Site of the proposed Sheepshead Bay mosque

After Brooklyn Tea Party activists failed to get a response from Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz regarding the Sheepshead Bay mosque – primarily because it’s not in his district – the group fired off another open letter. This time their target is Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, who represents the blocks around the proposed mosque site.

Much of the letter’s contents remain the same, though its tone is notably more aggressive. The author, Brooklyn Tea Party President John K. Press, points out the assemblywoman’s absence at the June 12 rally, and tries to head off a presumed response to “deny jurisdiction.”

There are a few new tactics recommended in this latest letter, too. The Tea Party is urging Assemblywoman Weinstein to publicize the “need to know about the foreign funding” so they can assure compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a 1938 statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals to disclose the relationship. They’re also asking the local pol to put pressure on Community Board 15 (which has no say unless there is a request for variance or special permit), and to seek government relief by pursuing eminent domain on the property.

Here’s the full letter from the Brooklyn Tea Party to Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein:

From: John K. Press, Ph.D.

President of the Brooklyn Tea Party

[email protected]

To: Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein

Re: Proposed Voorhies Mosque, Brooklyn, NY

While we saw neither you nor your representatives when approximately 300 of your district’s residents gathered to protest the proposed building of a mosque at 2812 Voorhies Avenue, you have undoubtedly heard of the controversy.[i] Along with this enormous project destroying the residential nature of this community and making families flee,[ii] the residents of your district also have extraordinary concerns.[iii]

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the developer of this Mosque, the Muslim American Society (MAS), “has a troubling history of associations with radical organizations and individuals that promote terrorism, anti-Semitism and reject Israel’s right to exist.” Furthermore, “MAS-affiliated Web sites have featured articles advocating jihad and suicide martyrdom.” And the ADL has stated that MAS is, “the leading American Muslim organization organizing anti-Israel activity in the U.S.”[iv] A major officer in the MAS called the Jews, “the primary historical and religious example of those who “take the wrong path.”[v]

Our Community Board makes recommendations to The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA). The BSA’s Chair, Meenakshi Srinivasan, has promised to render, “decisions that respect the character and context of neighborhoods.”[vi] A large proportion of the residents on Voorhies Avenue are Jewish. Having an organization that preaches hate against Jews move into the neighborhood would greatly disrupt the neighborhood character and quality of life for the current residents. Please try to persuade our Community Board to recommend that the BSA lives up to their Chair’s words.

Recently the Staten Island Roman Catholic Church’s board, which includes Archbishop Timothy Dolan, decided not to sell property the MAS wanted to turn into a mosque for the same reasons we are asking you to stop this development. They did this after looking over the very same information about the MAS that I have attached to this letter.[vii] And, echoing that which Ms. Srinivasan sees as her mandate, Rev. Keith Fennessy, said the sale “would not serve the needs of the parish.” Please, as the Catholic hierarchy did, take the attached information and needs of your community seriously.[viii]

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s staffer claimed that he doesn’t consider the residents five blocks outside of his district’s boundaries “his community.” The staffer said Cymbrowitz is not dedicated to “what’s happening in other places.”[ix] And while you cannot disavow a connection to the community, you may deny jurisdiction. But, when the MTA tried to enact unfavorable changes to the B train, you wisely convened elected officials to demand research into alternatives before deciding on a plan. You did so because, even though you knew you had no official authority, you knew you had great influence.[x] We implore you to continue to speak to issues that matter deeply to those you represent, without excuses.

We request that you also step into this process in any way you can in order to slow down the permit granting process. Perhaps you can publicize that you need to know about the foreign funding, so that we can make sure the developers are complying with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.[xi] Perhaps you can stall by looking into Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s suggestion to stop the Ground Zero mega-mosque via eminent domain. You could attempt to get our Community Board to express your community’s concerns to the BSA.

Any tactic publically taken will allow you time to review the literature on the MAS. And, if the concerns about the MAS prove baseless, and all of the residents’ concerns about traffic, parking, and noise get addressed, we can then fully embrace our new neighbor without apprehension.

We have attached hard-copy documentation to this petition. In addition here are just two samples of internet documentation that cause many of our members to be concerned about the MAS; We can offer you many others on request:

Please do not shirk your responsibility to listen to, and act upon, the concerns of your community. Failure to address both the issues at hand and the people who have elected you will cause us to doubt that we do, indeed, have responsive and effective representation.

This Letter represents an official position of the Brooklyn Tea Party, and we can assure you that it conveys the sentiments of many people in your district.

Thank you,

John K. Press, Ph.D.

President – The Brooklyn Tea Party












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  • levp

    From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access
    [Laws in effect as of January 3, 2007]
    [CITE: 22USC613] [Page 247-248]


    Sec. 613. Exemptions

    (e) Religious, scholastic, or scientific pursuits

    Any person engaging or agreeing to engage only in activities in
    furtherance of bona fide religious, scholastic, academic, or scientific
    pursuits or of the fine arts;


    So, yet another Tea Party FAIL…

  • levp

    Also, isn't it ironic that the Tea Party is asking “The Big Government” for relief, including, of all things, the use of eminent domain!

