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NY Backpack giveaway draws anti-mosque protestors


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Two anti-Sheepshead Bay mosque protestors boycott schoolbag giveaway
 
By Colin Mixson, Brooklyn Daily
 
August 31, 2012 – Two Sheepshead Bay residents still fighting the hopeless battle to stop the construction of a Voorhies Avenue mosque protested a school supply giveaway in front of the still-under-construction house of worship on Saturday — but were easily drowned out by the dozens of parents and children looking for free backpacks, notebooks, and pencils.

Two neighbors noticed the Islamic Circle of North America — a group affiliated with the new mosque — handing out the supplies and used the opportunity to launch an impromptu protest, claiming that the building will destroy their block.
Metrostar Home Supply

“They picked the wrong place,” said resident Leonard Krupnik. “This is a residential community.”

But Krupnik and fellow protestor Victor Benari weren’t holding signs protesting the mosque’s location. They were holding signs reading “No M.A.S.” — an abbreviation for the Muslim American Society, which critics say has ties to Islamic extremist groups.

The two didn’t have much company throughout the day: the line of people looking for free school supplies ignored the two men, witnesses said. A few neighbors came out egg Benari and Krupnik on, but quickly left.

Opponents to the mosque say that traffic and parking are their driving concerns in demanding that the house of worship close, but the tenor of their earlier rallies — which once drew hundreds of angry protestors to Voorhies Avenue — were more anti-Islamic than anti-congestion.

Neighbors protesting the mosque often held signs reading, “Islam not welcome here,” “New York is not Islamabad” and “Do not forget 9-11!” One resident even claimed he was going to “blow up the mosque” if it was built.

But the number of protests — and protestors — dwindled after the Bay People, the organization fighting the mosque, lost repeated lawsuits to have the project halted.

The Islamic Circle of North America purchased 25,000 school bags for the annual relief effort it holds in 49 cities across the country to help underprivileged families, a group spokesman said.
Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Article Courtesy: Brooklyn Daily

 

  • Sister

    Well done ICNA! Charity knows no bounds or limits. To the 2 protesters: the Will of Allah and the people to build a house of worship will prevail. Hate has no place and they try hard to justify and scrable with anything and whatever slogan to make it stop. It wont!
    Thank you Colin for the article.

  • Rachel Noor

    Alhumdulillah as a Muslim convert of 13 years I am proud to see such commitment to helping the local community with items to promote education amidst a community who harbours insecurity and fear. Keep doing acts of kindness and charity so people can know Islam does not teach hatred and anger, yet embraces love and tolerance and education and understanding. Lead by example and may Allah bless you and your new masjed!
    Rachel

  • Azfar Kamal

    Glad to see that neighbors did not support the anti-masjid protestors. However, traffic congestion and parking are indeed two concerns, which many masajids and their congregants do not take seriously. Illegal parkings on and off the masjid premises are fairly norm. As muslims we can do better and must do better to be a role model instead of inciting hate and anger amongst our neighbors.