The site of the proposed mosque at 2812/2814 Voorhies Avenue

Opponents of a proposed mosque in Sheepshead Bay came before the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association last week to rally support for their fight, but instead found little sympathy for their struggle.

A handful of neighbors came to the Tuesday night meeting to present their case against the mosque, which may soon be built at 2812 Voorhies Avenue and will also include a school and community center. But board members of the civic association and Community Board 15 chairperson Theresa Scavo bristled as the opposition turned towards race-baiting and ethnic fears.

“On what grounds are you opposing them?” said Scavo. “You can’t turn around and say ‘Oh they’re Muslim.’ Who’s going to look like the bad guy?”

Though initial statements from the mosque’s opponents emphasized potential traffic, parking, and noise problems as the cause for their concern, racist undertones began to bubble to the surface of the debate.

Opponents have taped anti-mosque signs to the construction fencing

“The various people that will be drawn to this location will not be acceptable,” said Joan Bonfonte, a real estate agent who lives nearby. “When you’re going against people who are looking to blow us apart, I don’t like it.”

Victor Benari, another neighbor, said he’s afraid for his children, and doesn’t want them walking past the mosque to go to P.S. 52 less than a block away.

“My son comes to me and says he is afraid of them,” Benari said. “I’m afraid of them too, because they look like this,” he said while pantomiming a burka’s veil.

City planners rejected an August proposal from the mosque’s organizers that asked for a zoning variance. The proposal included a four-story center with a roof extension for a minaret, a tall spire used for calls to prayer.

Their proposal was rejected by the Department of Buildings.

Still, the mosque is expected to go forward with construction within the existing zoning regulations. According to DOB’s community affairs liaison Ken Lazar, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, community facilities like religious institutions may build “as of right” in residential neighborhoods so long as they fit in with zoning.

Benari and other opponents said more locals should be concerned, as the mosque presents a challenge to real estate prices and the character of the community.

“Your real estate will go down. You won’t be able to sell your houses. They will go for peanuts,” said Benari.

He also said that it would draw larger numbers of Muslims to settle in Sheepshead Bay, changing its demographics.

Members of the civic association – almost all of which have family spanning generations in Sheepshead Bay – balked at the notion of an Eastern European immigrant appealing to them on the changing character of Sheepshead Bay.

“I liked this neighborhood when I could leave my house barefoot and walk on the beach,” said SB/PB Secretary Barbara Berardelli. “When [Eastern Europeans] moved here, I couldn’t do that. I didn’t like you. But ultimately it’s not about your preference, it’s about being a good neighbor and realizing they have rights too.”

Scavo added that the group might have a chance if they fought their battle on the concrete issues of parking and traffic. She pointed out that Voorhies Avenue is a congested street with one lane in each direction.

“If you want to succeed, do not use the word mosque. Do not use the word Muslim,” said Scavo. “Request the traffic reports. Go take photos of the double parking at the other mosques during calls to prayer. Have they done that? No. Because they’re lazy. You can’t just go with your mouth. You need paper.”

Ultimately, neither Scavo nor the civic association were convinced the group had a leg to stand on.

Berardelli suggested they sit down with the mosque’s officials to settle issues “because you have to live together.”

She was interrupted by a dissenter, who shouted, “But can they live with us?”

A visibly flustered Berardelli shook her head and responded, “You’re not going to stop this.”

Gene Berardelli, SBPB’s council, advised the group to consider a stern, but compromising approach.

“It’s about how you engage them,” he said. Opponents should stay vigilant for DOB violations and quality of life issues to make sure the mosque doesn’t disturb the existing atmosphere. “You have to hold their feet to the fire. But ultimately you need to be a neighbor, because they’re coming to the neighborhood,” he said.

After the meeting, the group against the mosque was not optimistic about receiving more support than the nearly 300 signatures they collected from residents during a petition drive. Local politicians have made clear that the facility has a right to build, and the civics and community boards are reluctant to be pulled into a racially-heated debate.

Benari, though, said he’s considering legal challenges to bar construction. But he adds that though they have two lawyers working on it, they have yet to find the grounds for a suit.

One thing is for sure, though. Benari has no plans to take the civic’s advice to compromise with mosque officials if the facility is built.

“Will we engage them? No. I don’t think so,” he said. “I’ll tell you what I will do. I will move from this neighborhood.”

View documents from the opponents, including letters to and from local politicians, by clicking here [.pdf]

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  • aanon

    mosque or not, pedestrian traffic will be a hazard and chaotic! especialy for children!!! go to any house of prayer of that size, they all have/cause an insane amount of issues for the local community. Example – Borough Park Synagogue/School, neighbors are up in arms about the institutions noise, parking issues, traffic, children hazards etc.

