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CITY SCRUBS MOSQUE! Sheepshead Bay Islamic Center is denied permit

The Brooklyn Paper
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City officials on Friday quietly scrubbed a controversial Sheepshead Bay mosque, which had already been the subject of months of review and protests, and ordered another probe of the project.

The Department of Buildings had actually approved the design of the Islamic community center on Voorhies Road on Wednesday, allowing property owner Allowey Ahmed to begin construction, but two days later, the same agency pulled support for the as-of-right project and will now subject it to another exhaustive review.

Ahmed believes the city simply caved in to pressure from a handful of mosque opponents on the block between E. 28th and E. 29th streets.

“It’s only common sense to assume that,” he explained. “We lowered our plan from four floors to three out of deference to our neighbors. And now everything is on hold again.”

The city didn’t give Ahmed any reason for the delay, except to say that the entire plan has to be reviewed again for “anywhere from one to five months,” Ahmed was told.

The delay felt to Ahmed and others like a back-room deal, especially since neighborhood political leaders are supporting the city’s stunning turnaround.

State Sen. Carl Kruger (D–Mill Basin) said the second review is necessary because of the divisive feelings surrounding the mosque project.

“Whenever the [Department of Buildings] knows that something is controversial, they don’t leave it up to one plan examiner,” said Kruger. “They want a fresh set of eyes to look at it, like an integrity check.

“The proponents of this mosque should be happy [with the second review],” he said. “After this, nobody is going to be able to go to them once they started work and say, ‘This is not appropriate.’ ”

But a Department of Buildings spokeswoman denied Kruger’s interpretation.

“We are asking the applicant to clarify some issues on the plans which can easily be rectified,” said spokeswoman Carly Sullivan, specifically saying that Ahmed must “clarify the occupancy of the first floor to determine if a ‘place of assembly’ permit is required.

“Once the issues are addressed, [construction] permits can be issued,” she said.

Sullivan denied allegations that everything was put on hold because the mosque is controversial.

“Those allegations are completely untrue,” she said. “Additional reviews by the department are common and can be critical to ensuring submitted documents comply with all applicable laws. In fact, in 2009, the department performed more than 1,000 audits of applications filed in Brooklyn.”

Accepted or denied, according to the new plans, the building will be the same height as originally proposed, but the 10 feet originally reserved for the fourth floor will now be dispersed among the remaining three. The mosque will be on the first two floors with the third reserved for classroom space. No on-site parking is proposed.

Once built, the mosque will be able to accommodate up to 120 worshippers, but Ahmed said less than 20 will be coming to worship on a daily basis.

The mosque’s construction has sparked a fire storm of controversy, with at least three protests on the project being held in recent months.

Opponents of the mosque — led by the civic group Bay People — claim that the community center will create traffic and parking nightmares for the neighborhood.

But these claims are often overshadowed by the anti-Islamic sentiment that erupts at the protests, where slogans “Islam not welcome here,” “New York is not Islamabad” and “Do not forget 9-11!” are commonly seen and heard.

Other protestors claim the Muslim American Society, the group which will oversee activities in the mosque once it is built, has ties to Islamic extremism, although there has been no proof provided.

Despite the sudden setback, Ahmed said he has “faith in the system.”

“We believe that freedom of religion will prevail,” he said. “But [the city] shouldn’t backpedal. Our leaders should be at the forefront of guaranteeing our religious freedom.”

Updated 6:52 pm, October 19, 2010: Includes yet another new comment from the Department of Buildings. Hmm, this story must have touched a nerve or two.
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Reader Feedback

Hadayai from Atlanta, GA says:
Since this is not done with churches and done based on a group of peoples feelings this community probably has a good lawsuit. If they choose to go that route.

What many people fail to see is that Muslim pay taxes like everyone else.
Oct. 17, 2010, 8:08 am
Ariana from Brownsville says:
No proof provided?

Only if you shut your eyes and bury your head in the sand.

MAS was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood - a group banned in Egypt for its terrorist ties and for spawning groups outside of Egypt including terrorist group Hamas.

There are books written on it, hundreds of articles and web pages, and no less than the Chicago Tribune exposed MAS's terrorist connections several years ago. MAS has even admitted to being the American Muslim Brotherhood.

Your bias in covering this story is obvious.
Oct. 17, 2010, 8:51 am
agle from Sheepshead bay says:
The plans had been approved, means, the building to be premitted otherwise,

Bay people had collected $40,000 for what then, ???

It smills fishy...... no no I d not think one will be involve on that....

