Source: Ben Akselrod for Assembly

Reader and Bay People member Victor Benari e-mailed us last week, attaching a quote from Ben Akselrod, who is facing off against Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz in the Democratic primary next month.

The quote, originally published in the Russian newspaper The Reporter, refers to the so-called “Ground Zero” Islamic Center, as well as the proposed mosque at 2812 Voorhies Avenue. It was translated as follows:

I do not believe that most representatives and officials from the state and the city approve of the construction of a mosque at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack and in this neighborhood in Sheephead Bay where Muslims certainly don’t live. These representatives are quiet and vote “yes” because it is politically correct. They lie to themselves and their constituents. I’m not a xenophobe; I’m not against mosques, churches and synagogues. But if one mosque – an insult to the memory of victims, the other – a challenge to the community living in this area, so I would like to sort things out, who is behind this, and where does the financing come from for this provocative demonstration. And I would request an investigation as to how the city officials gave permission for the construction of such a large-scale structure on the narrow Voorhies Ave and which officials have signed-off on this.

There are so many things that I simply cannot tolerate as a citizen, but I see that my representatives and the representatives of people like me circumvent this issue-no matter what the outcome as long as they don’t hurt themselves.

The quote confirms what Sheepshead Bites speculated back in May, when Akselrod announced his campaign, when the candidate made thinly-veiled references to the mosque construction in an attack against Cymbrowitz.

“Nobody should be defending illegal construction in your backyard because of political correctness,” Akselrod said.

The quote appeared to be in reference to the Sheepshead Bay mosque being built at 2812 Voorhies Avenue. Opponents of the mosque frequently mix arguably legitimate complaints about building violations and zoning with racist, anti-Muslim rhetoric– and the main opposition group, Bay People, along with the Brooklyn Tea Party, has slammed Cymbrowitz in the past for not speaking out against the mosque’s development. Akselrod appears to be doing no different here, conflating concerns about over-development with fear-mongering speculation about the mosque’s financing.

Akselrod elaborated on his concerns regarding the mosque’s backers to Brooklyn Daily.

“The Muslim American Society — the organization behind this mosque — originate from the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that was outlawed in the U.S.,” said Akselrod, alleging the mosque backers have terrorist roots.

However, the Muslim Brotherhood has not been “outlawed” in the U.S., and the government even recognizes some of its more radical chapters. The group is not considered a foreign terrorist organization by the United States and has renounced violence – though is sympathetic to violent anti-Israel groups such as Hamas.

The mosque is not in Cymbrowitz’s district, the district that Akselrod is running for.

In related news, Askelrod led a march against hate on the Brighton Beach boardwalk this weekend, in the wake of the anti-Semitic vandalism at Holocaust Memorial Park.

 

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  • Moshe

    Ben Akselrod is a blessing.
    Let’s vote Cybrowitz out !!!
    1,500 people a day and no parking.

  • Guest

    “In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.”

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

       Yes, but only after extreme damage is done.

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

    So is Akselrod concerned with other circumstances where “illegal” construction is occurring? He should show some consistency.

    • Alex

      Akselrod took a stand, what has Cybrowitz done?  

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

        So he should take a stand on more blatant violations of the building code.

        The issue of the mosque is one of xenphobia. It’s quite obviously so when he also mentions the project at 47 Park Place, which, like the Voorhies Avenue mosque, is not in the district he is running for office in.

        • Alex

          Andrew from Sheepshaed bay made a nice comment to share. 

          If you live in Brooklyn, I would like to ask you a question. Did you worry on September 11, 2001? Why? It happened far away from Brooklyn.Do you care about garbage transfer station in Bensonhurst, if you live at Coney Island?Do you care about events two blocks away from you?Do you really think people at Sheepshead Bay care only about their own block?If Cymbrowitz strongly supports this huge construction on a quiet residential street, he needs to say it loud and clear.
          1500 people a day with no parking. 

          As long as it’s not in my back yard, its OK. Akselrod expressed his position. Now it is time for his opponent to stop hiding behind district lines argument. 

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

            I don’t play into xenophobic attempts to separate everyone into two groups.

            This country was founded on the premise that each person has the right to worship freely, without interference from government, or from other citizens. As a secular state our civil law takes precedence over religious practice and belief. No member of a religion can impose religious law on another which violates civil law. So the existence of a mosque represents no danger. |

            As for the nonsense that there will be 1500 worshipers using the mosque the building as constructed simply could not accommodate that number.

            So lets be clear here, its not about parking. It’s about tolerance, and the lack of it that some people have shown towards members of certain groups..

  • Beginablarp

    I wish someone would address the fate of all the stalled, hideous, half built, littered building developments in the neighborhood instead of all this fearmongering and BS about a building with a plan and a purpose for members of the community who obviously DO live here.

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

    Oh lord, here we go again with the facts…

  • Old Sheepshead Hand

    Ahhh yes good old fashioned hate-mongering – and hate-mongering in the best way: the uninformed kind.

    You know just today it was revealed that the leader of the Anti-Semite party in Hungary turns out to have been Jewish all along. $5 to anyone who can discover an Islamic background in this guy’s ancestry. FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS.

