Brooklyn: Too Close to Ground Zero

During the controversy over the Park 51 Islamic center — what opponents falsely call the Ground Zero Mosque — we heard over and over again that they were just upset because it was too close to twin towers. Apparently, Brooklyn is too close as well.

Developer Ahmed Allowey wanted to build a modest house of prayer on a vacant lot in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. For years, growing numbers of Muslims had been immigrating to the neighborhood and lacked a nearby mosque. Allowey’s plan was hatched over five years ago, but construction at 2812 Voorhies Avenue is still not complete, thanks to vociferous opposition from local residents backed by opportunistic politicians…

In the summer of 2010, as anti-mosques activists from across the country descended on Manhattan to protest the Park 51 Islamic center near ground zero, Sheepshead Bay saw its own vocal protests. “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,” one outraged resident resident was quoted by the Brooklyn Paper as saying at a large demonstration. “New York is not Islamabad. Do not forget 9-11!” screamed another protester quoted by the paper. In June of that year, 50 mosque opponents turned out to protest the annual Children of Abraham Peace Walk, which brings together Jews, Muslims and Christians in a show of unity.

Blogger Pam Geller, who led the fight against the Park 51 center, spoke at a protest against the mosque in March of 2011, along with Robert Spencer, a prominent blogger behind the JihadWatch website. On her blog, Atlas Shrugged, Geller has written numerous posts against the “Sheepshead Bay Mega Mosque,” as she calls it (it’s three stories tall on a single-family home lot). She’s also called it the “Muslim Brotherhood” mosque.

You mean Geller and Spencer are just bigots who don’t think Muslims should be allowed to build mosques anywhere? I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

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  • Michael Heath

    Susan Sarandon is currently at Michael Moore’s Traverse City film festival and therefore getting some local press coverage. As a New Yorker, she commented on how 9/11 brought people together, for a few days; and then the hatred came out. I wonder how much hatred was created by 9/11 vs. how 9/11 made it politically OK for haters to hate publically. They probably feed on each other.

  • d cwilson

    I wish they would just tell us what the radius of the “mosque-free zone” should be so that we can avoid these controversies, but I suspect it would encompass the entire United States of America and all its territories.

  • raven

    “If they build a mosque there, I’m going to bomb the mosque…

    He or she probably will.

    The mosque nearest my house was firebombed.

    Not unusual. IIRC, the one in Tennessee was firebombed before they even started building it. They had to destroy some construction equipment instead.

  • eric

    50 mosque opponents turned out to protest the annual Children of Abraham Peace Walk, which brings together Jews, Muslims and Christians in a show of unity…

    That pretty much tells me all I need to know about their movement.

  • It would be interesting to know if other religious groups have faced problems with getting places of worship built, have had them vandalised, etc. because the dummies think they’re Muslims. I could imagine a Christian group being harassed because its membership is Arab, and of course Arab=Muslim in the eyes of the morons.

  • imrryr

    New York is not Islamabad. Do not forget 9-11!

    This protester was immediately beaten by his/her fellow protestors for having even heard of Islamabad. “Kill the tainted one!” they cried. “U-S-A, U-S-A! Wooooooo!!!”

  • raven


    Man Charged with Firebombing NY Mosque, Hindu Temple ……/2012/…/man-charged-with-firebombing-ny-…

    Intelligence Report, Summer 2012, Issue Number: 146 … A New York man who told police he intended to kill “as many Muslims and Arabs as … in prison for allegedly firebombing an Islamic mosque and a Hindu temple on New Year’s Day. … Mich., learned that a Sikh temple, or gurdwara, had been spray-painted with graffiti …

    It happens occasionally.

    These hate filled bigots aren’t too smart or careful about their targets.

    At least three Moslems have been killed in the USA in hate attacks. Except they weren’t Moslems. They were Sikhs who were wearing their turbans.

  • Randomfactor

    I am regularly told that the occasional mass murder is just “the price we have to pay” for the Second Amendment.

    Apparently some other religion having a church like they do is way beyond what they should have to put up with for the First.