Another plan examiner, what is the problem with the first one,, who reviews it for more than a year...
Oct. 17, 2010, 9:13 am
Ali from Brooklyn says:
This totally outrageous,there is no reason a Mosque/Center can't be build,except for some outside religious bigoted agitators! We should stand together against hate fill religious bigotry!
Oct. 17, 2010, 9:16 am
Stann from Brooklyn says:
Well, it will be a big scandal if the city stop it , especially with a pressure.

No variance was asked , even it can be granted for community facility,,,,

Over all, DOB to review it quickly other wise after holding it for more than a year and re-examine it and re-approve it, and then hold it...
Oct. 17, 2010, 9:24 am
RedH from Bklyn says:
What the he!! does any Muslim know about freedom of religion the talk about it as if we shoul learn from them about freedoms.

It really makes me sick.

Don't lecture us Muslim, thank you very much!
Oct. 17, 2010, 10:56 am
Eddie from South Brooklyn says:
"[T]he second review is necessary because of the divisive feelings surrounding the mosque project."
In other words, all of those objective standards only apply to SOME people.
That IS outrageous.
Oct. 17, 2010, 12:18 pm
Eddie from South Brooklyn says:
RedH from Bklyn says: "What the he!! does any Muslim know about freedom of religion"

What the he!! do YOU know? You're opposing someone's freedom of religion in the US of A.
Maybe you'd like to rescind the Constitution and have one tax-funded state religion, or allow only "approved" religions that the public likes?

Or should our freedoms be limited by what other countries do? There are no mosques, shuls, or non-Catholic churches in Vatican City (which is a country); and Israel's immigration policies favor Jews. Should we therefore limit Catholics' and Jews' constitutional rights in the U.S.?
That's downright un-American.
Oct. 17, 2010, 12:32 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Score one for the bigoted idiots! Way to go, America.
Oct. 17, 2010, 1:08 pm
TL Winslow from Bensonhurst says:
Tired of hearing about Islam? Sorry, the ever-increasing uproar over Islam's incursions into the West isn't a passing fad, it's here to stay, and it's not about "Islamophobia", it's about Islam, the world's most supremacist and intolerant ideology making a comeback. The meaning of the word Islam is submit or surrender for a reason. Due to Muslim immigration, the once happily Muslim-free West is in increasing peril of Islamic infiltration and takeover, a process that will be all bad news. Too bad, the media are currently dominated by Islam history ignoramuses and Muslim disinformation artists who claim to see no threat, and worse, blame and try to silence those who do, repeating the pattern of many proud civilizations of the past before they were absorbed forever.

When it comes to Islam, political principles learned via study of the last couple of centuries of history won't work, nor will appeasement, it's not about Marxist class struggle or Western capitalism with them, it's about eternal rewards for what they do on Earth. Take their slogan that Islam is a religion of love. It is, but only in the sense that all Muslims must love Allah, who then tells them who to hate, namely unbelievers, including Muslims of a different stripe, and what to do about them, push them aside and conquer and rule their territory, then reduce them to dhimmi status, making them pay a tax to keep from being executed, AKA protection money, what a loving inducement to submit and convert. Love of other Muslims is very iffy, since one false move and Allah commands you to lop off their hands or head without pity or mercy, especially infidels who pretended to convert to stop paying the jizya, here, prove you're for real by beheading your mother, imagine this in New York in 2050, it's not hard if you try.

Take their slogan that Islam is a religion of peace. Of course it is, but only after you accept its peace terms of total submission to it along with its horrible Muslim superiority Sharia that destroys all freedoms. Until then Allah commands Muslims to wage ceaseless war with unbelievers, which historically has come to mean even Muslims of different sects, which is why Islam has been a religion of endless war with an ironic slogan. Yes, ceaseless war. Allah declared the war, and no human can declare peace in his name, sorry, you're either with him or against him, although he does permit temporary truces greased by plenty of jizya or punishment fees, like the stupid U.S. has been paying the Taliban, Egypt, etc.

It's not about racism. Islam isn't a race, but it wants to absorb all races, so let's not go there, it's counterproductive. It's not just a religion either, because it comes with a god who wants to control the government, so let's not get mired in discussions of the Crusades and Creationism. Can Islam be reformed via a Christian-style Reformation? How? The Protestant Reformation was a revolt against the papacy that used the words and examples of Jesus against it, but an Islamic reformation would be a revolt against Allah himself. So-called moderate Muslims are like the fabled unicorn, plenty of sightings, none captured and in a zoo yet. Muslims who claim to hate Islamic extremists like Osama bin Laden are still for Allah and his final perfect example prophet Muhammad, and are just trying to get the Muslim Trojan Horse in the Western gates so their progeny can do the rest. Why then do we want to invite foreign agents and enemy combatants into our borders to show how tolerant we are, are we suicidal? Do we want to convert to Islam too? Despite all we do to appease them and shower them with tolerance, allowing Muslims into a non-Muslim country as immigrants will guarantee ceaseless strife, it's not about specific Muslims it's about the Quran they bring with them that contains Allah's commands to keep up the war until he wins, if you won't do it the Muslim next door will, or your children, which is why the West must stop Muslim immigration now and reverse it or else face an endless push to subvert the constitution and erect Sharia. Islamic terrorists are only a part of the threat, the main threat is Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate and set up de facto Sharia then foment civil war, as Europe is finding out.