    “Insult to the victims”? This campaign – and politics in general – is an insult to human decency.

  • Tinman

    Askelrod’s skewed facts are just a scare tactic that anyone who knows the real facts should ignore.

    • Alex

      Please share the real facts.

  • ShadowLock

    Ahem, People trying to stop the mosque from being built…… know this… Muslim people (like our president) won’t have a place to say prayers!

    Let that marinate a bit. :)

    • Ewinn1551

      no lock on reality apparently

  • nolastname

    What an ass. “Sheepshead Bay where Muslims certainly don’t live”….Has Ben walked around Sheepshead Bay lately? Yo’ Axel they ain’t swimming with the fishies on Emmons Ave. if that’s where you are looking. Muslims are in our schools, libraries, supermarkets and in case you have not noticed quite a few in the medical profession…to name a few places. Soon to be praying in their Mosque.
    So go the way of kicking and screaming and leave it alone. Find something important to squabble about. Or better yet don’t fight just make promises.

  • Bugg

    Simply where is the money coming from to pay for this project? 

    The MAS was in fact implicated in numerous instances of terrorism, including the 1993 WTC attack and the Holy land case,  and has affiliations with Al Qaeda. This was all documented in the book “The Grand Jihad” by Andrew McCarthy. mr. McCarthy is not a drooling loon, but the federal prosecutor who tried the Blind Sheik for the  1993 attack. The MAS and other groups including the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt are now demanding the Blind Sheik be released. 

    These facts may inconvenient but they are true.We are allowed to a ask questions.If you want to cry ‘RACIST!” in lieu of facts and arguments, sorry, that will not suffice. 

  • Nyckat

    Akselrod- practice what your “preaching”. How can YOU lead a march against hate when you are filled with such hatred for a group of people yourself?! Should I assume that ALL buildings owned by Jewish people are supported by Syrian “terrorists”? See how stupid that really sounds, well YOU are doing the same thing!!

  • Anonymous

    I have a better idea. How about we demolish all the churches/mosques/synagogues?

    • KB

      Or at least make them pay taxes like all of the other property owners.

    • Tinman

      Then we’d resemble Germany in the 1930s! Not a bright idea.

    • Andrew

      You need to move to North Korea ASAP. They don’t have any religion there, besides communism.

    • Andrew

      You need to move to North Korea ASAP. They don’t have any religion besides communism.

  • The Facts

    Meet the lawyer of the Mosque

  • Citizen

    It is easy to call everyone who is concern about quality of life, value of properties, a rasist. Much easier than understand. I would like to ask all mosque supporters, would you like to see it next to your house? Just answer and after we can talk.

    • doobieman

      Has anyone noticed the heavy traffic already on Voorhies, Imagine  how many blocks would have to  be closed?

    • levp

      I live 1000 feet away.  Not close enough?

    • Crawford

      I would have no problem with a mosque near my house. Directly next to my house, probably not, but I also wouldn’t want a church, pizza parlor or a variety of other uses next to my house. That doesn’t mean I want to block pizza parlors or religious buildings from being built.

  • theguywhocare

     Most of politicians do not care about quality of life, it is much easier to call people who are worried about their own houses anti-Muslim. I would like to see how any person will react on such construction next to his/her house. So, stop being blind. And sure, it is out of Cymbrowitz district, but everything that generates donations -in his.

  • SICKOFLIBERALMORONS

    YOU LIBERAL FOOLS, GIVE AWAY THE NEIGHBORHOOD IF YOU WANT, LIBERAL JEWS–THESE PEOPLE HATE YOU, THEY UNLIKE YOU WILL NOT BE POLITICALLY CORRECT.  I PERSONALLY CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR PRECIOUS SHEEPSHEAD BAY WHEN THE MOSQUE IS BUILT.  YOU ARE SO BLIND BY POLITICAL CORRECTNESS THAT THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL LEARN IS THROUGH A PAINFUL LESSON WHEN YOUR HOMES ARE WORTH NOTHING AND A MUSLIM FAMILY WHO DOESNT TRY TO BE AMERICAN IN ANY WAY TELLS YOU TO KEEP THE NOISE DOWN BECAUSE YOU ARE DISTURBING THEIR CALL TO PRAYER, MAYBE YOU WILL FINALLY SEE HOW STUPID YOU REALLY ARE.  “THE MOSQUE HAS A PURPOSE” YOU ARE FOOLS.  ENJOY YOUR NEW NEIGHBORS. I KNOW, I KNOW IM JUST A RACIST MORON BLAH BLAH BLAH, YOU WONT DARE CALL THE MUSLIMS ANYTHING OTHER THAN HOLY.  AND STOP LUMPING ALL THE RELIGIONS TOGETHER, JEWS AND CHRISTIANS DONT CALL FOR DESTRUCTION OF ANYONE.

    • Anonymous

      No the Muslims aren’t holy, they’re just as dumb and superstitious as the Jews and Christians. Either let them have their little playpen they call a mosque, or get rid of yours. Fair is fair.

