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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynDaily.com 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 BrooklynDaily.com 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.