It's not about Western politics, left, center, or right, because Allah wants to push them all aside. It's sad to see rightists warning of the danger of Sharia and leftists knee-jerking in support of Muslims because they hate rightists. Neither group wants to see their country turn into a Sharia hellhole, so it's time they realized they have common ground here. Instead of hoping that Islam will change, and bowing and submitting to its demands to open the gates to Muslims who won't change and instead want to change us, we need to encourage more like Ayaan Hirsi Ali who chuck Islam completely, after which they can queue up for immigration to the West, but not until. Keep an open mind and study Islam and its long track record before trying to decide how to deal with it.

Keep an open mind and study Islam and its long track record before trying to decide how to deal with it. The easiest and fastest way is by taking the Historyscoper's free online Islam history course that helps you master all 1400 years at your own pace at http://go.to/islamhistory
Oct. 17, 2010, 1:11 pm
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
People, you are all frightening!! Religion, frightening!

Heaven is on the Earth, but as Humanity evolves. They have slowly turned the Earth into Hell.

Judah Spechal
10/17/2010
Oct. 17, 2010, 7:51 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
TLWinslow from Bensonhurst has just lined out the facts as they are. Truth is rarely politically correct, and these details are all well documented.
Oct. 17, 2010, 7:59 pm
No Dhimmi from Chelsea says:
Calling people "bigots" who don't like barbaric, backwards, women-enslaving cults of violence will certainly not endear us to those self-same cults.

How about instead of constantly going on the attack with your pushy views you try just once to figure out why the vast majority of human beings do NOT want Islam anywhere near them?

It doesn't take much to figure it out:

http://thereligionofpeace.com
Oct. 17, 2010, 9:57 pm
No Dhimmi from Chelsea says:
"Score one for the bigoted idiots! Way to go, America."

Oh, okay, Ahmed. And you're a bigoted idiot against Americans, obviously.

Maybe you actually need to study the subject of Islam?

http://formermuslimsunited.americancommunityexchange.org/2010/08/26/sharia-for-dummies/
Oct. 17, 2010, 10 pm
Ahmad PALI from Sheepshead bay says:
Well i think when you live in a area with a bunch of racist zionist pigs theres no winning they'll just keep crying to the city till they get what they want but i say we fight till the end until we beat these pigs and get this mosque opened if (god willing).
Oct. 18, 2010, 12:03 am
STA from BK on the Bay says:
I am against the building just because I live next to a mosque, and the people are desctrutive... the kids act like animals... STOP BEING RETARDS AND THROWING BOTTLES IN PRIVATE BLOCKS BREAKING GLASS SO THAT PEOPLE POP TIRES... WHATS WRONG WITH YOU

I HAVE SEEN IT MANY TIMES... GET WITH THE PROGRAM, STOP TEACHING YOUR KIDS TO HATE AND ACT LIKE ANIMALS AND MAYBE PEOPLE WILL BE GLAD TO LET YOU PRACTICE YOUR RELIGION OR WHAT EVER IT MAY BE.
Oct. 18, 2010, 1:05 am
Azeem from East NY says:
Brooklyn is a very diverse borough, I don't understand how people from my borough could be this ignorant and racist. So racism is okay when its directed at arabs and Muslims? Don't try to cover your racism with religious or political rhetoric. Reminds me of nazi propoganda against the Jews.

MAS has a youth center on Bay Pkwy, go talk to the police precinct next door and ask them what goes on over there.
Oct. 18, 2010, 2:16 am
Bmophtali@yahoo.com says:
Islam is the only way!
Oct. 18, 2010, 2:32 am
Bmophtali@yahoo.com says:
Get used to it, that's all!
Oct. 18, 2010, 2:33 am
Rabbi Arthur Waskow from Mt Airy says:
One long rant above against Islam is filled with rage but no facts. ALL religions (including Judaism, in which I am a rabbi) have some bloody strands, and ALL are centered on love, compassion, and justice. Hindus invented the suicide bomber tactic in this generation, Sikhs murdered Indira Gandhi, Christian terrorists in Ireland -- both Protestant and Catholic -- turned northern Ireland into turmoil for 40 years, Jewish terrorists have murdered Muslim and Christian Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Buddhists fought a civil war in Sri Lanka and supported the military adventures of the Japanese govt before and during World War II, the Ku Klux Klan were Christian (Protestant) terrorists.

