INVERNESS, FLORIDA — When Anika Kaber moved to the United States from Pakistan she was just four years old. Her father took Anika and her two sisters to Iverness, Florida, where Kaber says she and her family have lived for years as one of the few Muslim families in the town. Anika says that over the years, most people she has met don’t look at or treat her differently despite her Muslim faith. She said that even after the September 11th, 2001 attacks she and her family were relatively left alone and not harassed as many other Americans of the Islamic faith reported in the wake of the terrorist attacks that day.
So that’s why Kaber says when a friend from outside the state shared a link to a story about Andy Hallinan, owner of Florida Gun Supply in the same town of Iverness, telling the world in a YouTube video that he was declaring his shop a “Muslim-free zone” that she decided to take action in her own floral shop. Anika has been one of two florists in the town of Iverness and has enjoyed servicing the floral needs of every stripe of person who has come into her shop over the years, but she told The Political Garbage Chute that Hallinan’s “naked and ignorant Islamaphobia” has forced her to institute her own discriminatory policy within the walls of her store.
“From this day forward,” Kaber announced in a YouTube video that featured her standing in front of a “Give Peace a Chance” sign — standing in stark contrast to the Confederate Flag behind Hallinan in his video — “my floral shop will be a gun toting, ammosexual douchebag-free zone. That means if I see you on social media with your AR or Glock proudly displayed with a bald eagle behind you in your profile picture while you declare that your guns are more important than society’s right to not feel threatened every time they leave their house, you’re banned from my shop.” Kaber would later emphasize that her rule doesn’t apply to “sane, average Americans who own guns but aren’t assholes about them” and only to “the kinds of dickheads that think your country’s constitution really gives them a right to own whatever weaponry they want because of some false sense of impending tyranny behind every new law written.”
Kaber said that she herself actually owns two guns — a handgun for self-protection and a rifle that her husband takes hunting with him when he goes out with his friends. “And I’d be willing to bet that jerks like Hallinan, who profess to care only about the Second Amendment and not some subtle, secondhand Islamaphobia, wouldn’t like to hear that bit of news, that I’m a gun owner myself,” Kaber told The Political Garbage Chute. “I mean, do you ever see people at NRA rallies encouraging the Black Panthers to exercise their Second Amendment rights? Members of the NAACP aren’t encouraged to become rabid gun owners, and I never see any NRA sign-up tables outside my mosque like I see outside certain churches around town. So you tell me what the real agenda here is.”
“The thing is, I know that not all gun owners are irrational, violent sociopaths who are secretly hoping that the U.S. government turns tyrannical so they can lead a bloody revolution with their personal caches,” Anika told us, “but I’m not at all certain that Hallinan gets that not all Muslims are violent, murderous, Anti-American terrorists even though he says he gets that in his video.” Kaber said that “someone who gets that a large group should not be held accountable for a small percentage among them who do bad things” wouldn’t ban everyone from the larger group from their shop. “It’s a wild overreaction and it just further fuels the idiotic stereotype that Muslims are all crazed terrorists,” Kaber said.
“Do they want me thinking all Christians are bigoted homophobes because of the Westboro church assholes? Of course not,” Kaber emphatically stated. “So why do these pathetic, ignorant fools make such grandiose, sweeping generalizations? Hallinan’s policy in itself sends the message that he thinks all Muslims should be held accountable for the violent ones. I guess he thinks we should hold him accountable if we find out his ancestors owned slaves or fought in the Confederacy, right,” Kaber asked rhetorically.
Kaber said that as soon as she gets word that Hallinan as stopped his “undeniable discrimination and baffling Islamaphobia” she’ll change her rule in her shop. “But the thing is,” Kaber said as she was ending the phone call, “I don’t think he will change at all. He’s already got a GoFundMe up. This is a new conservative business model. Say something shitty and disparaging about a minority group, say you won’t serve them in your shop, set up a crowdfunding account, and profit. Racism, ignorance and bigotry for profit.
They say I’m not a real American. Well, if being a real American makes you trade on your most disgusting of human behaviors for a little extra money, count me out.”
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.