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Ignorance and Fear: Residents Fear Planned Mosque in Sheepshead Bay


Some crazy comments by ill informed and ignorant people about Islam and a proposed Mosque that will be built in their neighborhood.

Some Residents in Sheepshead Bay Fear Planned Mosque

Racial and religious tensions are flaring in Sheepshead Bay over plans to build a mosque on a residential street.

Opponents say the mosque will lead to traffic and noise problems – but their complaints are littered with anti-Islamic attacks, like one letter to elected officials that said “mosques and Muslim schools preach hatred.”

“There’s a safety issue here. I don’t want my kids walking past it,” said Kathy Cash, 38, a mother of three children who attend Public School 52 around the corner on E. 29th St. “It’s disgusting,” said Cash, “they [Muslims] have no respect.”

“My children are scared and I am too,” said Victor Benari, 56, trying to rally neighbors against the mosque during a civic group meeting on Monday. “This is a security issue.”

The hysterical language startled officials from the mosque, who say their neighbors have no reason to worry.

“It saddens us very much to see our neighbors already agitated about these things,” said Allowey Ahmed, 60, who owns the property and is spearheading the project.

“Our neighbors are very important. We cannot be good Muslims unless we have good relations with our neighbors,” said the native of Yemen who moved to Sheepshead Bay in 1997.

Besides the prayer hall, the project will include a community center with youth programs for the growing number of Arabic-speaking families in Sheepshead Bay.

It would be affiliated with the Muslim American Society, a national organization, which runs another facility in Bath Beach.

Other opponents distanced themselves from the hateful language some of their neighbors used.

“I don’t agree with how they presented us. I don’t have a problem with it being a mosque,” said Grigory Kalman, 54, a computer programmer who lives on E. 28th St.

Still, he’s fighting the project because he says it will be noisy and make traffic chaotic on the block.

“This is a quiet residential street, but who knows how bad it will become,” said Kalman.

To calm fears, Ahmed said the Muslim center will not broadcast the daily call to prayer heard at other mosques five times a day.

“We are keen to not disturb the neighbors,” he said.

Councilman Lew Fidler (D-Sheepshead Bay) denounced the stereotyping by the project’s foes.

“I understand they’re uncomfortable. Our emotions are so high and our concerns for safety are so real,” Fidler said, “but to suggest that any mosque that is going to be built is a haven for terrorism or a pulpit for hate before they even build the foundation is simply just over the top.”

Construction is currently stalled because the city Buildings Department rejected plans for a 4-story structure in August, but Ahmed said work would begin “in a couple of months.”

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  • vince

    Why are so many Americans so Ignorant? This “IS” something to really worry about! Islam itself is a evil religion. We dont need a place for them in New York…Also this “IS” a Christian nation no matter what these far left demoRATS say….We are loosing our country, and alot of our people refuse to open there eyes. If i didnt have children, i would say let this nation of liberals get what they deserve for being so stupid.

  • Jalal

    I fail to understand what effects can a praying area on traffic and noise pollutions? It’s a place of worship, for heaven’s sake, not a nightclub!

  • Avimelech Metushelach

    America is for the free as long. Support the constitution, my concern
    this prodominently Christian society I would hope? Moslems ask rich Arab
    nations to build them. On countries nations like Libya,Saudi Arabia,Iran,Pakistan and Iraq. Have so much strife there people suffer so. Do say we Americans are nationalist nor regionalist. What saying I do want
    an terriorist society. In my backyard call me: bias so be it. Africa and Iran has allot of land and majority are Moslem. So go there and build a mosque and speak Arabic. Pakistan a nation of mutli-culture but elite attitude. Cause the division so be it. Build you mosque in Libya where the
    idiot as leader. Kills innocient people Brooklyn needs schools not Mosque!!

  • Mike

    We see that not all muslims are frontline terrorists. Most muslims are peacefull , however they are silent supporters of islam terrorists.. A mosque is a breeding ground for terror networks… The jedeo / christian worldveiw is generally peacefull. Islam is not a peaceful religion throw-out history … Muslims have come to the USA to destroy it’s foundation. We is the West are seeing this happen , and are totally aganist islam and it’s so-called way of life ..Muslims need to get off of western soil. We do not want your kind of people here .You bring about repression such as is going on in the mideast ..

  • Nabeela

    it will probably get worse before it gets better.

    I hope things work out well for them.

    Looking at some of the comments of the opposers, well! they could be coming out of some third world backwater country.

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