In the Quran, God says that the human race was created through one couple to teach that we are all one family and that God has evolved humanity into many cultures and peoples so as to encourage us to know and understand each other; not hate each other. the Quran teaches that in religion there should be no compulsion. The Quran also has passages hostile to othe religions, but so does the Hebrew Bible and the Christian "New Testament." ("Allah" is simply the Arabic word for what in English is "God," just as "Dieu" is in French, "Elohim" in Hebrew, etc.)

Far from being anathema to the majority of human beings, islam is the religion of 1.5 billion people. Christianity has a far bloodier record than Islam. It was Christians, not Muslims, who carried out the Holocaust, and although there were over the centuries some Muslim pogroms against Jews there were far more pogroms, Inquisitional burnings-at-the-stake, etc by Christians than by Muslims. In a thousand years of European history, the only time Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in peace and friendship with each other was under Muslim rule in Andalusia. The Christian recoquest of Spain climaxed with the expulsion of Jews and Musllims in 1492 and the Inquisition thereafter. Beginning in 1492, Christianity carried out genocide against the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

There are millions of peace-committed Muslims in the US, and the Muslim American Society, Cordoba House (the founders of the Park 51 Muslim-rooted cultural center in Lower Manhattan) CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations) and other American Muslim organizations have repeatedly denounced terrorism. That record of commitment to peace and dialogue is available on the websites of all those organizations, and in their own behavior as well.

Shalom, salaam, peace --
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Director, The Shalom Center
www.theshalomcenter.org
Oct. 18, 2010, 5:16 am
MARKER from NY says:
I THINK THE DOB TO STOB CREATING ISSUES AND LET THE RIGHT TO BE DEVERVE,,,

BLOOMBERG AS TO BE INFORMED ADN HIS ,, EMPLOYEES TO LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH SSUES,,,,

THIS CREAT A HUGE ANGER AMNG MUSLIMS ALL OVER... THEY ARE BEING TREATED UNFAIRLY LATELY,
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ....
Oct. 18, 2010, 6:56 am
deafdude from England says:
Why build it at all - Intergration is the keep and not a full take over remember 9-11 and the coroba mosque which translates to the victory mosque or are the americans to weak to see what is happening and allowing a take over by the back door to happen
Oct. 18, 2010, 7:15 am
morralkan from crown heights says:
While I have numerous Muslim friends and I, in general, believe in freedom of religion even though I am a devout atheist, I also believe that some Muslims are going out of the way to thrust their religion in the face of other Americans. There is a strong feeling of superiority on the part of Muslims. While it is true that Hindus, Christians of various flavors, and Jews have killed "the other" over the millennia, Rabbi Waskow ignores that fact that the primary terrorists in recent days have been the Muslims. They attacked us on 9-11 and have been killing each other (Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Gaza/West Bank; honor killing of their sisters/daughters/mothers) at a very rapid pace. Waskow points to benevolent-sounding passages from the Koran, but he downplays and ignores the MANY violent and intolerant passages in that same book and the many violent holy commentaries on it that guide many Muslims to violence. He also ignores the fact that there was "peace" in Andalusia mainly after invading Muslims forced many inhabitants, under fear of death to "freely" adopt Islam and turned any non-Muslim into a dhimmi, a third class citizen at best. This has been the Muslim way throughout it's history. One last thing, Rabbi: CAIR is an strongly antisemitic organization and the many Muslim organizations here in the US, including your dear Cordoba House group will condemn terrorism, but never condem terrorism committed by Palestinians because it is "resistance." If you want to kiss Muslim ass, Rabbi, all well and good, but it makes YOU an ass, not a leader.

As to Ahmad PALI, it is pretty clear that YOU are a racist pig and you should return to Gaza where you can enjoy all the freedoms that Hamas and Islam will allow you. And, just a glance at the face of your dear, departed leader, Yassir Arafat, makes it clear that his mother conceived him after having had sex with a camel.
Oct. 18, 2010, 10:18 am
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Ali, Azeem from East NY Dave from Park Slope and some others
If community on Sheepshead Bay does not want to be destroyed by contraction of mosque in the middle of quiet residential area with 98 % of non-Muslims - it is democracy at its best! It’s people’s democracy! Join BayPeople.org! Our politicians and media are too politically correct, they remind me of prime minister of Great Britain before WW2, who believed by appeasing Nazis he will bring peace!
Oct. 18, 2010, 10:20 am
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Ahmad PALI from Sheepshead bay
“ Well i think when you live in a area with a bunch of racist zionist pigs theres “