    • Anonymous

      Why don’t we address the excessive traffic caused by the grotesque condos being built in Sheepshead Bay? For these monstrocities hold anywhere from eight to fifteen families and have four parking slots out front. These families have at times two or more cars including an SUV. Where were all these conscientious objectors to increased traffic when these buildings were proposed for construction?

  • zen3344

    Not to seem paranoid, but considering the nature of this article and the accompanying documents, you guys might want to redact some of the information in those documents….

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    Valid point. The petition section has been removed. Thanks.

  • Ray Johnson

    Those documents make for interesting reading, on a number of levels. I wonder how other houses of worship, churches and synagogues that are already operating in Sheepshead Bay dealt with opposition, or was there never any?

    Is there a community mediation service we can call on to help open the discussion? Maybe, there are even appropriate alternate spots for a mosque. How about considering the now-empty Jewish Community Senior Center building on Avenue X, between E. 22 St & E. 23 St?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    The more diversity here the better this neighborhood becomes. No one group can claim primacy or change it totally to their liking.

    The side streets of Sheepshead Bay are filled with religious structures representing numerous Christian and Jewish groups. To the best of my knowledge there was little objection to these placements. In a inclusionist society such as ours we normally welcome diverse religious practice. The mere fact that this is a mosque, rather than a church or Jewish temple should not make it an exception. Our country prides itself on religious tolerance, it is part of the very reason we came into being. Let's not be narrow minded now, we (or our ancestors) have benefited from that principle for the past 400 years.

  • Alex

    The neighborhood should do all it can so that the roots of this cancer aka “religion of peace” do not plant themselves in this neighborhood.

    • http://twitter.com/IbnJuferi MENJ

      People like you are the real cancer.

  • alknowles

    Not to sidetrack, but I love your Google Adwords link… seeing this link with side-ads for “the International Muslim Matrimonial Site” has no laughing to no end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Berardelli/1173482469 Gene Berardelli

    To me, the issue never should be about the practice of religion – our country's formation is in large part based on the pursuit to worship freely and without interference from government. Hence, the laws are extremely permissive towards the development and placement of new houses of worship – and they are pretty much cut and dry.

    As Lisanne said, diversity benefits a community. That should never be an issue. Some of the contentions I heard at the meeting were unfortunately in their ignorance. As a community, we should never go down such a hateful road.

    IMO, the focus should be on (1) engaging the developer to ensure that they build correctly and that the process of construction their desired building have minimal intrusion on their lives, and (2) after its construction, immediate neighbors should meet with the head of the congregation to address community concerns like parking and noise. If deemed necessary by either side, the precinct should be made aware when services are initially held to ensure that no disturbances occur.

    It's time to build a dialogue and act reasonably, not to act reactionary based on half-truths and rumors.

  • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Phil

    All religions have perpetrated crimes against humanity throughout history, but it was (mostly) not the religion's fault so much as those who misinterpretted it for their own agendas.

  • Alex

    Gene/Phil,

    It's ok to open your eyes and admit that not all religions are equal. Furthermore some religions just tend to be “a little” more violent than the others in their preachings or practice. As far as I recall these days Judaims/Christianity does not preach Jihad, encourage it's believers to attack infidels or promise you 72 whores if you kill yourself and take a few infidels with you. I am not the one saying these things. I am merely repeating what the members of the religion of peace preach.

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      True Judaism and Christianity don’t offer the promiose of 72 virgins, because those aren’t aspects of their ideas of Heaven rewards. Instead you get a harp and wings or attain enliightenment or whatever else passes as each ideologies’ concept of Heavenly reward. However if you don’t think there are extremist groups in every religion, then that’s a mistake. There’s more peaceful practitioners of Islam then there are the extremists, but the extremists are more vocal and visual in their practices.

      Should precautions possibly be implemented? Probably, due to the past M.O. of the terrorists establishing fronts for their activities, but at the same time, it should be done with a level head and not irrational fears motivated by xenophobic thoughts (as established by some of those letters).

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Berardelli/1173482469 Gene Berardelli

      I don’t know Alex, some may consider the communal eating of flesh and drinking of blood is kind of violent in a sense, but Roman Catholics (like me) view that as a holy sacrament. Look at history, and all of the blood shed in the name of Christianity. Look at World War II and see modern religious persecution. Heck, look at my participation in the last City Council election to see the sensitivities at even the appearance of disparaging another religion that you cite and the ramifications! :-)

      You’re drawing an arbitrary line based on your own subjective view. And your characterizations (“72 whores” ???) show a touch of disdain. I’d suggest that we all “judge slowly” and see what unfolds.