  • Nik

    Lets get pragmatic,
    This is a Mosque in the middle of a jewish neighborhood full of Jews!
    If you want conflict build the Mosque, If you want harmony don't!
    politicians who block the Mosque want harmony
    politicians who will not block the Mosque want conflict to feed off the controversy and they don't care about the Jews

  • Lisanne!

    The original Tea Party participants are spinning in their graves over the misuse of that name. They spit on the principles which our country was founded on.

  • Lisanne!

    On what grounds does the government have the authority to exercise eminent domain? There has to be an need expressed for the use of the land for a specific purpose, which supersedes in importance precious use.

    The writers of this document are amateurs.

  • levp

    So where in Sheepshead Bay (or nearby areas) should they build it? Following your logic, somewhere where there are no Jews. Would mind pointing such a place?

  • Lisanne!

    Obviously, they want the mosque about two miles south of Voorhies Avenue.

  • Rus

    Lisanne, I think it is really simple. Let the assemblywoman contact federal Agencies with these documents, get the answers about this organization and the end of the story. After 9/11 many people are simply afraid. If nothing to worry, let her tell people about in on the record. That is how I understand this letter personally. I may be wrong. I did not find anything against Freedom of Religion in this letter. People worry – they want to know. I really do not understand why she can not provide people with the true answer about this organization. I pray for everything in these links to be the false. We do not need any hatred anywhere!
    Just talk to people… they are elected politicians!

  • Rus

    levp, as far as I understand, the Tea Party is a movement, not the Real Party, like Democratic or Republican. If you go to protest against “BIG GOVERNMENT”, you are automatically become a member of Tea Party 🙂
    So, I would not use the term “Tea Party”. This is a “Brooklyn Tea Party” 🙂

  • Lisanne!

    We did this sort of thing before in this country, during the 1950s. This is a witch hunt, those who want to find evidence will, no matter how circumstantial that evidence is. All this is being done to intimidate members of a religious belief system.

    That is called religious persecution in this country.

  • Lisanne!

    So finding ways to circumvent the First Amendment is an application of reducing the size of government>

  • Rus

    Lisanne, I perfectly understand. But we had 9/11, Fort Hood, Times Square. People are afraid… This is the different situation. All these materials in open sources, so everybody read. I would prefer to take these publications in court. The freedom of speech and the freedom of LIE – is not the same!

  • Lisanne!

    We have a lot of agencies whose job it is to investigate possible threats to out safety. Were the MAS a threat to our national security, directly or indirectly, the matter would be dealt with. To the best of my knowledge no relationship has been found between MAS and terrorist groups that is a cause for concern.

    It is the lack of awareness of Islamic belief, and of the differences between various sects within it that causes some to believe that there has to be a connection between Islamic organizations and terrorist groups. But to waste resources on an investigation is absurd. This will not satisfy many people who WANT to believe the worst about a group of people. History bears that out.

  • Rus

    Fine. Let assemblywoman to tell that on the record, so people will stop to worry. What's a problem?
    Why we allow the publications like Chicago Tribune, Washington Times, Investigative projects, ADL to lie to the people and make them scary?
    I do not blame anybody except our politicians. They have to speak up and get involved with these kind of conflicts and misunderstandings!
    I perfectly understand, that earmarks distribution is easier and more secure, but sometimes they have to get involved in real problems. I do not blame people who are scare after 9/11, I do not blame all the muslim people for that, I perfectly understand they need the place for worship ! I just do not agree with politicians, they should get everybody together and make a peace between everybody. When they try to hide and afraid to speak up 0 that was really scary… Do you agree with me?

  • levp

    Lets see if I can provide an illustration to the absurdity of the “open letter” above:

    From: Levp
    To: Assemblymember H. Weinstein

    It has come to my attention that a resident of your district, known as “Rus”, is a foreign agent who has failed to register as such as per 22 USC 613.
    He is conspiring with another agent, known as “Nik”, to change our way of life by destroying First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
    Their activities include, in part, posting notes on weblog entitled “Sheepshead Bites”. I am attaching a hard copy of two of those notes, and I can provide many more upon request.

    I urge you to state your position publicly on this issue. You must condemn these subversive activities and please request that Democratic Gov. Paterson use eminent domain to take any property that is used in conducting these activities.

    This is my official position, and I am sure that it is shared by many people in your district.

    Thank you,

    So what do you think? IMHO, sounds just as good as the original above. I just need a few footnotes that make little sense, and your life will be turned upside down.

  • levp

    When I was a schoolchild in the Soviet Union, we were “automatically” enrolled in the Society for Protection of Architectural Landmarks, Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Air Force and Navy, etc.
    Thankfully, the “enrollment” consisted mainly of collecting dues…
    Is it the same with Tea Party???

    • Rus

      I do not think so 🙂 I came across the “Tea Party” in many publications. I would say each media is talking about this movement. ANTI (MSNBC and others ) or PRO ( Fox News … ). Never heard a word about the ” the “enrollment” consisted mainly of collecting dues…”. I still try to figure out what is this? Good or bad? Who knows?

      I am for the BALANCE. I do not like many republican politicians, I do not like many dems. I like Ronald Reagan, I like Bill Clinton.

