The mosque will destroy our community

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

When my wife and I learned that we were expecting a baby, we knew that we needed a home for our growing family. The search for a home was difficult. I knew little about real estate, had no idea how much my family could afford. Thankfully, my wife decided to look in Sheepshead Bay.

We fell in love with the neighborhood: quiet streets, shady trees and beaches, great shopping and delicious restaurants just blocks away. When we entered our future house, we knew that we found a home for our growing family.

Many years and two more kids later, we still have the same home: small and quirky, but warm and cozy. We never imagined moving, and certainly never expected to be pushed out. Unfortunately, the ill-conceived plan to build a huge mosque and community center just feet from our house turned our lives upside-down. For instance:

1) Our bedroom window will be facing a large structure meant to accommodate hundreds of people. According to reviews on CitySearch, the Bath Beach chapter of the same Muslim organization is said to be “busy day in and day out … parties and classes are always there.”

2) We have no driveway or garage, and expect people coming to the community center to take up every available parking spot.

3) It will be harder to drive somewhere because the street is one way in each direction.

4) There will be constant noise: amplified calls to prayer, honking cars, people coming to worship five times a day, and parties.

5) Twice a day all the activities at the community center happen at the same time as teachers and students arrive and leave a public school which is less than a block away. This leads to more noise, traffic, and less parking.

6) Finally, as my quality of life deteriorates and I can’t take it any longer, I’ll decide to move, but — surprise! — nobody will want to buy my house. Why? Because of the noise, traffic, lack of parking, crowded sidewalks, etc. Have you heard of a Catch-22? Welcome to my reality!

Am I bitter? Sure I am! This is my home we are talking about! Can you honestly say that you wouldn’t oppose this particular construction? I beg every reader to imagine themselves in my position and please answer the following question: “What would you do?” Please, be honest with yourselves!

Proponents of the mosque are trying to convince everyone that our concerns are ungrounded. Moreover, anyone opposing the project is called an “Islamophobe.” That characterization is unfair and very painful. I would oppose any type of large building, synagogue, church, mosque, or any other non-religious structure that would threaten to destroy my family’s right to quietly use and enjoy our property.

Fortunately, hundreds of Sheepshead Bay residents realize that this enormous project, on a quiet residential street, would be a tremendous nuisance for everyone, regardless of religion. As a result, we came together as Bay People. We will protect our rights and we will make sure our American dreams and our quality of life are not sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

Alex Tenenbaum is a resident of Sheepshead Bay and a member of the organization Bay People.

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Alec from South Brooklyn says:
That's a nice palatable/correct spin on things, making good use of the CB chair’s reported advice: “If you want to succeed, do not use the word mosque. Do not use the word Muslim. Request the traffic reports. Go take photos of the double parking at the other mosques during calls to prayer. ...”

But those of us who’ve followed this since the start are all too aware of the bigotry that started this ball rolling. For pete's sake, people have had NO problem emoting like mad and publicly stating (even announcing) things like
- “The various people that will be drawn to this location will not be acceptable”
- ”I don't want my kids walking past it"," "It's disgusting ... [Muslims] have no respect."
- “Your real estate will go down. You won’t be able to sell your houses. They will go for peanuts”
- “New York is not Islamabad. Do not forget 9-11!”
- “Each Muslim terrorist is tied to a mosque.”
- "It's hot today, but things are going to get a lot hotter for people in this illegal structure."
"If they build a mosque there, I'm going to bomb the mosque. I will give them a lot of trouble. They're not going to stay here alive."

Based on that - the "traffic" and quiet-residential-upset angle looks like a NIMBY dodge and tertiary issue. For those issues to be credible at all, they should have been opponents' first and sole issues all of these months -- with NO meetings/interviews and demonstrations full of anti-Muslim bigotry, hysteria and sloganeering.
July 16, 2010, 2:05 pm
Audrey from Midwood says:
Come to Midwood! We live in a family based neighborhood where your child can grow up knowing neighbors and playmates who live across the street or down the block a couple of houses.

Life's too short to fuss.
July 16, 2010, 2:07 pm
Jason L. from Ditmas Park says:
And, you being Jewish has nothing to do with your opinion?
July 16, 2010, 5:19 pm
Steve from Downtown says:
If the Imam of the mosque denounces terror and Muslim religious fanaticism, we must welcome them. Fat chance of that happening.
July 16, 2010, 6:38 pm
Eric from Flatbush says:
Steve from Downtown says: "If the Imam of the mosque denounces terror and Muslim religious fanaticism, we must welcome them. Fat chance of that happening."