This is exactly why we don’t need a mosque here –we don’t need animals like Ahmad here and anywhere.
And those who support them- just remember, you will be next in line for throat cutting!
He is very good, peaceful Muslim, join hands with him.
Oct. 18, 2010, 10:20 am
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Rabbi Arthur Waskow from Mt Airy
You are man of book, but pick up your head and look around! All over the glove Muslim terrorists are killing people- Christians, Jews, Hindus and Muslims too.
99.9 % of all terrorists are Muslims- nothing to do with Islam?
Rabbi, in 1941 you would tell your fellow Jews: do not resist Germans, they are good people, go for the slaughter in concentration camps.
Muslims whom you protect do not believe in the Holocaust and mostly are ready to do it again! Wake up rabbi in the sleepy Mt Airy! Today is 2010, not 1492 anymore!
Oct. 18, 2010, 10:21 am
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
morralkan from crown heights says:
You said it all perfectly!
My compliments to you!
No Mosque in Sheepshead Bay!
Oct. 18, 2010, 10:23 am
Harry from Flatbush says:
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says: 'If community on Sheepshead Bay does not want to be destroyed by contraction of mosque in the middle of quiet residential area with 98 % of non-Muslims - it is democracy at its best!'

Hey Dave, what country are *you* from? Democracy isn't mob rule - and in America we have constitutional rights. Freedom of religion is one of them.

Rights are *not* subject to local 'vote.' You can't 'vote' to stifle or keep out one religion, any more than you can 'vote' to stifle someone's free speech, privacy and fair-trial rights, or protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

You *cannot* say, 'No churches here! The neighborhood is 98% non-Christian' or 'No synagogues here! The neighborhood is 98% non-Jewish.'

Imagine if someone said that building a church or synagogue would 'destroy' a 'quiet residential neighborhood.' Christians and Jews would recognize from the get-go that this was bigotry, and they'd justifiably complain about it.

For centuries the Dutch and Methodist churches were Brooklyn's majority religious groups. If they'd 'voted,' they could've kept Jews, Catholics, Baptists, etc etc from building synagogues and churches. But, thank G-d, this is America.
Oct. 18, 2010, 12:44 pm
K. from Arkady says:
With all due respect; freedom FROM religion is what I seek. Would that the constitutional protection of that right be enforced. A pox on all your houses, Fundamentalist Jews, Muslims, Christians. Please fight your holy wars somewhere else.
Oct. 18, 2010, 2:10 pm
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Harry from Flatbush
You are right about freedom of religion, but it's not about that!
If Muslims decided to buy 1 family house next to yours, demolish it and build a mosque and call for prayer from loudspeakers 5 times a day every day from morning till night, so some other Muslims living 7 blocks away from there could come and pray.
You will be the first one to cry foul (To demand or require immediate action or remedy! -just teasing you)
Why here, why me, why noise, why they blocking my sidewalk, why double park! And on top of that they support HAMAS, very nice.
Grow up, please.
Oct. 18, 2010, 2:11 pm
Harry from Flatbush says:
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says: 'Rabbi, in 1941 you would tell your fellow Jews: do not resist Germans, they are good people, go for the slaughter in concentration camps.'

Dave, you're being hysterical and incoherent.

The rabbi's right: *Every* religion has a bloody history, yet we don't hold every member and congregation responsible for that history.

If we did (for example), no Christians could build churches. Whether they were Catholic, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, whatever, we'd hold *all* of them responsible for Hitler, the Inquisitions and Crusades, murderous clergy in Rwanda, IRA terrorist acts, the Okla City bombing, two years of bombings by the Olympic Park Bomber, the Holocaust Museum killer, abortion-doctor killers, and decades of domestic-terrorist violence by crazy so-called 'Christian' white supremacists and militias (KKK, Aryan Nations, Army of G-d, neo-Nazis, etcetera).
But we don't.

