DENVER (AP) — A vendor on a Colorado Army post was ordered to stop selling a T-shirt with an anti-Islam message after a shopper complained.
The T-shirt depicts the Statue of Liberty wearing a burqa, the all-covering dress worn by some Muslim women, with the words, "Don't let this happen America." It was being sold at a kiosk in a mall outside the post exchange, a retail store at Fort Carson outside Colorado Springs.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service said Wednesday that it ordered the vendor to stop selling the shirt because it violates rules against religious or political merchandise.
Chris Ward, a spokesman for the exchange service, said the T-shirt was sold by 'Merica Apparel. A woman who answered the phone at 'Merica Apparel said the company had no immediate comment.
The company is based in Colorado Springs.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service oversees the vendors in the mall, Ward said. The vendors are required to get permission from the service for each piece of merchandise, but 'Merica Apparel added the T-shirt to its shelves after other items were approved, he said.
The shirt was removed Monday after the complaint was filed, Ward said. No other action was planned against the company.
Fort Carson spokeswoman Dani Johnson said the Army "does not tolerate any form of discrimination."
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said one of its clients filed the complaint about the shirt.
"This is absolutely horrendous," said Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the foundation, which advocates on religious liberty issues in the military. He said the T-shirt epitomizes bigotry against Muslims in the U.S. military.
Weinstein declined to identify the person who filed the complaint. He said he heard concerns about the shirt from others at Fort Carson, including officers, non-commissioned officers and civilians.
The incident was first reported by the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper.
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