Get with it, Steve! The new argument is that this is *only* about honking horns, traffic, and construction in a quiet neighborhood!
Despite what we have heard for months, it supposedly has *nothing to do* with people's attitude toward Islam, their threats and rumor-spreading, and their belief that every Muslim is a terrorist.
Someone must have tipped these guys off that the U.S. has a First Amendment, so they should find another argument.
July 17, 2010, 1:32 pm
Joe from Brooklyn says:
Alex, why would you want to live in a bigoted neighborhood, anyway? You should move.
July 18, 2010, 1:17 pm
Boro from Sheepshead BAy says:
to Mr. Alec,


that is what is going on,,

The noise thing is a cover up,,,, for their hatred and racism,

Thansk for the clarification,,
July 18, 2010, 6:15 pm
Dave from Brooklyn says:
Tot he Author, either of the article or the editor.
The title of the piece is wrong chosen, and that may create biggggggggg problem,

I think it is not fair to entitle it as destroy,,,,

Alex even did not imply of destruction,,
Is it because you guys do not know how to get the theme of an article or ,, you meant to that to be like that..

DETROY is not here in Sheepshead Bay ,,,, I think that happens over seas,,,,

For the sake of fairness and kindness, the Editor should apologize to all Muslims , it is an insult...
July 19, 2010, 3:02 pm
Alec from South Brooklyn says:
To Dave from Brooklyn: To be fair ... this newspaper also ran another opinion article, "The Mosque Is Important to Our Community." It's at
(or you can just click on those words at the end of the story above).

Again .. based on the anti-mosque crowd's public statements and behavior, they're motivated primarily by bigotry, not by worries about 'traffic.'
July 20, 2010, 11:16 am
olivia from sheepshead bay says:
To all the people making comments about bigotry and anti-muslim attitudes of the writer, why don't you put an offer on his house and live blissfully until, wait a minute, a wake-up call at 5 am everyday? Oh, you don't like that, then maybe you are a bigot as well.
Having a family and being able to enjoy living peacefully is as much part of being an American as the right to the religious freedom!
July 28, 2010, 10:57 am
RY from Grevesand, Brooklyn says:
@Jason I wonder how you know if the author is Jewish and why would you bring it up anyway? unites people of various descent and it is not about race or religion, but about quality of life next to the place of worship where people pray 5 times a day and are called to prayer 5 times a day. It is about traffic and zoning restrictions. It is about the fact that community center like this does not belong in a residential area. There is school one or two block from this plot, and people do not feel comfortable that 5 times a day grown man will be passing by to go to a prayer.
July 29, 2010, 11:54 am
Barbara Paolucci from formerly of Sheepshead Bay says:
After parishioners won their battle to stop the sale of the convent at St. Margaret Mary’s Church to MAS, Ms. Lana Safah revealed herself as the head of the MAS group seeking to make the purchase so they could put up a mosque there – now I see that she is also a leader in the Yemeni MAS group that wants to build a mosque in Sheepshead Bay. Interesting isn’t it! Is especially interesting when you view the videotapes on you tube showing their leader Madhi Bray, a jailhouse convert to Islam with quite a rap sheet, vigorously supporting terrorists. Yemen is now THE terrorist training camp that produces suicide bombers and the like.

It’s also interesting to note that just like the Midland Beach area in Staten Island few if any Muslims live in the area. Add to that the fact that Muslims have plenty of mosques in New York City and one has to ask why this location?

Always ready to build large mosques on small parcels of land for a small number of Muslims who may live in a given area, one rightfully asks what the agenda is. We know that Islam is a political ideology with the stated goal of worldwide domination under Sharia law – which does not comport with our laws – Islam cloaks itself within religion so as to gain cover for their covert activities.

Its a fact that no one can dispute: Every Muslim terrorist was mentored by an Imam and that was done inside a mosque. As one person said: who wants a potential bomb factory next door.

Muslims are being imported into America at an astounding rate. Do these people really want to be Americans? No! What they want is to hae numbers large enough so they can influence our laws, become elected officials and work in our government at jobs that let them change America dramatically to something it is not – Islam!

The people in Sheepshead Bay opposing this mosque have every right to be concerned, and not just about zoning, parking and traffic, all valid concerns.

