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Examiner readers sound off

Staff Writer
The Examiner

Area business owes Muslim patron an apology

Mahmoud El-Yousseph, U.S. Air Force (retired), Westerville, Ohio

To the editor:

Rania Barakat of Kansas City is as American as apple pie. When her husband took her on an outing to Frontier Justice’s gun range to have quality time together, their visit ended in a humiliating and embarrassing experience. Her husband was allowed in and she was refused service unless she took off her hijab.

Frontier Justice told her the hijab constitutes a safety hazard as it may catch fire from flying hot brass. If that is the case, why on Earth would Frontier Justice exempt baseball caps from its dress code policy?

Frontier Justice owes Rania Barkat an apology. This kind of conduct is illegal as it violates the 1964 federal law that bans discrimination based on race, religion and national origin in public places such as restaurants, movie theaters and places of entertainment. Frontier Justice is entitled to have “No shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service” policy; however, having “no hijab” is illegal as it infringes on some patrons’ religious rights.

I wish to impress upon the good people of the Show Me State to reject this kind of bigotry and discrimination. Rania was denied service not because of Frontier Justice’s dress code policy but rather because she looks Muslim. It is worth noting here that the hijab is a piece of cloth that usually covers a woman’s hair and neck. Muslim women began wearing them after puberty as a sign of modesty, which is a central virtue in Islam, and all this talk of the hijab being a safety hazard is absolute poppycock.

The no-hijab policy at the Frontier Justice gun range is practically declaring the business as a “Muslim-free zone.” That is reminiscent of a dark and sad chapter of America’s past where businesses in the South were posting signs that read, “No dogs, no Negroes, no Mexicans” or “Help Wanted – No Irish Need Apply.” It’s amazing to think that this kind of bigotry and racism still exist and are tolerated at this day and age.

Does the government have clear goals on coronavirus?

Don McNulty, Independence

To the editor:

I tried in earnest to ascertain what the Missouri and Jackson County goals are pertaining to COVID-19. Just below is a letter I wrote Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services:

Hello Dr. Williams,

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you, but I’m a little frustrated with something that should be extremely basic to all that is going on with COVID-19. I’m trying to find out what our overall goals are for CoV infection rates. In other words, at what point does the government say, hey people, we got this licked and now you can go back to your lives. Every business can open up and do business as usual? Or hey people, we still want everyone to wear a mask but social distancing is unnecessary and at this time and restaurants and bars can open as normal? No one within our state can tell me, and I’m beginning to doubt you can me what the overarching goal is? Right now we are wandering around in the wilderness like a bull with a ring in its nose led by supposedly intelligent people, and we are not going anywhere.

How can you not have a goal with something this big? Actually, I know the answer. You work for the government. I called our Missouri COVID number and asked this question. The answer – get ready, it may surprise you as it did me – but I was told “we are waiting to hear from the president of the United States.”

Seriously, that’s your plan? I’m sorry, but I had to ask then what do we need you all for? I know I’m venting, but this is serious stuff here since you are playing with everyone’s livelihood, to end up being totally wrong is totally unacceptable.