      • Alex

        Gene,

        Enlighten me what happened during the WW2? Are you trying to tell me that Hitler was Christian? If you answered yes, there is a little note from history and it says that he killed more christians in concentration camp than Jews. You are saying that 72 whores sounds a little harsh? What normal religion promises it’s members that they will get to rape 72 virgins in Heaven? Gene you have not answered the question that I posed earlier. Which mainstream Christian/Jewish leader preaches his followers to kill infidels? On the other hand, which mainstream Muslim leader condones violence against “infidels”? Will you tell me it’s CAIR and their spokesmouth Ibrahim Cooper? Of course they do, with one side of their mouth when they are interviewed in American media. Digging a little further you will find that CAIR is funded by Saudi Wahabi dollars. Here is a great article for everyone:

        http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=121694

        As far as looking at history and all the bloodshed attributed to Christianity, I argued that unlike Islam Christianity modernized and moved beyond that. Look at all the global conflicts right now, what percentage do you think is attributed to Islam? I guarantee you it’s close to 100%.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

          I take anything posted by World Net Daily with a grain of salt. They’re still pushing the “birther” crap about Obama. They have an extreme anti-Islamic slant, and have little regard for “truth”. They are a nuisance to the point of being a disruptive force in society.

          • Alex

            Lisanne,

            They are not the only ones who have brought CAIR’s connections to Saudi princes to light. You can not just say that you disagree without saying what points you disagree with and then presenting your counterargument.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Quote me a mainstream media source for that assertion.

          • Alex

            There are plenty of mainstream sources…

            According to the Charlotte Observer, ” (CAIR is) a subversive organization allied with international terrorists.” Doyle, Michael, “Judge: Controversial ‘Muslim Mafia’ used stolen papers”, Charlotte Observer, November 10, 2009, accessed November 17, 2009

            According to Treasury Department intelligence official as ” (CAIR is)intimately tied to the most senior Hamas leadership.” “Levitt, Mathew, Hamas : Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, Yale University Press : May 1, 2006. p. 149 ISBN 0300110537

            According to the New York Times, CAIR has also “raised some suspicion by accepting large donations from individuals or foundations closely identified with Arab governments”, as well as accepting funds from Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.

            An investigative reporter Steven Emerson accuse CAIR of having ties to Hamas, terrorism, and antisemitism.

            Steven Emerson (March 28, 2007). “One Muslim advocacy group’s not-so-secret terrorist ties”. The New Republic Online. The New Republic. http://www.steveemerson.com/article15.htm.
            MacFarquhar, Neil (March 14, 2007). “Scrutiny Increases for a Group Advocating for Muslims in U.S.”. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/14/washington/14cair.html?ex=1331524800&en=8b587f5174217e8d&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            OK, I already knew about CAIR, but wanted to stress that MSM sources carry far more weight. WND is always a suspect source.

            However, none of this invalidates the right of individuals in the United State to worship freely. We don’t engage in that sort of branding. We learned from our mistakes in the 1950s with HUAC.

          • Alex

            Maybe we should (abd eventually will) resort to “branding”. If a religion promotes murder, then you should not be able to “worship” it freely. Europe is slowly realizing this as well and is beginning to take steps. Imagine if they did not have to rely on middle eastern oil what kind of laws they would have by now.

          • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

            Man, I would hate to live in the world you envision for everyone else, Alex. Some stale, boring, black & white place where everyone is like you and anyone who isn’t ought to be killed or outlawed. It’s pretty disgusting.

          • Alex

            Ned,

            Enlighten me. Where did I say that anyone who isn’t like me should be killed or outlawed? Stop with the random drivel and argue with facts. You are no longer in the university environment and throwing out cliches does not suffice in the real world.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            It’s not religion that is the problem, it is how people manipulate it to provide a so called legitimacy for their behavior.

            Yes, there is a more present hostility to Islam in many European countries. But that won’t change the laws very much.

            When religious expression is repressed you worsen the existing problem by making targets of those who are apolitical. You might radicalize them. Then you have a bigger problem.

            So I guess we end up having to kill people. So much for civilized society.

    • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

      Wait a second. I thought it was 72 Virgins? 72 Whores is actually something worth dying over!

      • Barkingspider7

        yeah – cuz virgins don’t know what they are doing!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    I suggest you attend some services of some fundamentalist Christian churches in the so-called “heartland” of America. You might hear some “clergyman” claim that God spoke to him and said our President must die. We call that treason usually. Then, extend that to a decision that all Christians are of a murderous nature. Sounds illogical? It's no more so then basing one's perception of Islam on the extremist remarks made by sick people who manipulate the tenets of that religion towards their own political ends.

