory sign four months ago.
“And last week, they affirmed they do not intend to repost the sign, and that they will not exclude Muslims from their business, noting they have already served at least one customer whom they knew to be Muslim,” the ACLU said in a statement.
Heather L. Weaver, senior staff attorney for the Project on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the ACLU, said the plaintiffs “are pleased” with the Neals’ decision to take down the sign and “they affirmed their commitment to complying with the law.”
An employee at the gun range declined to comment on the dismissal Tuesday morning, referring questions to the Neals’ attorneys with the American Freedom Law Center.
The defendants declared a “big victory” later Tuesday,
citing the lawsuit being dismissed with prejudice. They said that the sign has
since been replaced with a “terrorist free establishment” sign.
“But nothing has changed,” they said in a statement. “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 defendants say that a second sign is now posted below the new sign stating, “In case you were wondering (or had questions), ‘terrorist’ includes the following: al Qaeda, Antifa, CAIR, Hamas, Hezbollah, HLF, IAP, ISIS, ISNA, KKK, Muslim Brotherhood, NAIT, Neo-Nazis, Taliban, White Supremacist. If you support or are associated with any of these organizations, do not enter these doors!”