Mosque moves forward despite ‘terrorism’

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A state judge ruled that the construction of a controversial mosque in Sheepshead Bay can move forward shortly after a lawyer for the developer hinted that opponents of the plan are terrorists — citing inflammatory graffiti cheering the death of Osama bin Laden at the mosque site.

On Tuesday, Judge Mark Partnow dismissed a lawsuit filed by the anti-mosque organization Bay People and neighbors of the as-of-right project on Voorhies Avenue between E. 28th and E. 29th streets, ruling that the mosque wouldn’t adversely effect the neighborhood.

The ruling came shortly after the lawyer for mosque builder Ahmed Allowey accused opponents of the plan of acting like racist terrorists.

“This is entirely motivated by racism,” said attorney Lamis Deek. “[The Bay People] has forced my client to expend his resources for no good cause and terrorize people with the vitriolic rallies that they hold.”

She added that the anti-mosque group would never have complained if a church or synagogue was being constructed.

“[They] claim that the mosque will be a nuisance and will be out of character with the neighborho­od,” she said. “They’ve held rallies, protests and filed repeated complaints with the city, but have never done anything like this to a nearby church that doesn’t have any on site parking or a nearby synagogue that’s twice the size of the mosque.”

The Bay People do have a reputation of holding protests laced with anti-Muslim sentiment. Some protestors have even claimed that the Muslim American Society — which will take over the operation of the community center once it’s built — has ties to terrorism, although no direct evidence connecting the two has ever surfaced.

On top of that, the decision comes on the heels of a vandal spray painting a “happy face” and the words “He is dead” on the fence surrounding the mosque site in an apparent attempt to taunt mosque supporters over the death of bin Laden.

The graffiti was discovered on May 5, four days after bin Laden’s killing by Navy Seals.

But a lawyer for the Bay People claimed the group is not anti-Muslim.

“We do not have a problem with the fact that this is a mosque,” attorney Albery Butzel said, pointing out that the mosque would have no on-site parking. “This is a residential neighborhood and the mosque has been plunked down in the center. Problems with street parking will be extreme.”

During the half-hour hearing, Partnow hammered Butzel over the parking issue, demanding to know what evidence the attorney had proving that most congregates would drive there.

Butzel provided a list of potential worshippers, claiming that most of the people on the list lived “more than a half-mile away” from the mosque.

“My clients live there and they say that there are not a lot of Muslims in a four to five block area,” Butzel said. “It’s a mixed area, but there are not a lot of Muslim families around.”

But Deek claimed that the Bay People were blind to their surroundings.

“[The Bay People] simply refuse to acknowledge the existence of Muslims in their community,” she said. “More than 90 people who will be coming to the mosque live within 10 blocks of it.”

After the ruling, opponents lashed out against decision and accused Deek of “playing the race card.”

“This is very painful for us,” said one opponent, who only identified herself as Tatiyana. “We are being hurt by this mosque and all [Deek] did was play on the judge’s emotions and make false accusations that she couldn’t prove. Anyone with common sense would see that this mosque is going to affect the welfare of people living on Voorhies Avenue.”

Allowey celebrated Partnow’s decision.

“We knew that the justice system was not going to fail us,” he said. “We’re going to continue with the construction and continue to be good neighbors.”

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
Islam is not a race, dumbass
May 11, 2011, 8:56 am
Richard Grayson from Williamsburg says:
If the opposition to this mosque was legitimately based purely on logistical concerns like parking, there would be no need for the opponents ever to comment on religion, much less resort to the sickeningly bigoted comments attributed to them.
May 11, 2011, 9:53 am
Osito from Sheepshead Bay says:
Justice prevails. At least some people have some common sense. These bigots protesting this project should be ashamed, especially in a city as diverse and open as NYC.
May 11, 2011, 11:20 am
kem45 says:
Oh great now church's & synagogues & mosque’s can build on residential zones. it did not matter if these people are racist or not. this building was braking code violations you know (residential and commercial) there is a reason for that, it is called permanent address were we live. and churches is not one. churches are not built in residential areas its NOT DONE the only churches in residential areas is the ones that are older then the houses around them. there is apartments behind and houses on each side and in front of this building. it against residential building codes. park 51 has the right to build this one does not.. And despite ‘terrorism’ Freedom of Speech is now called ‘terrorism’. People can protest against gays at a non gay military funerals there not terrorist, & Muslims can protest and get violent against a nut case pastor and the violent Muslims are not terrorist but some that has a legitimate legal right to protest are called terrorist my god what has people come too
B.T.W it has been proven Muslims will destroy there property make it look like non Muslims did it to get what they want they are true Americans when they do this & it works almost every time suckers, check it out, start with Alaska.
By the way there is something other then islamophobia there is also Freedomophobia, has nothing to do with race it has to do with losing our rights allowing officials to brake the law to get what they want. Sacrificing the people that pay them, there is no doubt. Bloomberg is a Freedomophobia and so is Obama. & HE HAS GOT TO GO we are losing every right there is and Oh and before any one says anything I voted for him my family always voted for dems 2012 will be our first that we don’t, you can thank the ones that played the race card just a bit to much and for dems breaking laws to take even more rights away. And I do believe in god I just like him. and my race is red (I have red blood just like every one else) I never go by what is on the out side always what in because that is what make people do what they do.
May 11, 2011, 6:36 pm
adam from bed-stuy says:
parking, shmarking; i live in bedstuy and there are two churches on every block and the worshipers double park and leave the phone numbers, on a pink piece of paper on the windshield, of an usher who will move the car if you want to get out.
May 11, 2011, 7:50 pm
Stan from Gravesend says:
"Muslim American Society" - oh, those guys:

" Both Mohammed Mahdi Akef, now the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide, and Ahmed Elkadi, then the leader of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, were pivotal in the founding of the MAS. The new organization instructed its members to evade questions about the group's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and to define jihad as a "divine legal right" of Muslims to be used for defense and the spread of Islam. MAS leaders have said that these views are not now held by MAS leaders",0,7534398,print.story
May 12, 2011, 11:57 am
Stan from Gravesend says:
The quote was from the wikipedia, by the way. But the above article has the details.
May 12, 2011, 11:57 am
k from gp says:
Stan, I read somewhere that the United States was started by slave owners! No wonder Republicans are trying to dismantle the government....
May 12, 2011, 3:37 pm
Stan from Gravesend says:
k, the facts didn't fit your agenda, so you are just going to ignore them? Typical.
May 16, 2011, 10:16 am

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