  • Alex

    Lisanne,

    You are kidding me. Right? Go through all the current global conflicts and tell me what percentage of them is triggered by Islam. The percentage of clergyman who advocate that president must die is a little smaller (tiny bit smaller) than percentage of infidels in Muslim world who claim that infidels must die. To further my argument why do not you visit London and hear some “mainstream” rhetoric there – they are pretty vocal about Sharia law during their demonstrations and the means by which they plan to attain me. Let me remind you that it is not one or two “extremist” who provocate that either. It's ok to open your eyes to the reality.

  • http://www.bksouthie.com/ Brian Hedden

    Alex,

    The Christian word for Jihad is “Crusade.” Just an FYI.

    • Anonymous

      Brian, wrong again! although crusade and jihad, may or may not have controversal similiarities, they are still very much different. the crusades, wasnt targeted to wipe out an entire way of life. furthermore, some say the crusades were equally wrong as jihad.

  • steve

    The crusades ended hundreds of yers go.

  • http://www.bksouthie.com/ Brian Hedden

    Oh. Someone told me there were like 200,000 Christian troops deployed in two different Muslim countries. But if you're telling that was over, like, hundreds of years ago, then whew, thank God. Glad to know my sources were wrong.

    • Anonymous

      brian, buddy, tell me ur being sarcastic! 200k troops are on a mission to wipe out an entire way of living. now, i agree they shouldnt be there, nonetheless, they are. just for a total different reason!

      • http://www.bksouthie.com/ Brian Hedden | BK Southie

        For starters, if you’re reading a comment with my name on it, you can safely assume that the Sarcasm has been turned up to 11.

        Secondly, I will admit to being irritated, and speaking out of emotion instead of good sense in this case, and that to compare the men and women of the U.S. military service to crusaders was wrong, and I take it back. Sorry, army men and army women, for being an insensitive dolt, sorry Alex and Lisanne for lighting the match and then walking away to read bedtime stories to my son, and sorry Ned for trying to break your web site.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    There are no laws prohibiting the practice of Islam belief in this country. That is the reality. We did not start mass extraditions after 9/11. What happens in other countries bears no relevance on the essential right of people in a free nation to worship without unfair restrictions.

    You would not like to live in a country that did otherwise. Paranoia can cause extreme reactions. We imprisoned Americans during WWII whose only “crime” was being of Japanese descent. I hope we will never be that foolish again

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    Which is why I'm against all organized religion, period. But that's just me.

    • http://twitter.com/IbnJuferi MENJ

      Which makes you….a moron?

  • Alex

    Brian,

    You must have voted for Obama if you do not know the difference. I do not care if you are pro war or anti war but 200k “Christian troops” were stationed after that event called 9/11 – remember WTC, over 3,000 dead. Also you probably forgot that WTC was bombed in the mid 90s…. rings the bell?

  • Alex

    Arthur,

    Your argument makes perfect sense. This is why I am against all of humanity.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    And a federal office building was bombed in Oklahoma by right wing Christian Zealots. And what about the Christian nut that killed 27 people in a church in Virginia because their view were too liberal. Or the crazed “Christians” that bomb abortion clinics and kill doctors who perform them. I could think of many more examples; these are but a few.

    This doesn't mean that Christians, even fundamentalists, are necessarily killers.

    • Alex

      Yes Lisanne. There are fundamentalists on both sides. The difference is that with Christians their behavior is not condoned by church or supported by governments.
      There is not a single MAINSTREAM ministry that preaches violence against non believers. There are plenty on Muslim side however. Do not take my word for it just turn on the news.

      Timothy McVeigh who you are referring to was not a Christian fundamentalist he was anti-governmentalist.

      “In 1993, he drove to Waco, Texas during the Waco Siege to show his support. At the scene, he distributed pro-gun rights literature and bumper stickers, such as “When guns are outlawed, I will become an outlaw.” He told a student reporter:

      “ The government is afraid of the guns people have because they have to have control of the people at all times. Once you take away the guns, you can do anything to the people. You give them an inch and they take a mile. I believe we are slowly turning into a socialist government. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control.”

      I am quoting Domestic Terrorism 101 – Timothy James McVeigh (The Boy Next Door).
      By Nicole Nichols

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Far as I know McVeigh didn’t denounce his Christian fundamentalism. There is a lot of support for the militia movement in some of these churches.

