Raja ‘ee Fatihah (CAIR) v. Neal (Save Yourself Survival & Tactical Gun Range)

On February 17, 2016, Raja’ee Fatihah, a board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Oklahoma, with the assistance of CAIR legal counsel and the ACLU, sued Chad (a disabled Iraq war veteran) and Nicole Neal, the owner of Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear, which also operates a gun range.  The survival gear store and gun range are located in Oktaha, Oklahoma.

The American Freedom Law Center is representing the gun range owners.

Fatihah, a self-proclaimed sharia-adherent Muslim, alleges that he was not permitted to use the Neal’s firing range because he was Muslim in violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

But the facts will prove otherwise.  On October 23, 2015, Fatihah entered the Neal’s facility dressed in military-style clothing and carrying a loaded (round in chamber) military-issue handgun strapped to his belt, a military-style rifle slung over his shoulder, fully loaded magazines with over 140 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, and a concealed recording device he kept in his pocket. The firing range is an outdoor range, and it had been raining hard—no one in their right mind (at least no one without an agenda) would even consider shooting on a day like this.  Consequently, Fatihah was the only one at the range that day (in fact, there were several indoor ranges available to him along his route from Tulsa to Oktaha if he was truly interested in only shooting).

These facts alone raise enough suspicion for the owner of a gun range (an inherently dangerous business) to ask the person to leave.  But there was more.

While no one at the range ever asked Fatihah what his religion was, he became confrontational with the Neal’s over his religion and his adherence to sharia, further raising the Neal’s concerns about this man’s motives and intent.  In fact, they seriously feared for their personal safety.

Consequently, they asked Fatihah to fill out a form and then told him that they would get back with him regarding whether he could fire at the range. The Neal’s then promptly (and rightfully so) did a background check on Fatihah and found out that he was a board member of CAIR—an organization with strong ties to terrorism—confirming their suspicions.

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented:

This case is not about religious discrimination; it’s about public safety.  We should applaud Chad’s and Nicole’s vigilance. Indeed, such vigilance is the only way we will keep our society safe from violent jihadists. Had others been as vigilant with Army Major Nidal Hasan or the San Bernardino shooters, we may very well have averted those tragedies. Chad and Nicole should be congratulated for resisting political correctness and doing what was right under the circumstances.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, added:

The law does not require a gun shop or gun range owner—owners of an inherently dangerous business—to equip or train the next jihadist.  CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation criminal trial—the largest terrorism financing trial prosecuted to date, the FBI has severed all ties with CAIR, and the UAE has declared CAIR a terrorist organization.  Consequently, our clients’ public safety concerns were entirely justified.  Not only do our clients have a right to refuse to serve someone they believe to be a public safety risk, they have an obligation to their other customers, employees, and the community to do so.  This type of litigation by CAIR and the ACLU weakens our local and national security.  People should be outraged by their filing of this lawsuit.

Muise concluded:

It is evident that this lawsuit is part of CAIR’s “civilization jihad” against America and our freedoms.  Lawsuits like this are designed to intimidate and threaten law abiding American citizens so that they take no action when confronted with a situation involving a potential Islamic terrorist.  Remember the neighbor of the San Bernardino jihadists.  He feared being sued or labeled an Islamophobe by groups like CAIR and the ACLU, causing him to remain silent.  And his silence proved deadly.

CASE UPDATE (April 14, 2016): We filed our Answer to the Complaint.

CASE UPDATE (November 21, 2016): We disclosed our expert witness, Stephen C. Coughlin, and provided a copy of his expert report.

CASE UPDATE (February 7, 2017): We filed our response to CAIR’s motion to compel our client to “admit” certain facts.

CASE UPDATE (April 28, 2017): We filed our motion to dismiss and/or for summary judgment.

CASE UPDATE (May 12, 2017): We filed our response to CAIR’s motion for summary judgment.

CASE UPDATE (May 22, 2017): The assigned U.S. Magistrate Judge recommended denying CAIR’s request that we “admit” certain facts.

CASE UPDATE (May 26, 2017): We filed our reply in support of our motion to dismiss and/or for summary judgment.