Everyone needs to be careful when selling their property so as to avoid problems like this in the first place.
July 29, 2010, 3 pm
Stan from NYC says:
I lost friend at 9/11, my girlfriend been in subway 5 minuets away from WTC at 9/11. I can say only one thing and you can blame me: to be antI muslim, anti masque and... I don’t care ...but

July 29, 2010, 3:56 pm
Marina from Sheepsheadbay says:
I'd like to share a story. In Sept of 2008 we happened to stay in London and for a few evenings watched local Channel 4- the documentary, about a modern muzlim jornalist who attended Sunday classes for women in the biggest mosk in Regents Park and secretly taped teacher's speaches. The tapes then were broadcasted word- to- word for millions of londoners - the main ideas teach how to behave around non-muzlims: never become friends with them even if you spend most of the time with them at work,and what impresses us the most: " if your brother(sister) marries non muslim - kill him(her)!
The group of women attending Sunday classes consisted mostly of young girls. Radical islamic literature was distributed at lectures, all books printed in Saudi Arabia.
All major Londor papers discussed these broadcasts but nothing was really done to stop it because situation is hopeless in London, unfortunatly. USA is not England yet, we still can fight and protect our rights as a free nation and do not forget what our founding farthers taught us .
July 29, 2010, 5:24 pm
Cypres from Sheepshead Bay says:
You idiots, read the article again, this has nothing to do with religion. He has stated in the article that it doesn't matter whether there is a mosque, a church, a synagoge or a club being build here it's a matter of a residential property causing traffic, noise, parking problems. All these factors will diminish the quality of life of every neighbor living on this area. Whoever doesn't agree with this fact is a moron!!! Would YOU want to buy a house next to a huge commercial property that causes noise, traffic and parking problems??? No??? I didn't think so!!! Again the author is not racist or a bigot, he is simply concerned over quality of life!!! Whoever made nasty comments in his regard needs to apologize to him!!!
July 29, 2010, 5:59 pm
brian from Sh.Bay says:
Wake up, people, awake America! No mosque for enemies! The WW3 is on!Between ISLAM and other world.
Every(from 1000 mosques!!!)in USA is part of giant plan of islamization of America, as well as Gr.Britain, France, Germany, Spain, even Scandinavia.Just look around! They want to dominate this world, and you, naive and kind Americans, you believe them? Islam-is not religion, but ideology! Enough political correctness, they just washing our brains, using our laws, our democratic principals, which so far from their understanding.Say truth!Remember 9/11?It could be good lesson, but not for Blumberg and his bandits in City Hall. They approved the felony(mosque on Gr.Zero)What a Shame! Good present for heroes-shahids and for Osama ben Laden. We will pay expensive price for that in the nearest future.
NO mosque here
NO mosque at Ground Zero
No mosque elsewhere Enough is enough!
July 30, 2010, 4:38 am
brian from Sh.Bay says:
you idiot, Cypres, not us

Well done, Marina, i love you!
God bless America!Parasites-out!
In God we trust, not prophet mohammed

See you, guys, on next rally here and on Ground Zero! Support Pamela Geller!
Long live Heerd Wilders1!
July 30, 2010, 5:34 am
Rosemarie from Sheepshead Bay says:
I'm 2 blocks away and I agree
NO mosque here
NO mosque at Ground Zero
Enough is enough!
And if you don't live here then KEEP QUIET!!
We will NOT stop fighting to ban it-If you wanna help contact the Bay People-- The Brooklyn Teaparty or me
July 30, 2010, 11:17 am
Cypres from Sheepshead Bay says:
Just to clarify some things, the only people that I said were idiots are the ones that called the author a racist and a bigot and said that he hates Muslims because he is Jewish. I agree with Steve, Marina, Olivia, Rosemarie and everyone that opposes the mosque! Traffic, noise, call to prayers are all valid reasons to oppose a mosque and are not racist! This shouldn't be about religion, this should be an opposition to diminishing quality of life! Every person is entitled to fight for his quality of life regardless of his religion. So Brian before you call me a name you should read and understand what I previously wrote. Those people that said to come to Midwood don't realize that this could occur in any neighborhood. P.S. There won't be a mosque on ground zero bc of building regulations, check the news. We have to continue to oppose a mosque on Sheepshead Bay as well!
Aug. 1, 2010, 11:54 am
aBU from Brooklyn says:
to cap that.

