Archive for Sheepshead Bay

‘What Kind of America?’ Hate Filled Rally to Stop Mosque

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by loonwatch

The Sheepshead Bay Mosque is the center of a lot of controversy and the scene of some terrible anti-Muslim demagoguery. If you remember Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have put their weight behind residents who oppose the mosque, is it a coincidence then that the rallies against the mosque are so hate filled?

It is quite revealing, as one resident, a self-proclaimed ex-Israeli soldier has threatened to blow the mosque up and kill Muslims.

Read the excellent expose.

‘What kind of America’? Hate-filled rally to stop mosque

By Thomas Tracy
The Brooklyn Paper

Opponents of a proposed mosque on Voorhies Avenue rallied on Sunday, with some specifically saying that the house of worship would bring terrorists to Sheepshead Bay.

If they build it, they will bomb.

Angry Sheepshead Bay residents came out in a show of force on Sunday to protest a planned mosque and Muslim community center in their neighborhood.

“If they build a mosque there, I’m going to bomb the mosque,” said one outraged resident who lives across the street from the proposed house of worship between East 28th and East 29th streets on Voorhies Avenue. The resident, who refused to give his name, identified himself as a former Israeli soldier who had lived on Voorhies Avenue for eight years.

“I will give them a lot of trouble,” he added. “They’re not going to stay here alive.”

Such comments were certainly the most violent, though intolerance was common at the rally, which was organized by the group Bay People. Political correctness was shoved aside as members of the group put out its agenda: We don’t want a mosque here.

There was plenty of lip service paid to concerns about added traffic and noise, with rally organizers saying that they were not “anti-Arab or anti-Muslim,” but the stench of hate filled the air, sometimes with subtle language.

“We cannot tolerate foreign interests coming into our backyard telling us what we are going to do,” said speaker Bob Giovinazzi. “It’s hot today, but things are going to get a lot hotter for people in this illegal structure.”

One of the organizers claimed that the mosque protest was simply about “this specific location and a specific organization [and its] impact on our quality of life.” The organizer, who only gave his surname, Kleinman, added, “We are not against our Muslim neighbors. This is a residential community and we want to preserve it regardless of race and religion.”

But other organizers claimed that the mosque’s builders, the Muslim American Society, has ties to Hamas and Hezbollah. Though few actual links were revealed at the rally, that didn’t stop the venom.

“New York is not Islamabad,” screamed one protestor. Diana, a nurse who refused to give her full name, told those in attendence, “Do not forget 9-11!”

Voorhies Avenue resident Victor Benari further whipped up the audience by adding, “Each Muslim terrorist is tied to a mosque.”

He also took pot shots at Ahmed Allowey, the longtime Sheepshead Bay resident who is bringing the mosque to Voorhies Avenue, along with local politicians who have remained mum on this divisive issue.

None were present to defend themselves, although Benari’s diatribe infuriated local resident Guseyn Ibragimov.

“What right do you have to deny people a place of worship?” asked Ibragimov, whose father is a Muslim. His mother is half-Jewish, half-Christian. “No one protests a church or a synagogue being built in a Muslim neighborhood.”

Rally attendees booed Ibragimov down, ordering him to get off their street.

“This isn’t right, they’re just showing their hate,” Ibragimov said as he stormed off. “They call themselves Americans, but what kind of America is this?”

©2010 Community Newspaper Group

 

Ignorance and Fear: Residents Fear Planned Mosque in Sheepshead Bay

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on January 14, 2010 by loonwatch

mosque

Some crazy comments by ill informed and ignorant people about Islam and a proposed Mosque that will be built in their neighborhood.

Some Residents in Sheepshead Bay Fear Planned Mosque

Racial and religious tensions are flaring in Sheepshead Bay over plans to build a mosque on a residential street.

Opponents say the mosque will lead to traffic and noise problems – but their complaints are littered with anti-Islamic attacks, like one letter to elected officials that said “mosques and Muslim schools preach hatred.”

“There’s a safety issue here. I don’t want my kids walking past it,” said Kathy Cash, 38, a mother of three children who attend Public School 52 around the corner on E. 29th St. “It’s disgusting,” said Cash, “they [Muslims] have no respect.”

“My children are scared and I am too,” said Victor Benari, 56, trying to rally neighbors against the mosque during a civic group meeting on Monday. “This is a security issue.”

The hysterical language startled officials from the mosque, who say their neighbors have no reason to worry.

“It saddens us very much to see our neighbors already agitated about these things,” said Allowey Ahmed, 60, who owns the property and is spearheading the project.

“Our neighbors are very important. We cannot be good Muslims unless we have good relations with our neighbors,” said the native of Yemen who moved to Sheepshead Bay in 1997.

Besides the prayer hall, the project will include a community center with youth programs for the growing number of Arabic-speaking families in Sheepshead Bay.

It would be affiliated with the Muslim American Society, a national organization, which runs another facility in Bath Beach.

Other opponents distanced themselves from the hateful language some of their neighbors used.

“I don’t agree with how they presented us. I don’t have a problem with it being a mosque,” said Grigory Kalman, 54, a computer programmer who lives on E. 28th St.

Still, he’s fighting the project because he says it will be noisy and make traffic chaotic on the block.

“This is a quiet residential street, but who knows how bad it will become,” said Kalman.

To calm fears, Ahmed said the Muslim center will not broadcast the daily call to prayer heard at other mosques five times a day.

“We are keen to not disturb the neighbors,” he said.

Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Sheepshead Bay) denounced the stereotyping by the project’s foes.

“I understand they’re uncomfortable. Our emotions are so high and our concerns for safety are so real,” Fidler said, “but to suggest that any mosque that is going to be built is a haven for terrorism or a pulpit for hate before they even build the foundation is simply just over the top.”

Construction is currently stalled because the city Buildings Department rejected plans for a 4-story structure in August, but Ahmed said work would begin “in a couple of months.”