  • Anti Islam propoganda in the Western media for the past 20 years, which accellerated after the 911, is having the opposite effect. Some educated people in the West mainly out of curiosity want to learn what Islam is about. When they approach their research with an open mind, probably most of them form positive impressions about Islam and some of whom rightfully convert. In the USA after the events of 911, convertions to Islam pheonominally increased maily in amongst the educated white community and a large majority of them were females.

    Islamophobia‬, a fear, derision, and/or hatred of Islam and Muslims, both an individual prejudice and a geopolitical instrument.

    I can clearly say that the hate against Muslims and racism in general have their bases online more than being in the communities. What the far right have been trying to do is to show that their presence is much bigger than it really is. The main problem however is that the political system in Europe needs the right extremism as part of its existence and I can see that in the comments against “multiculturalism” by its leaders. While the political system is attacking the democratic rights of the people through privatisation, deregulation and strengthening security measures against them it needs a bigger infighting within the people and that is partly a fight against the Muslim

    After many years of a negative portrayal, bias Against Islam and Muslims is deeply rooted in Western minds and it will be very difficult to eliminate it, Spanish journalist Yusuf Fernandez says.

    The Islamophobia is a real problem in the Western societies, not only for Muslims but for the whole society because it is a hatred phenomenon, which is harmful for all people. Today, many politicians attack Islam and Muslims just to gain votes and in some countries girls are banned to wear headscarves at high schools or work places. Opening a mosque is also becoming more and more difficult in some countries.

    Generally speaking, the image of Muslims in Western media is very negative and poor. When Western journalists speak about any issue, they are supposed to know the issue they are writing about. But this rule is broken when they write about Islam. They can then make claims that have nothing to do with the reality of Islam and Muslims. Muslims are presented as fanatics, terrorists or backwards people. Muslim women are presented as ignorant or submissive. These so-called “experts” ignore that Islam gave many rights to the women much before the Western societies did.

    There are extremists in Europe who are staunchly opposed to multiculturalism in the continent and are not afraid of physically removing whoever they deem threatening their ideology for a consolidated Europe free of immigrants and Muslims. The most prominent example was Anders Breivik who massacred 77 people simply because they had voiced support for the people of Palestine in a demonstration.


  • Trebuchet

    Mecca is also too close for these clowns.

  • Childermass

    The antipodes of New York might be far enough, but only if the mosque is built on the ocean floor and not on the surface of the water.

  • bmiller

    While Islamophobia is a bad thing, that does not mean Islam and all of its cultural baggage is a “good thing” either.

    Religion…especially doctrinaire religion based on “Submission” to a book or “scholars” (because Allah himself is utterly silent and the only thing we “know” about “him” is what the Koran and Islamic scholars claim)

    Sorry…no conversion pending here. Islam is just another version of the Genocidal Semitic Tribal Thunder God. Monotheism is a problem, not the solution.

  • I suspect Chicago, Tucson, and San Diego are too close as well.

  • imrryr

    @Childermass – No, that won’t work. If it’s under water it would be too similar to the Legion of Doom.

  • Paul W., OM

    Ed, #9 is plagiarized copypasta spam.

  • Do these people actually have an official policy position on how far away is far enough? If not, they really need to be challenged to come up with one.

  • For years after 9/11, there was a mosque just 4 blocks from the WTC, and nobody seemed to notice or care. But build a community center containing a mosque two blocks away, and suddenly it’s a threat to the American way of life.

    It’s sad how extremists on both sides seem to empower one another. When Muslim extremists attack religious minorities in say Indonesia, then it becomes an excuse to attack pluralism here in America, which then undermines our ability to tell Muslim majority countries that they need to respect religious freedom and diversity.

  • In the summer of 2010, as anti-mosques activists from across the country descended on Manhattan to protest the Park 51 Islamic center near ground zero…

    And we all know how that turned out. The center was built peacefully and opened to the public, with nary a sign of violence or radicalism, to make it look exactly like the place was never any threat at all, to trick us into believing that the moderate, ecumenical imam who built it was precisely what he claimed to be. Nice try, you dirty Islams, but we won’t be fooled again!

  • There shouldn’t be any churches, either.

    Can you imagine the shrieking and gnashing of teeth that would ensue from that edict?

  • jnorris

    tommykey in #17, that mosque opened just days before the WTC officially opened. But facts never bother the Republican Tea Party.