        • Alex

          Lisanne,

          Simple questions. What percentage of the terrorist attacks are committed in the name of Islam? What percentage of homicide bombers are Muslim? Which mainstream Muslim leaders have publicly condoned them?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Simple answer. Go back and read the newspaper coverage after 9/11. Most of the mainstream Islamic religious leaders were immediately explaining that this is not acceptable behavior, and not justified by Islamic belief.

            As for other events, do the same.

          • Alex

            Lisanne,

            What I clearly remember was how Rudy shoved the $10M check back into Saudi’s prince face for blaming America for being attacked. I made my argument. If you still believe that Islam is a religion of peace then do so.

          • http://www.bksouthie.com/ Brian Hedden | BK Southie

            Hey Alex and Lisanne,

            If we keep this up, I bet we can nest these comments until the comment column is only two letters wide. All we have to do is keep arguing with each other until 4am. Challenge accepted! I got the gasoline. Who brought the fire?

          • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

            Please don’t.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            OK

          • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

            Wow I feel skinny….

          • Anonymous

            Not as skinny as me!

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    I think i spotted the perfect location for the Mosque if the Musliim Community would consider it. The Clean O Rama building on Nostrand Ave between Neck and V. It's an existing structure so they wouldn't have to build a new one. It's a pretty big building that could most likely be retrofitted or altered to suit their needs. It has quite a few parking spaces and if they asked nice they could most likely borrow/rent some more at pre-determined times from Perry's, S&D and the Kings Bay Y. In fact being right across from a Jewish Center like the Y offers ample opportunity to hold various unity events between the two.

    From the perspective of public transportation it's a better option then Voorhies and East 28th. They'd still have access to the B36 and B44 but also to the B3.

    I dunno, maybe I'm nuts but this location seems to resolve every issue the community could possibly think of to argue against the Mosque.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    I'm all for humanity. It's people that are the problem.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    It would be a good choice. But some religious groups want to build their own structure. The owner of the property may not wish to sell.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    The Google Ads on this page as I refreshed this are both for “The International Muslim Matrimonial Site”. Amazing!

  • Janika

    Both sides should read and discuss Christopher Caldwell’s recent book on the matter, and discuss the processes and the history frankly, and deal with reality, even if it bites.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Caldwell’s arguments can be used as a weapon against any number of immigrant groups. And while I believe he’s not pushing an agenda, some of his conclusions are capable of widening the chasm between Islamic immigrants and natives of the countries they move to.

  • bro

    Oy Vey, how sad! Benari has a lot to learn! Disturbing that some real estate people are so biased– you wonder about how that affects their work!

    Mosque folks must do due diligence on parking same as any organization. But Mosque organizers live the the neighborhood too and deserve a religious facility! How aweful to feel hated. Folks need to sit down and talk.

  • http://www.yournabe.com/articles/2010/01/16/sheepshead_bay/bay_news/news/bay_news_newsarsmziq01142010.txt baynews

    Proposed mosque causes concerns in community

    By Stephen Witt
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:11 PM EST
    Comment (No comments posted.) Email To a Friend
    The person behind the building of a controversial mosque on a residential street said he is surprised by recent racist remarks made against his faith.

    “We are not too familiar with racist actions in Brooklyn,” said Allowey Ahmed, 60, who owns the property at 2812 Voorhies Avenue off East 29th Street and is spearheading the project.

    “We’ve always thought this was a harmonious neighborhood and we never suffered here. The beautiful thing about America is we are all under the same umbrella of freedom,” he added.

    Ahmed, a Muslim immigrant from Yemen who has been living in Brooklyn for over 40 years, was responding to comments made at a recent Plumb Beach Civic Association (PBCA) meeting in which about six people who attended complained that they didn’t want to live next to a mosque.

    The proposed four-story mosque will include a community center and classrooms for the growing Muslim population in Sheepshead Bay.

    The City’s Department of Buildings has already rejected one set of plans from Ahmed, but he said he is resubmitting plans and can build as of right.

    Ahmed also said he plans on meeting with the neighbors.

    “We will meet with the community in time. We’re really disappointed they are agitated. We enjoy so much freedom and life here and want to melt in like everyone else,” he said, adding that local American-Muslims don’t want a few extremists to represent them.

    The complaints at the PBCA meeting ranged from residents fearing their property values would go down to their fears of having their children around the mosque, according to Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo, who attended the meeting.

    Their complaints sounded “racist” and no one sided with them because of it, said Scavo.

    ADVERTISEMENT“We’ve got mosques on Coney Island Avenue and East 18th Street and we have never had a problem with either one of them,” she added.

    Scavo says that if critics where opposing the proposed mosque on the grounds that it would bring noise, congestion, she would go along with them – but not simply because they don’t like the mosque.