We also don't *presume* that all churches have criminal links and make them prove otherwise (say, by proving that their donations couldn't be diverted to a bad cause, or that they never rubbed shoulders with suspect groups).
Nor do we demand public approval of Christian clergy or leaders - OKing their views and all present-past associations; and insuring that they'd never ever excuse any violence for any reason, aren't promoting a politically 'Christian' nation, and don't think that their beliefs trump others' rights.
Oct. 18, 2010, 2:32 pm
Rob from Greenpoint says:
I applaud their decision, and hope it is permanent, not
just temporary.
Oct. 18, 2010, 3:02 pm
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Harry from Flatbush:
You don't have to jump to name calling if you see that are you loosing the intelligent argument.
You didn't answer to my call about mosque next to you; instead you jumped to other topic. How convenient.
You are right about crazies “'Christian' white supremacists and militias (KKK, Aryan Nations, Army of G-d, neo-Nazis, etcetera)”, they are exist, they are bad, no doubt about it. But again you are so wrong about what is happening right now! Now! Not 500 years ago, not 20 years ago, but now!
Right now 99.9 % of all terrorists are Muslims and they are doing it in the name of Allah!
Don’t be like our current administration- they said jihad is good! And they want to search 85 years old white grandma and 3 years old white baby, but let go 20 years old Muslim from Kenya. We all know better. Even most Muslims are afraid of other Muslims on the same plane, why is that?
So if you are talking about freedom of religion and mosque on Sheepshead Bay don’t go deep into the woods, wolves are there and they are hungry.
Thank G-d, this is America and we still have the freedom of speech.
Shalom.
And I say -No Mosque in Sheepshead Bay! Join BayPeople.org.
Oct. 18, 2010, 3:08 pm
gns says:
No Mosque at Sheepsheadbay!
If all neighbors are biggost, why do they want to built it?
Why the ciry official do listent to only one part ? How about another?
Open your minds and eyes you will find a lot of facts about islam.
Oct. 18, 2010, 3:31 pm
Harry from Flatbush says:
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says: 'To Harry from Flatbush
You are right about freedom of religion, but it's not about that!
If Muslims decided to buy 1 family house next to yours, demolish it and build a mosque and call for prayer from loudspeakers 5 times a day every day from morning till night, so some other Muslims living 7 blocks away from there could come and pray.
You will be the first one to cry foul'

Uh, Dave, this is New York City.

I've lived near churches that didn't just mark hours with a few ding-dong bells: Their amplified electronic 'bells' played long, unholy-sounding, discordant, clanging riffs every hour. Sounded like an explosion in a plumbing factory.

A few played *whole hymn stanzas* every hour on the hour, from early a.m. to 8 pm, Mon-Sat (and played an entire long hymn at 12 and 6), with enhanced variants on Sunday.
This stuff was like a low-flying plane - loud enough to stop conversation blocks away, and much longer than anyone's call to prayer.
Somehow, people got used to it.

What about shabbat sirens? Granted, they sound just several times over Fri-Sat. But they can be alarming to those who aren't used to them - or, say, when a 'siren' shul moves into a not-very-Jewish neighborhood.
Then people get used to it.

In addition, churches and synagogues attract crowds on sabbaths and holy days.
Plus, their activity can spill onto the street throughout the year - with Simchat Torah fests, leaven-burnings, Good Friday processions, church fairs and festivals, visits from major religious leaders, big weddings or funerals, and whatever else.
And we all get used to *that*, too.

You can't cut slack for some religions and condemn others. If you want total freedom from religious 'noise' and congestion, you'll have to find a neighborhood that's either 100% Quaker or 100% non-theistic.
Oct. 18, 2010, 4:10 pm
Rob from Greenpoint says:
TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- The wife of a prominent evangelical pastor in Iran was free Monday, October 18, after four months of detention, but her husband still faced the death penalty for abandoning Islam, the Church of Iran said.
Fatemeh Passandideh, the wife of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, was released October 11 by a court in Gilan province, in northern Iran, an official linked to the Church of Iran told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife.
"The release of Fatemeh Passandideh comes ten days after the announcement of the death sentence for her husband Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani," he said, speaking on earlier agreed conditions of anonymity, amid security concerns.
Pastor Nadarkhani was convicted of "apostasy", or leaving Islam, last month by the 11th Chamber of the Assize Court of the province of Gilan. The pastor's attorney is expected to file an appeal against the ruling after he reportedly found "serious procedural flaws" in the case.
CHRISTIANS CONCERNED
Christians have expressed concerns about the case as the couple has two young sons. It comes amid reports of growing pressure on the Church of Iran, a Protestant movement which includes several underground house churches in the strict Islamic nation.
The church says it has been "the subject of a campaign of persecution, unprecedented since the advent of the [Islamic] revolution" in 1979, which saw the overthrow of Iran's monarchy and its replacement with an Islamic republic under revolution leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
"Several members of the movement have been arrested since October 2009 among them [also] pastor Behrouz Khandjani, who is still in isolation in the sinister “plate 100” [prison] of Shiraz [area]."
Christian observers have said the "elimination of religious minorities" has become a national priority. The pressure on the Church of Iran comes at a time of violent attacks against Christians, according to church groups.
Oct. 18, 2010, 4:26 pm
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
Harry from Flatbush
Just read from today comments-
"Ahmad PALI from Sheepshead bay says:
Well i think when you live in a area with a bunch of racist zionist pigs theres no winning they'll just keep crying to the city till they get what they want but i say we fight till the end until we beat these pigs and get this mosque opened if (god willing)."
“Bmophtali@yahoo.com says:
Islam is the only way! Get used to it, that's all!”

