Southern Brooklyn

NY Times: Voorhies Mosque Still Faces Opposition, Though Numbers Have Dwindled

Mosque construction in February. (Photo by nolastname.)

The ongoing issue of the proposed mosque and Islamic community center slated to be built in Sheepshead Bay has the community divided and the local politicians spinning the story from all angles.

Most recently, we covered a backpack giveaway that occurred at at 2812 Voorhies Avenue, at the mosque’s construction site. The giveaway was sponsored by the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and it received no less debate than the proposed mosque itself. In fact, there was a small protest at the site on the day of the giveaway event.

The New York Times ran a piece that tied the backpack giveaway to the larger issue of the split opinions related to the construction project.

The Times writes:

The mosque’s backers say 150 to 200 Muslim families who live within walking distance are in need of a local place to pray. The mosque, they want to reassure neighbors, will be an asset, providing afterschool activities to children, a Boy Scout troop open to all and charity events, like the school supply giveaway.

Those against the mosque cite parking and traffic concerns mainly.

“We understand that this is the First Amendment, that everyone has a right to pray, but what about our rights as a residents?” said Victor Benari, 58, one of the two protesters on hand last month. “It’s provocation, 100 percent. Why here? Why not build on a nice big commercial street?”

There are, however, others who believe that it will divide the neighborhood.

“Yes, they are smiling, but you know what’s behind their smiles?” said Leonid Krupnik to the Times. He was one of the two protesters at the giveaway. “Hatred. They want to create a caliphate. They want to push people out of this neighborhood.”

Krupnik belongs to a local group who calls themselves the Bay People. The group’s efforts center on blocking the mosque from being erected. However, due to laws which make it very difficult to oppose a house of worship, the best they can do is delay the project.

The Times writes, “Mr. Krupnik and other opponents say they are being unfairly typecast as xenophobes and racists. They do nevertheless worry that the neighborhood will change so much that non-Muslims will want to leave and they fear that the mosque will be used to promote radical thinking.”

It does seem, however, that opposition is loosening. Whereas last year, the police were called to the backpack giveaway to keep order, this year only the two protestors came. For the backers of the project, this is good news.

Comment policy


  1. Hatred… hmm… someone needs to look into a mirror. Not wanting the mosque due to parking and safety issues is one thing, and if such issues existed, then hey, revoke the mosque’s permission to build there, but tossing about accusations is another. Constantly repeating oneself won’t make something into a fact.

  2. Yes and one of those girls are smiling. And yes one of those girls happens to be my granddaughter. And yes. If you look at the picks you will see who was lined up to get something free. Protesting across the street while sending their children and standing on line to get something free. Way of the world. FOR FREE IS FOR ME.  TIPICAL.

  3. If this were in a community that had serious zoning laws, the only thing they would build would be another private residence, with a garden/yard and a porch. But this ain’t Connecticut. Money talks. Period.

  4. There are a few gated communities in NYC, but they were established a long time ago. The residents are not necessarily rich. But they do have more control over what is built within the boundaries of the gated area. In most parts of NYC one is only limited by pre-existing zoning considerations, and variances can be had for supposedly good reasons.

    I think its time that the Bay People got over themselves. They are little more than a nuisance. And they do not represent the people who live in Sheepshead Bay.

  5. About 50-60 kids show up , 65-70% were Muslim kids and others African-American and hispanic, after a one hr they run out off supply ( 50-60 school bags) No old Muslims came to this provocation but only young aggressive Islamists and not even one American flag.They took a pictures and make a victory pose like this neighborhood is already belong to them.On they T-shorts its written ”EDUCATION IS POWER”. What possible those two radical organizations can teach ? How to hate Jews and Israel.Maybe they should first educate themselves, how to love Jews and Israel.According to the Anti-Defamation League, the developer of this Mosque, the Muslim American Society (MAS), “has a troubling history of associations with radical organizations and individuals that promote terrorism, anti-Semitism and reject Israel’s right to exist.” The Chicago Tribune wrote in 2004 that parts of the Muslim Brotherhood in America changed its name into the Muslim American Society (MAS) A rare look at secretive Brotherhood in America

  6. Wow Laura, thanks for the credit on the pic. I just realized it was mine….color is way blown out. Leo’s house is more beige. I made it look like The Great Pumpkin. Almost timely for Halloween. . LOL

  7. To Knightmare6
    Lying under the oath in front of the judge by Muslim Society lawyer is the fact.
    “Approve as soon as possible” note by the DOB official on the filing documents is the proof of the DOB collusion. In this is a fact.
    The DOB and City planning refusal to admit that the loop hole was used to obtain permit is a fact. Brooklyn Borough President in his letter confirmed that this loop hole does exist and this is a fact. $30,000 in fine for breaking NYC Rules is a fact. Sneaking behind in to people’s back yards to build mosque is the fact.
    Should not all above be a proof of disdain and hatred to people in Seepshead Bay?

