Courier Life’s

Assembly candidate Ben Akselrod opposes the Sheepshead Bay mosque

Assembly candidate speaks out against mosque

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Assembly hopeful Ben Akselrod is railing against the construction of the Sheepshead Bay mosque — a hopeless battle political insiders say the former Community Board 15 district manager has no chance of turning around, but will help him pander to Southern Brooklyn conservatives looking to get rid of the Muslim house of worship.

Akselrod, a Democrat looking to unseat Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay) in September, claimed last week that the mosque being constructed on Voorhies Avenue will harm property values, cause a traffic nightmare on the block and draw radical elements to the leafy residential neighborhood.

“The Muslim American Society — the organization behind this mosque — originate from the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that was outlawed in the U.S.,” said Akselrod, alleging the mosque backers have terrorist roots.

Akselrod’s voiced his opposition just two weeks after state Sen. David Storobin wrote a letter to Mayor Bloomberg claiming that the mosque is thumbing its nose at city laws and threatens its neighbors’ lives.

“This may pose a danger to public safety,” Storobin (R–Brighton Beach) wrote as he bashed the city for allowing work on a house of worship continue.

Some say Akselrod’s sudden opposition to the mosque is all about getting the support of the Bay People — the group that’s repeatedly failed to get the project halted — and residents against the mosque’s construction. His opposition is also geared to make him stand out from Cymbrowitz, who they say hasn’t responded to the Bay People’s repeated pleas for help.

“Both Akselrod and Storobin are looking for an argument that will break the race open and in both cases they have to effectively attack people with larger reputations and history,” political analyst Hank Sheinkopf said. “They want to spend their time moving to the right, but what they should be talking about is bread and butter issues and cleaning up Albany.”

Mosque backers say that Akselrod’s opposition will ultimately backfire on the candidate.

“If he’s going to sell out Islam, he might sell out other religions when that becomes popular,” said mosque owner Ahmed Allowey, who said his four-story Islamic Center will be open by next summer.

Akselrod insists he has no political motive in speaking out against the mosque, claiming that it would have been irresponsible of him not to express his concerns.

“I have an opinion and I think it’s my responsibility to express it,” he said.

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 rallies has been more anti-Islamic rather 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.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Anonymous from NYC says:
This area is not inside Cymbrowitz's 45th Assembly District. It is the 41st. Wouldn't that be an important part of the story?
Aug. 14, 2012, 8:04 am
Facts from Reality says:
Cymbrowitz would have done nothing anyways.

Doing nothing is business as usual for Cybrowitz.

Please vote Cybrowitz out of office
Aug. 14, 2012, 8:25 am
Sofia from Sheepshead Bay says:
The story is not focused on what is Ben realy saying. Most of politicians do not care about quality of life, it is much easier to call people who are worried about their own houses anti-Muslim. I would like to see how any person will react on such construction next to his/her house. So, stop being blind. And sure, it is out of Cymbrowitz district, but everything that generates donations -in his.
Hey, Ben is talking about bread and butter, but it looks like not good enough news to publish.
Aug. 14, 2012, 9:14 am
mads from sheepshead Bay says:
Ben has my vote. At first i was going to vote for Cym-browitz but now i will be voting for Ben - rowitz.

Vote Steve out!!!!
Aug. 14, 2012, 12:33 pm
Shas Party from Tel Aviv Minor (Bklyn) says:
Oy vey!
Talk about calling the kettletov schwartze!
This guy Ben sounds like a poster goy for the Taliban!
Hey Ben Dover Akhmedrod...Ever hear of the US Constitution?
Ever hear of the Bill of Rights?
Ever hear of the Civil Rights Laws that we have here in the US?
These Muslims are clearly law abiding since they got the requisite legal permits to build their Mosque.
But you're not happy with that, are you?
Let me guess...Is it because you don't care for OUR laws, but want to simply impose your own?
It is because you believe that only 1 group of chosen people have any rights in this world and the rest of us exist only to serve them, right?
Well guess what you Un-American meshuganah....My family and I are cutting a nice big, fat check to your opponent!
Aug. 14, 2012, 5:15 pm
Andrew from Sheepshead Bay says:
To Anonymous from NYC:

If you live in Brooklyn, I would like to ask you a question. Did you worry on September 11, 2011? Why? It happened far away from Brooklyn.

Do you care about garbage transfer station in Bensonhurst, if you live at Coney Island?

Do you care about events two blocks away from you?

Do you really think people at Sheepshead Bay care only about their own block?

If Cymbrowitz strongly supports this huge construction on a quiet residential street, he needs to say it loud and clear.

Akselrod expressed his position. Now it is time for his opponent to stop hiding behind district lines argument.
Aug. 14, 2012, 11:40 pm
Andrew from Sheepshead Bay says:
Sorry. September 11, 2001.
Aug. 14, 2012, 11:43 pm
danger from flatbush says:
Why is there support in the US for a religion/political doctrine/military that enslaves women, advocates killing infidels and is absolutely and totally opposed to Free Speech?

Where Islam dominates, it rules harshly. NO Islamic nation tolerates the basic freedoms of America.

And Islam is not only a Relgion. It is also a Political Doctrine. The teachings of Islam are the basis of law in Islamic nations.

