A coalition of 82 civil liberties and human rights organizations, as well as faith-based groups and immigrant rights advocates, on Tuesday called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the growing number of businesses around the country declaring themselves ‘Muslim-free zones.’
Doing so violates the constitutional rights of American Muslims, particularly under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the organizations said in a letter (pdf) to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The coalition includes the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the ACLU, and the NAACP, among others. Title IIguarantees the right to “full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation… without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”
Since 2014, a number of businesses in Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire—largely gun shops and shooting ranges—have posted signs banning Muslims from their premises, with at least four of those establishments doing so just in the weeks following the July 16 shooting deaths of five U.S. service members in Chattanooga, Tennessee.