    “It’s totally inappropriate,” Scavo said. “It would be the same as saying there is a new church going up and I don’t like it.”

    Local residents have also engaged inletter writing campaigns to local elected officials noting the block is filled with two-story houses and the proposed Mosque is set for four stories with a full basement.

    They also expressed security concerns, citing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and recent arrests and investigations of mosques around the country regarding terrorist activity.

    City Council member Lew Fidler, who represents the block in question said there are legitimate concerns about building a structure of this type of type and size at this location, which is a completely residential block.

    “We continue to check that they comply with the law. However, to make a decision that because this is a mosque and for no other reason that this will be a haven for hate or terror is over the top,” said Fidler.

    “People need to know the fact that every government agency is aware of the project and they will be made, like everybody else, to comply with the law,” he added.

    —with Joe Maniscalco

    • SBPB Meeting Attendee

      Interesting Bay News article, especially considering no Bay News reporters were at the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting. I wonder where they got all their information from?

      If only their reporters valued attributing their information…

      • http://www.yournabe.com/articles/2010/01/16/bay_news/news/bay_news_newsarsmziq01142010.txt baynews

        Read the article again. There’s no first person account, since everything that is quoted is from Mr. Ahmed or Ms. Scavo or Mr. Fidler

  • meebo

    guys, i was wondering about the flyer that was all over,,,, it lacks lots of information about the whol crap that is going on,, any one knows which organization the flyer refered to?????

    please advice.
    thanks

    meebo

  • Galina

    Ms. Theresa Scavo can allow them to built it on her yard, if she thinks so.

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      She’s allowing them to build it on their own grounds, since they own it. Why would she allow it on her own grounds if she doesn’t want it? The mosque isn’t being built on the grounds of the neighbors, so no problem in that respect.

      So long as they follow regulations then they should be allowed to build, but given the recent issues with extremists, they’d be fools to not expect criticism out of fear and close scruitny for security issues, but at the same time locals should also be understanding and voice valid complaints and not those created from ignorance and said-fear.

      • Concerned neighbor

        I wonder if anybody here knows that Muslim American Society (that is affiliated with this future mosque) recently organized in Chicago anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel conference…

        You can read details here:
        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jan/12/jewish-group-rips-islamic-summit-as-anti-semitic/

        I am convinced that MAS Center at Sheepshead Bay would not be a good neighbor, unlike other mosques in South Brooklyn.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!
        • Wanderinglioness

          I beg to differ – look what they did last month for the end of Ramadan. They gave gifts to the children who were needy. They didn’t have to do that. I thought that it was a really nice gesture. Why are you people so closed minded? The only thing that I would discuss with them is not doing the call to prayer, as it is very loud and being in a residential neighborhood, I feel that they would gladly oblige – also with a school right there, it can be somewhat distracting for the children and teachers. Other than that, I have no problem with any of this.

  • Galina

    “I liked this neighborhood when I could leave my house barefoot and walk on the beach,” said SB/PB Secretary Barbara Berardelli. “When [Eastern Europeans] moved here, I couldn’t do that. I didn’t like you. But ultimately it’s not about your preference, it’s about being a good neighbor and realizing they have rights too.”

    May I ask you a question Barbara??? Where did your parents come from

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Berardelli/1173482469 Gene Berardelli

      Galina: You’re missing the point. She’s saying that she too didn’t like change at first, but ultimately realized that race / ethnicity has nothing to do with the changes taking place and that we should all try to be good neighbors and respect everyone’s rights. With that said, the answer is Italy. :-)

  • Galina

    Gene, I understan her writing, but she said what she said. You can not remove words from the song. I belive, that you red the article in the New York Post. This is what the guy said:Ahmed said the flyer appears to have a lynch mob mentality.

    “I really admire the leaders of the community that are not carried away by the hateful remarks that the others are making,” said Ahmed. “I think they are courageous. It’s easy to play along with. In this day and age it’s almost kosher to hate Muslims. In America, we are all under the same umbrella of freedom.”

    switt@cnglocal.com

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/flier_denouncing_mosque_goes_around_9IOoINLEue4r5K3gywcXQN#ixzz0dBo5IzHk

  • Galina

    Ms. Scavo is ablutely rude person.
    “Because they’re lazy. You can’t just go with your mouth. You need paper.”
    She can not mention to people they are lazy, people are working.
    If papers are more important to her than the voices of her community – it’s bad for her.
    Why is she tolerant to the paticular part of people not to others?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Because people who want tolerance have to show tolerance.