      CAPS IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL

      • sickofliberalmorons

         caps happened to be on, i was so pissed reading the comments that i had not noticed.  as with most atheists you cant help but joke, playpen my ass, you would love to get rid of any religious symbols except of course your own atheist so called “non religion”, all religions are not the same and no they should not have their playpen.  If you knew anything about history, especially muslim history you would know that the mosques that are popping up all over are how they mark their territory, signs of dominance and power.  Again, once they mark Sheepshead bay you will see the Russians you love to hate move out and you will be left with shit for house value, and a neighborhood you will not recognize.  Sadly, nothing will make people like you wake up. 

        • Anonymous

          Of course I’d love to rid of these superstitious fairy tales and PLEASE enlighten me about all these atheist symbols. All the opposition to letting these kids have their sandbox is coming from religious people who don’t want to see those brown terrorists move in next door. As for history Islam isn’t the only religion to be spread by the word, plenty of crusades inquisitions, witch burnings, slavery, all in the name of god on the judeo-christian part. All 3 big religions are savage. I guess you’re right about religions being different, some have multiple sky daddies.

          Im Russian by the way, and ironically a guy who believes in talking snakes and bushes is telling me to wake up.

          Stop being intolerant and let Muhammad build what he wants on his side of the sandbox.

    • No911Repeat

      FINALLY! Someone telling it like it REALLY is, whether you want to hear it or not.

      But hear it you will.

      SOLM is spot on: They’re mocking your liberalism – so much so, in fact, they’re doubling over with laughter so hard it could be mistaken for the prayer position.

      THEY ARE COUNTING ON YOUR RIDICULOUS, GUILT RIDDEN/DRIVEN ATTITUDE TO CONTINUE JUST THE WAY IT HAS…FOR THE PAST 11 YEARS! Why not simply take a more direct approach… & hold fundraisers to arm them?!? Why not?!? You may as well already!

      I have to wonder…I mean, I’m completely incredulous…as to WHAT IT’S GOING TO TAKE FOR ALL OF YOU TO WAKE THE @#%* UP?!? Really…what?!?

      Sadly, I think we all know the answer to that…BUT YOU STILL DON’T GET IT!!!

      Thank you, SOLM – FOR SPEAKING THE UNDISPUTED TRUTH!!!

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

       Cap lock got stuck?

  • KB

    Much ado about nothing. I used to live in Astoria before moving to Sheepshead Bay. In the past 10-15 years there has been a significant increase in the Muslim/Arabic population there. It has had absolutely no negative impact on the neighborhood. Property values did not decrease and the neighborhood did not slip into squalor. It didn’t become excessively noisy or crowded. There have been no safety issues. About the only difference you really saw was an increase in the number of Moroccan and Egyptian restaurants and hookah bars and Sheepshead seems to have plenty of those already. 

    • Alex

      You own or rent? A renter can move in and out of neighborhoods fast. Home owners can’t. The property value already dropped around this Mosque.

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

        Property values are dropping everywhere. Must be the mosques that are going up on every corner in the country.

  • theguywhocare
    • levp

      Thanks, but no thanks…

  • theguywhocare

    Another politician questions the Muslim Brotherhood mega-mosque going up on a quiet street in Sheepshead Bay
    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2012/08/another-politician-questions-the-muslim-brotherhood-mega-mosque-going-up-on-a-quiet-street-in-sheeps.html

  • Alex

    I just urge you all to take a look what the mosque (Turkish center) is doing to a neighborhood at Brighton 3rd Street! Excessive noise at 2am(!), assholes parking on a sidewalks and handicapped access ramps, under no standing signs. It has truly became a nightmare for our little quiet neighborhood. After a gazillion calls to 311, talking to local cops, NOTHING is being done. Neighbors are thinking of taking this a level higher now…

    • theguywhocare

      Thats not new. Those things that you mention Alex will be also in Mosque on Voorhies Ave.

    • theguywhocare

      My Dear Alex! At this point nobody and nothing will help your neighborhood at Brighton 3rd street even if you take to higher level. Maybe only God.The next neighborhood that will go down when Mosque will be build is on Voorhies ave, thanks to all stupid liberal and politicians.

      http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad

      • Anonymous

        You seem to have a hard-on for some random blog and treat what it says like law. The writer is part of a hate group, worships Ayn Rand (who is an atheist) and apparently made a fuss about obama’s birth certificate. She’s just some crazy jew who really really doesn’t like muslims.

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  • ANTHONY

    SORRY    DOES HE  KNOW  WHAT ILLEGAL MEANS !??  INTERESTING   DOB APPROVED  IT THE CITY HE IS RUNNING  TO WORK AT!? AND COURT REJECTED THE CLAIM AND BSA DENIED THE  CLAIM AGAINST IT  AND  HE IS  NOT AWARE OF WORDS HE IS USING!??
    I HOPE  HE  WILL REPRESENT ALL OR  HE  WILL EXCLUDE MUSLIM AMERICANS

    NICE POLITICIAN   TOMORROW  HE  WILL EXCLUDE OTHERS  OF  COURSE  COME ON  GIVE ME  A BREAK 

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