Rabat - A video of a gun salesman in Florida has been stirring controversy after his declaration to suspend his services to all Muslims, calling his business a “Muslim-Free Zone.”
Rabat – A video of a gun salesman in Florida has been stirring controversy after his declaration to suspend his services to all Muslims, calling his business a “Muslim-Free Zone.”
Florida Gun Supply storeowner Andy Hallinan says in his video posted on the store’s Facebook page, “I have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety of all patriots in my community, and so effective immediately, I’m declaring Florida Gun Supply as a Muslim-free zone. I will not arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots.”
He goes on to say, “Our leaders are telling us that Islam is a peaceful religion full of tolerance, love and hope. Don’t believe their lies.”
The video follows the tragic killing of five people in a Navy reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. Mohammad Abdulazeez, a naturalized U.S. citizen, opened fire in a Navy building, killing five servicemen.
Abdulazeez was born in Kuwait and had Jordanian citizenship. It remains unclear exactly what the gunman’s motives were, and further investigation is underway. Authorities can say for sure, however, than the gunman acted alone.
“So far, there is nothing connecting the attacker to ISIS or other international terror groups,” said Ed Reinhold, special agent in charge of the regional FBI office. “Abdulazeez was not on any U.S. databases of suspected terrorists.”
According to Abdulazeez’s family members in Tennessee, he had been battling depression and drug abuse for years. Friends and family are still surprised by his sudden actions.
James Petty, a close friend to Abdulazeez who considered the 24-year-old a devout Muslim, told CNN that he did not believe the gunman was influenced by ISIS, saying Abdulazeez considered it, “a stupid group and that it was completely against Islam. And not to even think about going towards them.”
Amongst the number of recent shootings in the US, such as the tragic incident where a shooter in Charleston, South Carolina shot and killed nine churchgoers in a historically African American church in June, this viral video highlights the larger issue of associating specific ethnicities and religions such as Islam closely to acts of violence. Such an issue may raise questions as to why religions of other attackers are less frequently reported on or discussed, and whether or not these associations cause false prejudices.