(WASHINGTON, DC, 7/16/20) — Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its Kansas chapter (CAIR-Kansas) today held a news conference on Facebook Live to ask that the U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division to conduct an immediate investigation into a Missouri gun range’s refusal to provide service to Rania Barakat, a Muslim woman because she was wearing a religious head scarf, or hijab.
[NOTE: CAIR-Kansas responds to all bias incidents within the boundaries of Kansas City, including any incidents in Kansas City, Mo.]
Watch CAIR’s News Conference:
Along with the news conference, CAIR released its letter to the Department of Justice, which states in part:
“On New Year’s Day 2020, Ms. Barakat and her husband attended Frontier-Justice. At the time of the visit, Ms. Barakat was wearing a hijab in accordance with her religious belief. Ms. Barakat and her husband enjoy attending gun ranges and have visited several in the past without any issues and with her hijab.
“When Ms. Barakat approached the cashier, the employee told her that she must remove her hijab in order to use the facilities, citing the company’s dress code policy. After Ms. Barakat repeatedly asked to see the dress code policy, as it is not posted visibly in the store, the employee responded that “hats, caps, bandanas, or any other head covering will be removed in the facility, except baseball caps facing forward.” When Ms. Barakat asked the employee the reasoning as to why her hijab is included in the policy, the employee responded that there was none. Ms. Barakat asked to see the manager, Manager Danielle.
“Manager Danielle explained the reasoning behind the policy was that shrapnel can cause her hijab and skin to burn. Such reasoning is clearly pretextual and discriminatory as it makes no logical sense- a hijab is no different than other clothing and baseball caps that are regularly worn and permitted in the gun range. . .
“Frontier Justice violated Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it refused service to Ms. Barakat, unless she removed her hijab. According to Title II, ‘All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin’ 42 USCA § 2000a. As a place of exhibition or entertainment, Frontier Justice gun range is an establishment required to comply with Title II.”
READ: CAIR’s Letter to U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division
The Washington-based civil rights organization has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR National Staff Attorney Zanah Ghalawanji, 202-742-6420, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 202-742-6420, email@example.com; CAIR Kansas Board Chair Moussa Elbayoumy, 785-318-6323; firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com