Freedom of speech = Freedom of relgion...

eveyone needs place to practice regardless.
We all Americans, and we live in this great nation. It is an obligation to protect it as part of it.
Aug. 10, 2010, 3:26 pm
Klod from From around the corner says:
When someone, so much unwelcome, forces him/herself into your home, what kind of understanding, respect and tolerance that person can expect?
People, who want to build this Mosque, come to your senses, you're not welcome here! End of story.
Call it Islamophobia, politically incorrect or something else, that does not change anything. These are just words, which are utilized as an excuse to force yourself into someone's unwelcome home.
Build your Mosque where you're welcome!
Sept. 25, 2010, 8:21 am
Roy from sheppshead bay says:
residential area should not have a mosque where accumulation of prayees will create constant traffic issues, look at whats happening near muslim center in Bensonhurst! lots of cars double parked all day around because thare is NO parking, lots of people hanging around there till late night, noisy and filthy... and they want to do it two blocks away from the elementary school WHERE TWICE A DAY 8AM AND 3PM parents picking up their children are desperate to find parking . ultimately it is a safety issue , safety of OUR children! It is the issue of OUR quality of life and level of noise in a residential area! Besides, I know for a fact, Muslims dont live in the close proximity, they want to build a mosque because they want to MOVE INTO the neighborhood. They want to replace people who've lived there for years by pushing them out of the neighborhood. NO to a mosque on Voorhis ave!
Sept. 26, 2010, 8:38 pm
Alex from Sheepshead bay says:
Today there was a meeting against the Mosque. There was a group of Muslims women and teenagers girls protesting our meeting. They were supported by Americans with signs:"Muslims are welcome here". Muslim girls were screaming to prevent us from talking. When at the end we were playing "God Bless America", they started screaming even louder. There were a lot of Russians on the meeting. Muslims were screaming to Russians:"Go Home!". When a Cathlic American guy started talking, Muslim started screaming "Go home" to him as well. Look who is talking! One of the women said about the screaming girls:"Look who they are welcoming to the Sheepshead Bay".
Sept. 26, 2010, 9:55 pm
mo from dubai says:
ban this mosque. don't let them destroy your community like a mosque did ours. the noise is really bad and so is the disturbance from them forcibly and harshly waking people early in the morning. also mosques draw closet homos and psychos - which is what these muslims are - in the area. do not let these inhumans win.

dubai is in an islamic country but i have seen how an increase in the number of mosques led to an increase in overall madness. this city has a very high rate of untreated psychosis.

keep us posted.
Feb. 3, 2011, 8:11 am
mo from dubai says:
let me tell you these are very bad and hate filled people as the spite of the girls has proved. its a very dangerous human and animals rights abusing cult not religion. the people who belong to this cult are not innocent as they are pro evil. these muslims are not like normal people. they are full of jealousy and hatred. this cult allows women to be beaten up without leaving evidence. women are expected to obey their husbands every sexual command in this cult.

abuse of animals

abuse of women
Feb. 3, 2011, 8:21 am
Faisal Hosein from Bushwick says:
I get it, I wouldn't want to live anywhere close to a mosque that amplified the call to prayer. When they built this mosque they should have sought to have parking zone regulations (eg. visitors to mosque can not park in a 5 block radius, or whatever they need to do).
Point is, if they were gonna build this thing, no one put any thought to the repercussions of the structure and planned ahead.
This shouldn't be a problem, but is, and should be brought to the attention of the deed holder or whoever is in charge.
I was born here in 1975, in the Bronx NY, I currently live in Brooklyn. You pansies point fingers and play the blame game, are you from NYC??? Do something that will positively resolve it by taking it to the source. If that doesn't work, take it to the city, start a petition, whatever. Don't sit here and write articles trying to have a pity party and then have "some" idiots write some —— like, "NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS BUT ALL TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIMS." or "Whatever the hell Barbara Paolucci wrote", I will break my fast today, may god forgive me, by saying —— both of you guys!!!
Alex, get a petition going brother, if it bothers you that bad (as it would me), just take action instead of what ever this is....
June 29, 2014, 5:48 am
Faisal Hosein from Bushick says:
Oh, and MO from Dubai.......MOVE YOU MORON!!!! you go to some crazy Muslim state to complain??? Of course their flowing of Islam is tainted by their cultural and learned stupidity!!! None of that stuff I learned growing up, where the hell do you folks get your education on Islam??? Please sort your —— before posting man. and Mo, really.....MOVE!
June 29, 2014, 5:58 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: