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Signs of hate as mosque supporters give away school supplies

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Call it readin’, writin’ and racism.

Supporters of a proposed mosque in Sheepshead Bay gave away backpacks and other school supplies at the site of the proposed Islamic center — but neighborhood opponents used the giveaway as another chance to decry the project’s supporters as terror-linked extremists.

Opponents have long said that their objection to the Muslim American Society-backed mosque is limited to the traffic and commotion it will supposedly cause, but protest signs plastered all over Voorhies Avenue between E. 28th and E. 29th streets suggest another motivation.

“Stop propaganda,” read one sign. “School supplies giveaway to cover your support of Hamas.”

Another sign added, “the Muslim American Society is not welcome.”

And as the kids lined up for their school supplies, one man chanted, “Go back to your country!” — though he did not specify the country.

Some members of Bay People, which organized this year to stop the mosque, stuck to the anti-Islam, not anti-traffic, argument.

“They’re just trying to dominate and provoke the neighborho­od,” said Viktor, a Russian native who moved to Sheepshead Bay 20 years ago.

Other anti-traffic protesters also made a detour into vaguely anti-Muslim sentiment.

“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” said 20-year Sheepshead Bay resident Steven Peskin. “The Muslims are going to be praying or doing whatever they do five times a day, making noise, so why should I be inconvenie­nced?”

PS 52, a public elementary school, is right around the corner, serving hundreds of students.

For their part, supporters said that they knew there would be protesters, but were willing to go ahead with the giveaway.

“I knew it would happen, but there’s still people out there who need our help,” said Sarah Salem, a community service coordinator for the Muslim American Society, which has long denied a link to any terror group. “Poverty doesn’t discrimina­te.”

And recipients of the school materials were pleased not only at the goods, but at the group that provided them.

“Just let them build it!” said Allan Zoots, who picked up supplies with his 7-year-old daughter, Diana. “I don’t even think noise will be a problem.”

It’s not the first time that a seemingly peaceful event has nonetheless stoked tension in the neighborhood. Earlier this summer, a peace march to the mosque site led to racial epithets. And hundreds of protesters gathered on the block for their own rally, which featured a bomb threat.

But none of his neighbors’ reactions has stopped the project, which still needs a city permit, said project manager Ibrahim Anse. “This center will become a part of this community,” said Anse, a Sheepshead Bay resident himself.

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Reader Feedback

Rob from Greenpoint says:
Some people are so cheap you can buy their support
with just a crappy backpack and some pencils....
Sept. 7, 2010, 5:14 pm
Doosh says:
Yeah rob it's called being poor you stupid f**k. You could by the entire world's support with crappy food and clothing. Go choke on a polish sausage asshat.
Sept. 7, 2010, 6:08 pm
Meg from Chicago says:
Sickening. Such disgusting bigotry. That Russian idiot is lucky to live in multicultural America. He'd probably be sent to the gulag over some minor issue if he was still living there. Get used to a diverse America bozo. Mosques are a house of worship, as Orthodox Russian churches are. These are the same churches that supported genocide against Bosnians and Croats in the early 90s. Nobody is opposing them just because they were places of massacre support at another point in history. A church is a house of worship that deserves to be respected and its worshipers supported. Same for Muslims and mosques.
Sept. 7, 2010, 6:47 pm
Chris from Park Slope says:
As a non-American living in the States for over 20 years I've always been in awe of the constitution, it was the start of the United States & has remained a constant. I don't remember reading that the right to practice religion freely had any stipulations to what religion you can or can't freely practice. Seems to me that figures like Sarah Palin are preaching the same hate as the Islamic/Jewish/Hindu ect extremists are preaching. All this hate does not seem very Christian to me.
Sept. 7, 2010, 7:20 pm
Barbara from Mechanicsburg says:
Wow Lacey, very nice. "dirty sand people"? "smell like garlic"? You are a bigot and a disgusting person. My guess is you probably just smell like hate all the way around.

Please don't say your Christian, because I will guarantee you Jesus would give you nothing more than his back.

You are a disgusting filthy person.
Sept. 8, 2010, 9:32 am
GiovaniF from Miami says:
I love it...more and more it shows the true nature of the American...Racist and Bigoted is just built into his nature. To bad my Natives ancestor where stupid and they weren't evil like your ancestors who tried to destroy a people while stealing their land and building this nation on the backs of black slaves. If anything you people should go back to Europe you bigoted devils
Sept. 8, 2010, 9:58 am
New Alert says:
should investigate where the money came from
Sept. 8, 2010, 1:08 pm
Eye from Witness says:
The writer is trying to manipulate your opinion. He is not quoting the signs correctly, and he is mixing things up... In actuality, Muslim organizers were aggressive and were taking down signs opposing Mosque which were posted on neighboring houses (private property, freedom of speech...) Police had to be called to stop them from doing it. "Go back to your country" was vocalized by a Muslim woman (she said she was born in this country) when she addressed the opponents.
Mosque opponents always said that Muslim American Society is a problem. (do some research)
You should see the so called "school supplies". Good for nothing, cheap. Pure propaganda.
Sept. 8, 2010, 2:35 pm
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Excuse me if I refuse to march in lockstep with a bunch
of politically correct clowns...
Sept. 8, 2010, 3:34 pm
question says:
Why is the media trying to support a Mosque who have proven terrorist funding it?
Sept. 8, 2010, 4:16 pm
Camille from Midwood says:
A question for all of the racists and bigots, if you really feel this is a cheap publicity stunt to make "terrorists" look good, why don't you take all this time and energy you spend spewing xenophobic filth and bigotry toward people and use it to provide school supplies for these children instead? I'm sure most of you would call yourselves "good Christians", just as the people in the 1930s called themselves "good Germans". Why don't you set an example for these "terrorists" you hate so much.

