February 2018 Church & State - February 2018

Ark. Woman Who Banned Muslims To Run For Governor

  Rokia Hassanein

A gun range owner who once said her range was a “Muslim-Free Zone” is running for governor in Arkansas.

Jan Morgan, who describes herself as “a born-again Chris­tian, a genetically conservative wife, mother, small business owner [and] certified firearms instructor,” is challen­ging current Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) in the state’s primary in May.

“I am committed to fight for you, but I can only do so much from the position of citizen activist,” she said in a video announcing her run. “If you want me to be your voice, I need a better position to fight from. Strategically speaking, that would be the governor’s seat.”

In 2014, Morgan claimed her indoor gun range in Hot Springs was closed to Muslims. She refused to allow a father-son duo to shoot there because she perceived them to be Muslim, even though they were Hindu.

This prompted civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Rela­tions to ask the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the matter. During the Obama administration, DOJ officials said they were looking into it, but it’s unclear what the status of the investigation is now.

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