It's about all of us, but at least I'm fighting back.
And you remind me old, law-abiding Jew from Czar’s Russia.
It goes like that. “Czar's new decree-Tomorrow all Jews will be hanged in Central Square. Any questions? Yes, please tell me should I bring my own rope or it will be provided?”
Islam and many Muslims are new Czar of today, only more lethal and deadly.
And all people of good will should stand together, not bite each other.
Shalom.
And I say -No Mosque in Sheepshead Bay!
Join BayPeople.org.
P.S. It seems you have a lot of time. Go check MAS and Mahdy Bray on Internet, watch videos. You will learn.
Oct. 18, 2010, 4:47 pm
Harry from Flatbush says:
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says: 'You don't have to jump to name calling if you see that are you loosing the intelligent argument.
'You didn't answer to my call about mosque next to you; instead you jumped to other topic. How convenient.'

I just answered your 'call.'
And you *are* being hysterical and incoherent. It takes guesswork to figure out your posts.
What the heck is 'all over the glove'? 'contraction of mosque'? '85 years old white grandma and 3 years old white baby'?

How is the rabbi's mosque-support the equivalent of telling Jews 'do not resist' Nazis?
Nazis were a racist-fascistic white-German-Christian popular-majority-supported right-wing *government* - not an unpopular minority religious group.
Everything you dislike isn't a 'Nazi' equivalent (just as every leader we dislike definitely isn't 'Hitler').
Oct. 18, 2010, 5:16 pm
Harry from Flatbush says:
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says: 'It's about all of us, but at least I'm fighting back.
And you remind me old, law-abiding Jew from Czar’s Russia.
It goes like that. “Czar's new decree-Tomorrow all Jews will be hanged in Central Square. ...'

Dave, czarist Russia was a Russian Orthodox Christian theocratic hereditary dictatorship, not a secular democratic republic.
It had no U.S. Constitution, no Bill of Rights, no 'rule of law,' no popular vote, no checks and balances, no long history of mandatory protection of minority civil/religious liberties and human rights. Jews, Roman Catholics, Protestants (anyone who wasn't 'Orthodox Christian'), nonaristocrats, peasants, dissidents - they all counted for nothing and had no rights or voice.
Get your countries and eras straight - please.
Oct. 18, 2010, 5:31 pm
Tamara from Sheepshead says:
Harry, ever heard of the term metaphor?? Dave makes perfect sense.

You call us bigots but many of the so-called innocent Muslims who are supporters of this mosque are the ones filled with hate. In every news article on this issue there are many remarks about how "Islam should conquer us all" and any opponents are labelled "Zionist pigs" (tell us how you really see us! ) And those are among the mildest comments.

Many Muslims are proponents of "freedom of speech and religion" when it comes to THEIR rights, but are very quick to take those rights from others when given the chance. Not all Muslims are fundamentalist, not all Muslims are violent, but the group funding THIS mosque IS both those things and thats the issue here!! Home grown Islamic terrorism is an ever growing problem in Western democracies, do you really want a terrorist camp in your backyard?? Do the research on the funding behind this mosque, then make an educated decision on this.
Oct. 18, 2010, 6:08 pm
Dave from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Harry from Flatbush
I’m glad you know history, but if you refuse to face reality you are not better than somebody who knows nothing. And if a couple of typos bother you so much, I’m guilty.

When “ever growing Muslim population” –very popular words now- reach 10-20% of population, you can forget about –I quote you - “U.S. Constitution, no Bill of Rights, no 'rule of law,' no popular vote, no checks and balances, no long history of mandatory protection of minority civil/religious liberties and human rights.”
Look at many moderate Muslim countries. Look at Europe.
Prepare yourself for sharia law, if you are unwilling to fight.
Watch videos about MAS while you can.
And I say -No Mosque in Sheepshead Bay! Join BayPeople.org.
Oct. 18, 2010, 6:11 pm
K. from ArKady says:
Onward Christian Soldiers,
Onward Zions priests,
Onward Fruits of Islam,
Fight till you're deceased.
Fight your little battles,
Join in thickest fray.
For the Greater Glory,
of Discordia.
Oct. 18, 2010, 6:37 pm
Tariq from Flatbush says:
ISLAM IS NOT A RELIGION LIKE OTHER RELIGIONS
AND A MOSQUE IS NOT LIKE A CHURCH


At the root of opposition to mosques that is now beginning to be voiced around the country is the fear that Islam might just not be the religion of peace that our misguided political leaders say it is or that Islamic spokesmen from the Moslem advocacy organizations say it is. People fear that Islam is not just another religion like Christianity or Buddhism or whatever. These fears are well-founded; and Islamic scholars are the first ones to tell us that Islam is NOT a religion like other religions.