  • rufina

    Maybe it is because neither Jewish place of worship nor Christian would propagate holy war under pretense of a prayer. Sheepshead Bay does not need a mosque and Islamic school, and come to think of it, there are very few Muslims in that particular area anyway, who is going to worship there, like they gonna come from Coney Island avenue or something? I think this mosque sh*t is really a cover up for some kind of jihad organization.

    • Wanderinglioness

      I know that this is an old post, but I have to respond to Rufina. Hey Ruffy, where do you live? If you walk around Voorhies, Nostrand, the Bay Road, you will see many, many muslim families walking around. I have muslim neighbors, I have muslim friends, I have dated muslim men. They are wonderful, giving, extremely hospitable people. They have been in our neighborhood for a long time, and evidently, you never had a clue. Wow! They must be really evil terrorists for you not to see them. Open your eyes – Everyone! Stop being so prejudice.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    There are quite a number of Islamic practitioners here. Several thousand at least. And its absurd to postulate that they are jihadists. There's no evidence at all to prove such an assertion. In the absence of such we assume that their intentions are benign. That is the law. Otherwise we are interfering with the right of individuals to practice their religion.

  • Galina

    Mr. Ahmed mentioned in the New York Post article that “In this day and age it’s almost kosher to hate Muslims.” that’s why evrybody hates Muslims. But accroding to Ms.Scavo we don’t have to use the words Muslims and so on, but kosher means evrybody is jewish or she does not know that, and he, of course, can use it.

    “I really admire the leaders of the community that are not carried away by the hateful remarks that the others are making,” said Ahmed. “I think they are courageous. It’s easy to play along with. In this day and age it’s almost kosher to hate Muslims. In America, we are all under the same umbrella of freedom.”

  • bagels

    There's an interesting debate going on in the Netherlands with the Dutch MP Geert Wilders. He could be viewed as an instigator or a realist but he was hauled into court for stating his opinion in a country that is even more liberal than the US.

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  • gIGI

    Muslims VERY rarely drive to the mosque – it is a blessing on them if they walk to their place of worship

    Instead of stereotyping, grow up and try to learn something about a culture/religion that is different from yours. Sheesh!

  • gIGI

    Muslims VERY rarely drive to the mosque – it is a blessing on them if they walk to their place of worship

    Instead of stereotyping, grow up and try to learn something about a culture/religion that is different from yours. Sheesh!

  • giGi

    not true – they go to worship 5 times a day at all different times – you won't even see them. What is the problem here? It's ok for jews and christians to go to synagogue, church, but muslims aren't alowed to go? I am a Protestant, by the way

  • aanon

    My point precisely! FIVE times a day. Parking will be overwhelming etc.

    Jews, Christians; they don't bother anyone, for the most part. They don't setup shop outside they're community, especially on a major vehicular artery. Not to say Muslims always do. Just right here, in this particular are would cause a lot of uncalled for traffic of sorts.

    My folks are Muslim, I work with Jews and Christians.

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  • gns

    Gene, The property was sold. The zoning allows for the construction of such a structure “as of right”. That's pretty much the beginning and end of it.
    and my questions are:
    1. “as of right” can you built the worship in somebodies backyards?
    2. “as of right” the community has a mob mentatly according to the owner of the property?
    3. “as of right” it's kosher to hate muslims – acording to the owner again?

  • Lassas

    Thank you, Lisanne!, for making so much sense! Including the comment about people and humanity. :-)

  • Stacey

    Why don’t you Google Muslim American Society and Mahdi Bray?
    Read articles from The Chicago Tribune, New York Post (by Adam Brodsky). Go on the anti-defamation league’s web site and look up Muslim American Society or MAS. Youtube Mahdi Bray.
    Decide for yourself if people fighting the Mosque are Islamophobes or if the have legitimate concerns.
    Please sign the petition and forward this link to your friends:

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/nomosquessb

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Your petition is unconsititutional in its expectations. Weaken their right to practice their form of worship and you weaken everyone's right to worship freely. It's that simple. No legislative body, and no court would recognize your right to infringe upon the rights of others.

    Therefore, it is a wasted effort.

  • one of you
  • one of you

    old one, we had three 2000 in each.. Google it

    too old.

  • kelly.M

    I dont think that is fair for anyone ,whatever is his religion to refuse that another one can have right for a place where he can practice his religion.In this country, all citizen have the same right to practice their religion as long they dont bother others. It completely stupid when a man said that his kids are scared to go to P.S52 by the mosque.The kids dont believe only what we tell them .This is a big crime to teach kids discrimination and racism instead of teaching them how to accept and respect the others.This country is the country of the immigrants.The law doesnt allow any kind of discrimination on basic of the color the ethnicity,race….
    Let this people have a mosque like all the jews and the christian have churches and synagoges everywhere.

