Rhetoric overheated! Locals attack, defend Sheepshead Bay mosque on our Web site

Protests have been vehement, but the city has approved plans for a mosque on Voorhies Road in Sheepshead Bay.
Photo by Paul Martinka

The ongoing fight over the proposed mosque on Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay is causing a stir both on the street and on the Web.

About 200 people rallied against the house of worship on June 27, but far more activity was registered on our Web site, where commenters compared the mosque supporters to terrorists. Here’s a fair synopsis of the comments, both pro and con:

• “It’s getting old to associate Muslims with terrorists. Not every mosque is associated with bombings. Is every church associated with molestation of boys from priest? No, I don’t think so.”

Amarra [No neighborhood given]

• “Supporters of the mosque are using a race card to get public sympathy. The fact is that vast majority of local residents don’t want increased traffic, noise etc. on this small street in Sheepshead Bay. They paid a premium to live in a quiet residential neighborhood, which would be no more if mosque building plans (or any other public community center) come to fruition.”

— John Anders from Brooklyn

• “[The protestors] need to move to Arizona, where they can hate to their heart’s content.

— Richard Grayson

from Williamsburg

• [The] community simply does not want a mosque there. At least in some places, we see a real community with common goals. And they support each other. And they have every right to protect their quality of life.”

— Dave from Brooklyn

• “How hateful could you possibly be to make a comment like this? ‘If they build a mosque there, I’m going to bomb the mosque.’ I don’t want to assume that this former Israeli solider is Jewish … because, how could he be a Jew and make such comments!? It was not too long ago that they lived through something very similar. I know Holocaust survivors who explain the hate and discrimination they lived through. When you know it’s so wrong to do, when you know it happened to your people, how could you do it to others?”

— Zuleyha from Westchester

• “I don’t think the former Israeli soldier said that he would bomb. I believe he meant that the mosque would one day be a big bomb because some suicide idiot will blow himself up inside.”

— Yuri from Brighton Beach

• “I would be very careful with the mosque construction. Islam often enters neighborhoods not to assimilate but to totally replace other ethnic groups. Pluralism is frowned upon in the Islamic faith (and much of Islamic culture today).”

— Jason from Memphis, Tenn.

• “I really am so tired of the whole characterization of Muslims as an invading army, attempting to change America from within. People who say that — in the name of patriotism, no less — have so little faith in the power of American ideals, government and culture.”

— NB from Sheepshead Bay

• “Wow, Bay News, thanks for supporting your community — not. I remember when the Bay News was our neighborhood’s newspaper and lived up to its slogan, ‘Your Neighborhood. Your news.’ Now it’s ‘Your Neighborhood. Someone Else’s News.’ Not everyone here is a racist. We don’t want the traffic and we don’t want the terrorists.”

— Billy from Sheepshead Bay

Hundreds gathered at the anti-mosque rally last month. More commented on the Web.
Photo by Paul Martinka

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