For example, Yusuf Qaradawi (the most influential Muslim cleric in the world today, the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood who is admired by Imam Rauf of the Ground Zero Mosque project) said: "Islam is not a religion in the common, distorted meaning of the word, confining its scope only to the private life of man. By saying that it is a complete way of life, we mean that it caters for all the fields of human existence. In fact, Islam provides guidance for all walks of life — individual and social, material and moral, economic and political, legal and cultural, national and international."

This "complete way of life" is the all-encompassing Sharia sacred Islamic law which, among other things, calls for the legal subordination of non-Moslems to Moslems and of women to men; it requires death for homosexuals, apostates and blasphemers. And, it calls for eternal war (jihad) against non-Moslems until Islamic law dominates throughout the world. These doctrines all come from the Koran and the sayings of Muhammad which are preached and taught in every mosque in the world, and will be taught in the Ground Zero mosque.

People need to understand why Islam is unique and not like other religions. Then they would know that mosques are not like churches because mosques are centers for the propagation of sharia law. Mosques are centers for the propagation of Islamic supremacist ideology, and they should be treated like other centers for the propagation of supremacist, violent and imperialist ideology, such as the Communist Party or the Nazi Party.

It is not religious bigotry to expose the religious bigotry of Islam; it is ideological self-defense.
Oct. 18, 2010, 10:56 pm
Native Son from Clinton Hill says:
The opponents of this Mosque sound like the same type of bigots that used to beat up us Black kids in this part of town back in the 60's and 70's. The bigotry hasn't changed. What's changed is whom the bigotry is directed to.

The protests against Cordoba House in Lower Manhattan emphasize that the developers should build somewhere else, but these protests in Sheepshead Bay and on Staten Island prove that these bigots don't want mosques to be built anywhere.

Is it coincidental that a majority of the bigots are Italian American and Catholic? I've often wondered why there is so much bigotry coming from this group against folks that are different from them.

The bigots and the DOB should be ashamed.
Oct. 19, 2010, 5:29 am
heydg from Boerum Hill says:
just wanted to applaud Rabbi Arthur Waskow for his courage in speaking up, and for providing a history lesson others would do well to contemplate. Remember people, kneejerk responses require no courage, no thought. The world is sometimes a scary place, but lumping whole groups into moral categories creates no safety, no order; sadly it only furthers confusion, fear and hatred. Holding on to anger may feel like a position of strength, but know that it cuts both ways. You can dismiss calls for reason, compassion, and dialogue as naive. You can insist understanding is impossible, and no one can prove you wrong; you will in fact fulfill your own prophecy. You are always welcome however to rejoin those of us trying to wage peace:>)
Oct. 19, 2010, 7:09 pm
heydg from Boerum Hill says:
Can't seem to find DOB spokesperson Carly Sullivan's email, but the phone number listed on press releases is 212-566-3473. Let her know we'll hold her to her word:

“Once the issues are addressed, [construction] permits can be issued,” she said.
Oct. 19, 2010, 7:17 pm
dorothy from Sheepshead Bay says:
It says in the constitution of this country "Give bigotry no sanction." Years ago Jews building synagogues in some parts of Brooklyn were received the same way as the Muslims of Sheeepshead Bay. How can we as Jews profess such prejudice at another ethnic group. We should be ashamed. You are demonizing a whole group of people because of the actions of a few. I am a native Brooklynite and a Jew and for the first time in my life I am ashamed of living in Brooklyn.

My Sheepshead Bay neighbors should be ashamed of themselves.
Dec. 30, 2010, 2:02 pm
Owen from 28TH STREET says:
America Last week , 9/14/ 2011, Theres hammers an saws goin guys working, an ya would think no problem, its a good thing , some LOCAL GUYS got lucky an there workin Right.....Oh,No, No, No,.... America, The men working at this location aren,t Union guys, an there certainly not the local construction company. Nope !!!!....Day laborers ? I dunno, What I,m mostly concerned of is safety.... Doesn,t seem to be any of that goin on , No Hard Hats , No Glasses, No Work Boots , An its just a Messy ,Messy site , Now America,..I believe in an Ole saying...it being, Your only as good as your tools an if a hard hat an glasses are tools an ya dont have any ...Well , What good are ya...
Sept. 22, 2011, 12:59 pm
Sandy from Naperville says:
Why go into a small suburb that is 98% non muslim and build a multi million dollar mosque?
Oct. 18, 2011, 4:10 pm

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