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  • maya9533

    many people are sooooo racist. theses mulism are so respectful and nice. the respect me not because im black they respect me for i am …and all of the other people who reject the mosque should be ashamed, how dare you go against some ones relgion do u know this is america( freedom, peace)

  • maya9533

    mulisms are wonderful people

  • maya9533

    how can some person go against another relgion. HELLOO people this is america….. these muslims are respectful . most people judge people on their relgion and i am the type of person that doesn't. this is america even though law are not absolute i believe muslims should have the right to build a mosque for themselve just like how jews build temples, christians build churches..and so on

  • Bea

    I hate the way the authorities just say: “because you have to live together.”
    Why did anybody ask us???? It is just shoved onto us, just get on with each other. Do you have any idea that Islam is not compatible with christian values? Or our culture? Do you know they hate everything about us? Did you know, that Islam is seeking WORLD DOMINATION? And is getting it? How can you do this to us, WE DON'T WANT TO LIVE NEXT DOOR TO THOSE THUGS, THAT BELIEVE IN A BOOK FULL OF HATRED TOWARDS US!! How could you do this to us?? Ban the Quran!

  • tina

    put the mosque in and maybe we could push out the russian whore! At least these people dont bother you

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  • cantbelieve it

    They did not include that this mosque will be built for a whopping thousand 500 people, and will be 6 stories! This is a quiet neighborhood, and it is crazy to build it near a school. There are no synagoges in Muslim cummonities, that is why there is no protest. i hope it does not get built

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    Those numbers are incorrect. The group says they plan to serve approximately 150 families. It requested 4 stories with a roof extension initially, for which it was denied. believe now they are looking to make it 4 stories sans minaret, but I don't have the info in front of me at this moment.

    Also, there are many, MANY areas in Brooklyn alone in which Muslim communities are adjacent to Jewish communities, and you do see synagogues on the borders.

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  • Larpis00

    i like smart people … but i don't like people trying to be smart (about you, tina)

  • PayPaul

    If the people(sic) who are so vehemently opposed to this mosque and the worshippers who would make it their sanctuary would think back to the times they or their forebears were ostracized and castigated for attempted to join this or other communities a change of heart would occur. Would you deny these Muslims the same rights that you or your ancestors fought for? Would you deny a Mother and her child the right to worship and follow their belief system in peace?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paypaul/4689036295/

  • nolastname

    I saw a father walking through with his young son.
    Son: “what's going on Dad”
    Dad: “I'll explain to you when you are older, it's about freedom.”

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    That is so touching. But even the youngest of children should learn about freedom. It's supposed to be the one thing that all of us in this country should be able to count on. It's a pity that so many people who have its benefits don't desire that others will also have them as well.

  • PayPaul

    What's wrong with a Minaret? It would be a far more attractive site than the garbage architecture of the many McMansions going up around here. If other houses of worship are allowed their sacred motifs why should these people be denied theirs?

    • Wanderinglioness

      You go Ned!

  • PayPaul

    What's wrong with a Minaret? It would be a far more attractive site than the garbage architecture of the many McMansions going up around here. If other houses of worship are allowed their sacred motifs why should these people be denied theirs?

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  • Lichka83

    No, of cours ethey dont bother you, they just like to kill by thousands!

  • Mikeshn

    Ken Lazar should be fired from DOB. He did a lot of bad things on Ford Street. He's corrupt.

  • Noorelislamm

    the diversity in sheepshead bay is more than imaqined, mashallah, we muslims in the community of sheepshead bay would be more than happy to have a place of worship where all muslims in the community can qo to every single day. all there is, is complains, i do not know why it is anyones business when it comes to muslims buildinq a place of worship in any borough or country. we also need riqhts in this nation. we need a place to worship as much as any faith and reliqion all over the world!!!!! and yes they are plenty of muslims in sheepshead bay, im suprised u dont see em they are all over the place. may allah help and support every religion and faith around the world and stop the hate, and seqreation amonq each other.

  • Ziondaughterd

    During the first 3-4 prayers people are usually sleeping or at work.  the number of people creating foot traffic might be maximum 10-20 people.  I think all of these “reasons” are just poor “excuses”.  

    People are afraid to be politically incorrect.  No one is going to say, “we don’t want Muslims here”. That would be racist. Instead issues associated with any building going up are blown out of proportion.  They know exactly what they are doing.

  • Berean4truth

    Muslim is Muslim…they support terrorism …it stands against anything this country stood for….it is a fine line of right to worship…I do not live there but slowly Muslims are taking over where WE will lose OUR rights