      I think the key word is “BALANCE” ! To right or too left – this is a problem.

      My thoughts only . Please advice. Your opinion?

  • Rus

    Dear levp, you are absolutely right!!! You chast provide me with the great lesson!!! And probably you are right about the “Tea Party”. Sorry and thanks again. When I read the press like NY Post, when i did look thru the materials provided by Tea Party in their letter, I probably got crazy. Scary, I did not used to it. I just work hard, have so many friends without even thinking about the their race, religion or nationality. Even after 9/11 we did not see so much islamophobia as we see now. Which is not good. I always divided people as :
    1. Good people ( unless somebody will be charged “guilty” by the law)
    2. Criminals
    This is it. Last two years – everything changed. Nobody protested against the mosques (take Brighton Beach – Mosque right near the Synagogue and no problems), i never heard about tea party, black panetrs…
    I can see, levp, that you are really educated person. Seriously, there is no anything behind my mind. can you please explain what is going on? I am totally confused.

  • Bugg

    Sorry, you are very wrong.

    The MAS group is in fact a offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Andrew McCarthy, the federal prosecutor who tried and convicted Abdul Rahman and his cohorts in the 1993 WTC bombings has a book out right now documenting how the MAS, CAIR and various other organizations are all under the Muslim Brotherhood.They provide funding and support for terrorists. Now you may not like that, you may like to think these people are just like every other American. Ansd many Muslims probably want nothing more than to live their lives in peace and be left alone. Yet all these groups are working toward “dawa”-slow, incremental progress toward a sharia America log-term. McCarthy researched this for his job with the US Attorney's Office and now as a private citizen. The book is called “The Grand Jihad”.

    Again, I ask-who funded this? And also as you call Americans racists and worse, who will pay the homeowners in the area who are about to see their nest egg home value plummet in the name of PC diversity coupled with doubleparked cars 24/7? If you move onto a block with a house of worhsip you know that going in. But to allow this or any such church or temple means it can happen to anyone.

  • truth

    How about Saudi Arabia, where they don't allow churches or synagogues.

  • truth

    You are kidding right. Or maybe delusional. If they are spinning in their graves it's because of what the mindless sheep of this country are turning it into.

  • levp

    OK, lets try this again (I work in tech support, so I'm used to this). This was my question: “So where in Sheepshead Bay (or nearby areas) should they build it?”.

    By “Sheepshead Bay” I mean the one in Brooklyn, NY, United States of America.

  • Lisanne!

    A democracy based on the Lockian principles that inspired the revolution against Britain?

    The idea that the rights of the minority would be protected against the whims of the majority is basic to American political philosophy. But its took almost 200 years before those principles became more universally practiced.

  • levp

    I think believing everything you read in Washington Times is the definition of “mindless sheep”…

  • Rus

    You wrote: “OK, lets try this again (I work in tech support, so I'm used to this)”.
    Humor – Odessa 5+, BTW , Kiev is not far from Odessa

  • abu


  • Netserv47

    I think a solution is simple. Every religious building in Brooklyn, no exceptions, gets a full-time traffic agent posted, along with a couple of tow trucks. Every illegaly parked car gets ticketed and towed immediately. It's going to save save all of us any potential traffic problems and bring money in the city budget.

    BTW, what about orthodox jewish congregations that preach against Israel and meet with Ahmadenejad? Aren't they in a way supporters of international terrorism? We should close those temples too.

  • ABU

    I am with the first part of your comment,, and strongly disagree with the your comment second part>>>

  • Chicken Underwear

    Look at the kids coming out of PS 52 at 3pm and tell me there are no Muslims in Sheepsheard Bay.


    Sheepshead Bay is a neighborhood full of Muslims too!

  • Lisanne!

    Yes indeed. And they have been here for some time. They are quiet people that live quiet lives. They work hard, respect the law and merely wish to worship in a location close to their homes.

    Why is this asking too much?

  • levp


    Statement on Cordoba House Controversy
    July 30, 2010

    Today, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement:

    The principle at stake in the Cordoba House controversy goes to the heart of American democracy and the value we place on freedom of religion. Should one religious group in this country be treated differently than another? We believe the answer is no.

    As Mayor Bloomberg has said, proposing a church or a synagogue for that site would raise no questions. The Muslim community has an equal right to build a community center wherever it is legal to do so. We would hope the American Jewish community would be at the forefront of standing up for the freedom and equality of a religious minority looking to exercise its legal rights in the United States, rather than casting aspersions on its funders and giving in to the fear-mongerers and pandering politicians urging it to relocate.

    What better ammunition to feed the Osama Bin Laden's of the world and their claim of anti-Muslim bias in the United States as they seek to whip up global jihad than to hold this proposal for a Muslim religious center to a different and tougher standard than other religious institutions would be.

    J Street is the political home of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.

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  • Anonymous

    How to prevent a mosque from being built ? Just bury porl pieces in

    the ground.



    In France








    (not the effective way)

    In Italy, an MP from the Lega Nord walks a piglet on a field where a

    mosque is to be



    unbearable Islamophobes have urinated on a Kuran or even burnt