People want to know how genocides happen? This is how. I'm not afraid of Muslim Americans. I'm afraid of mob hatred and hysteria as espoused by the anti-Muslim bigots. Jesus wept.
Sept. 8, 2010, 5:25 pm
Eye from Witness says:
Camille, are you stupid?
1) Race and religion are not interchangeable!
2) Mob? There were hundreds of Muslims and 4 elderly men watching from across the street. What mob?
3) The supplies were crap that no one needs, and the whole "bigot" story is made up! The paper is lying to you!!!

Get your facts from a better source than BN. Steven Witt had some integrity, now people like Rush and Tracy are creating these disgusting pamphlets that have nothing do do with reporting or good writing.
Sept. 8, 2010, 5:38 pm
America the free from Bay Ridge says:
What is terrorist funding? the money is from the community, its their mosque, its for them. To say that the funding is from terrorists is not only absurd, but a sad and desperate attempt to throw anything baseless out there. I've never ventured to Sheepshead Bay, because there is nothing really there and now that everyone knows its home to intolerant racists, i guess there is absolutely no reason to even drive by.
Sept. 9, 2010, 1:44 am
Really? from Bay Ridge says:
Alex is a woman. Do your research.
Sept. 9, 2010, 2:22 am
Andrew from Sheepshead Bay says:
I was there when one Muslim woman screamed at one Russian senior: "Go back to your country!" So, this story is so biased that I cannot even start to describe.
But the reality is simple: peace-loving MAS (just check this organization on Google and you would be shocked!) choose quit, residential block, near public school, family houses and cooperative building with no Muslims to build four-floor Islamic community center and mosque. And if you are against it you are racist!
Sept. 9, 2010, 6 pm
Camille Retarded or Stupid? TERORIST FUNDING a l says:
The 99 cent store school bags was a joke...

MAS is trying to hide where the money is hiding from.
Anyone who supports this Mosque also supports terrorist.

Too bad the reporter is a Pro-muslim and Pro terrorist. who tried to make the mosque look good.
Sept. 10, 2010, 1:33 am
Camille Retarded or Stupid? TERORIST FUNDING a l says:
The 99 cent store school bags was a joke...

MAS is trying to hide where the money is hiding from.
Anyone who supports this Mosque also supports terrorist.

Too bad the reporter is a Pro-muslim and Pro terrorist. who tried to make the mosque look good.
Sept. 10, 2010, 1:33 am
CHICAGO? MIAMI? says:
Why are people who DO NOT live in The area even talking...
Would you want a terrorist support center build in your backyard?

Until the funding is traced, no one should build anything...

That block has no room for 100s of people to pray 5 time a day...

Supporting terror funding?
Sept. 10, 2010, 1:36 am
Camille is DUMBER than we thought says:
Please forgive the pea sized brain of Camille.
From the user name, she lives in Midwood. A different area.

She does not understand that the money coming to fund this project should be investigated.

It will show that terror groups getting money from other countries are using these same funds to build this mosque.

The topic here is no arranged marriage
No smelly cloth
not husband and wife issues.

Its clearly a questionable funding
no parking to have 200 families pray 5X a day..
That is 1000 families a day
if 50% come by car, that is 500 cars A DAY
in a small block that has no parking.
Sept. 10, 2010, 9:37 am
Andrew says:
Thank you for sharing the information.

In my opinion, this article is PRO terrorist.

It made it sounds like the attack was on Muslim.
BUT, NOT..
Its nothing with Muslim...

its terror funding.
No parking
and more...
Sept. 10, 2010, 9:40 am
Andrew Thank you for SHARING the informaiton says:
Andrew,

THANK YOU for sharing the information.

We have three sides to a story.
one side
another side
and the truth...

Asked the paper to respond, but they say that they are not sure what happened and the reporter don't recall much...

The reporter may need to answer ethical questions, But it was edited by someone else. That someone else MUST BE PRO TERROR..

Everyone is blaming another...

That is why they didn't mention what country and didn't say who said it.. Sometime reporters make up statements and don't say who said it...
Sept. 10, 2010, 10:58 am
Just wondering from Sheepshead Bay says:
No one here is looking from different angle and saying, Well THANK YOU Muslims for that regardless the mosque … My dad used to teach how to appreciate others.

I searched and they are doing so even before the announcement of the mosque at the local community

what would you call that?? Come on people wake up and do not be fooled by some racist around you...

Rethink ??? they are our neighbors our employees and our co-workers.

I hope you can understand their rights and do not look into a closed box, a box of hate and terrorism, I think they person who is trying to rape you in the street is a terrorist too!!!!

THINK OUT SIDE THE BOX

Geat ALex... Keep it up
Sept. 11, 2010, 10:52 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Camille: another bleeding heart airhead.
Why the hell should I or anyone else buy school supplies for these kids?
How about the PARENTS buying them ?
Sept. 13, 2010, 10:52 am

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