Would there be the same neighborhood complacency about the establishment of a center for nazis?
Aug. 15, 2012, 7:58 pm
Marlene N. from NYC says:
A mosque is no different than a church, synagogue, or any place of worship, and I find the remarks so offending as it would be directed against any religion. History should tell Mr. Akselrod that many people didn't like synogogues in their neighborhoods also. History should have told him that people have been demonized because of their religions. and so he is doing exactly the same. Unfortunately, people who bear such hatred and prejudices will always find reasons to justify their bigotry,which is also obvious from one of the comments here.

To the person who equated Isam wih the Nazis,Nazism is an ideology, not a religion. And to set the record straight, it was not Muslims who invaded Europe and caused mass death and destruction. The Nazis were not Muslims, yet it would hardly be correct to blame their religion for the deeds they carried out. Nazis would not like a mosque in their neighborhood also. They would be on your side in your way of thinking. Now that should tell you something.
Aug. 15, 2012, 10:31 pm
danger from flatbush says:

You are woefully uninformed about the history of Islam and the fact that the Nazis were allied with muslims in North Africa during WWII.

You are mistaken about churches vs mosques.

Once again, it astounds me that an American, a woman, would come to the defense of Islam, a religion/politcal doctrine/military than enslaves women.

You really should look into the enslavement of women in Islamic nations. You should also look into the issue of Free Speech in Islamic nations. You'll find it doesn't exist.

You might also wonder why you can't visit Mecca or Medina like you might visit the Vatican?

Meanwhile, yes, anti-Semitism is real. Care to guess where it's practiced in the extreme? I advise you to skim the Quran to get an understanding of what muslims think of Jews, and everyone else who falls into the category of infidel.
Aug. 15, 2012, 11:43 pm
yvette from Crown Heights says:
I can't believe I'm reading these posts from Brooklynites. I live around the corner from the Lubavitcher headquarters. When they built the Jewish Children's Museum, it created an awful rat problem in the neighborhood. So for the person who said construction of the mosque would create noise, please. Noise, rats, traffic etc inconvenience happens in neighborhoods when things are built -- but this is NY and we don't stop building. The city was responsive w/ rat baiting etc when we complained. The museum is up now and things are back to normal. We live in a pluralistic borough, city, nation and world. You don't get to choose other people's religion or to proclaim them as non- religions because you don't like them. They have a right to worship. Shame on you.
Aug. 20, 2012, 11:33 am
Delgado from Sheepshed says:
People are you really this ignorant as to compare children's museum to a Mosque that screeches unbearable calls to prayer, magnified by powerful speakers 5 times a day? As far as Nazis are concerned, you should really learn a few facts before you jump into fervent defending of Muslims who WERE allies of Nazis in WWII in exchange for a chance to carry out a final solution in the Middle East. You must have never heard of Muslim Legions and battalions that were formed of Albanians, Croatians and other Muslims (the way Al-Quieda brigades are formed now) demonstrated such unspeakable cruelty against civilians and POW's that Nazi Germans requested their removal from many occupied areas. These legions formed under supervision of Palestinian Mufti who was a dear friend of Hitler and Goebbels. Hitler himself deeply admired and studied Islam as well as Turkish genocide of Armenians as an inspiration for his Final Solution. He noted that the world hasn't noticed a massacre of Armenians (1 million) nor did he cared so extermination of Jews would be equally successful. He was right. One cannot compare German efficiency to sword fighting and decapitating, so he managed to annihilate 6 millions, which is usually welcomed by the Muslim world and widely lamented that Hitler din't finish his noble mission. The only reason, Muslim allies of Nazis had avoided incrimination in war crimes and allowed to escape Nuremberg Trial, was OIL. In exchange for oil concessions in Iraq, Muslims have effectively escaped the punishment and managed to completely expunge any mentioning of their role in WWII. History repeats itself and again with help of blind liberals who think that if they foam at the mouth defending this violent supremacist ideology, they will be spared. You won't! You, Judenrat, will be exterminated when you lock the ovens after the last load of your murdered brethren had been loaded. Your blindness is terrifying. You've been living too well in the American bubble of tolerance, human rights and freedoms, that this ideology is using so effectively to eliminate them and replace with the draconian laws of the barbaric Sharia. This is what a Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan said openly "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers... ". They are obliged by Islam to be a center of jihad and conquer, when a giant mosque is built in the quiet residential area with barely any Muslim population, on the plot purchased by a person who officially is listed as "Unemployed" and no one is questioning the source of these funds, do you know what's next? The population driven crazy by endless whining of mullahs, traffic, prayers on the street, rude behavior and molesting by young Muhamadans who naturally have no respect for infidels will start fleeing selling their homes well below the market price. These houses will be bought by Muslims and additional building will be purchased with generous donations of Saudis' oil money. Soon, the neighborhood is predominantly Muslim, and Sharia - no-go zone that we are seeing in so many European cities where Jews become their first victims are established. They are required to hate and kill Jews explicitly by Quran. If you've been fed their lies and are too lazy to get not-whitewashed for the West Islamic sources and educate yourself about this ideology with religious facade, which makes it so efficient in its spread. Apostasy and criticism of Islam are punished by death. It's in Quran, calls to kill and exterminate infidels in every way possible are in Quran on every page, but you are too lazy to educate yourself. And don't scream racism, it's beyond idiotic. What race is Islam???
Feb. 16, 2013, 2:35 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group