  8. To nolastname
    No mind lost view.
    The Al-Aqusa Mosque picture on nice wood frame will be a helpful reminder of why view was lost.

  9. To Lisanne!
    There are three conditions in the zoning law that allows building in the not gated community:
    1. Be away from manufacturing zone.
    2. Not to obstruct traffic.
    3. Not to change fabric of the community.
    Only first was not violated.
    Try not to wake up at the sound of morning call for prayer
    You are definitely do not represent people who live at the corner of Voorhies Avenue and E28th Street.

  10. You have a big opinion and a lot to say…….about nothing. Shit or get off the pot. In another word shut the hell up or move. You are a minority in your feelings your blindness and narrow minded views are a disgrace to mankind. 
    You want the flying monkeys? I’ll give you illegal and false pretenses, behind peoples backs and closed doors. It’s you…all over YOU and your likings. 
    If people looked into the goings on around this neighborhood trust me the Mosque would be the least of your problems. Who sold you the house? What’s his/her name? Still around? Kind of quiet lately.

  11.  There is (was)  a very loud siren starting the Fri sabbath from the Jewish yeshiva near Ocean Ave & Ave N…quite annoying

  12. You are disdainful of the people of Sheepshead Bay. The whole civilized world is laughing at us a consequence of your narrow-mindedness. People ask me whether Sheepshead Bay is still in the United States, because people like yourself show no respect for the constitutional right to worship without interference.

  13. “The whole civilized world is laughing at us”? What a ridiculous statement. I assume that’s a reference to the anti muslim film made by a man exercising his right to free speech. I do believe that was his constitutional right no matter how offensive it may be.

  14. Bagels, you have to understand that for liberals constitutionals rights are there to protect the opinions they hold true, not every once.  So for example if you want to shit on old white people, rich people, Jews and Christians, Sarah Palin’s down syndrome baby, or man and woman getting married to each other than it’s open season. But heave forbid you say anything about Muslims – who in reality share most of the opinions held by conservatives on social issues, people living in projects, or  violent thugs, and you will imminently be labeled a bigot and your constitution-given free speech rights yanked faster than you can say Obama.

  15. There is no issue would be here if this Mosque would be build on your property or next to and we all come to celebrate.

  16. You should read the out-of-town newspapers. Quite a few of them have run stories about the opposition to the mosque both here and in Manhattan. In a number of cases the editorial slant slips in, with allusions to an attitude of paranoia.

  17. You just put up an expression which has no basis in fact, just allusion. Liberals, if you insist on using that terminology, are concerned with human rights. That means, all of us.

    As far as the political views of Muslims you are absolutely correct. They have much in common with those of you who oppose their construction of a mosque. It is a point of irony that underscores the very nature of believing in constitutional law. When a wrong is done it is no less a wrong if it is done to someone’s whose views are different than mine.

    I am a Christian, and I take these words as my guide.

    “What you do to the least of us. you do to me” Matt. 25:40

    I do not stand for any intolerance shown to others.

  18. I never considered myself liberal…righteous would better describe this situation.
    They are welcome as is anyone from any religion or no religion at all.
    The small minded and holier than thou need to KEEP OUT.

  19. You are right….you have no mind and have lost a normal persons view. Dwell on something good you’ll live longer and healthier. 

  20. I have churches and temples pretty close to me, on residential streets. No one is concerned that they are there. One church has a very large youth program.

    A mosque is no different. There are already Muslims living near me. As there are Jews and Christians.

  21. Kings Bay Yeshiva (Ave.Z/27-28St.)sets of a siren several times a day five days a week! You have never heard me complain. 

  22. The only time i hear the siren is on friday evening. Why would a yeshiva set off a siren several times a day? And, you know, it’s perfectly ok to say it’s annoying. Complaining about the noise does not make you intolerant or a bigot, does it? Church bells can be equally annoying, though they’re not as grating on the ears as an air raid siren, if they are overplayed.

  23. Sorry, I just saw this comment, so it’s a late reply. If you have such documents as proof… then my question is why are you just posting it as comments on a news blog? Why hasn’t this been sent out to more news media? Like I said before, if you hate the mosque being built there, then fight it with facts, and not hatred.

  24. The Yeshiva sirens were installed by the National Weather Service, by the insistence of school officials, badly shaken by the recent F0 tornado that “roared like a train to Treblinka” according to one spokesrabbi.

    “It’s our duty to the community,” he said. “Testing it is very important. When I realized the chances of of seeing another voilvind were greater than seeing the Moshiach, I knew it was time to take action. We don’t fool around! As you may recall during last week’s storm, two students had their kippas blown off their heads, which sailed through the air like mini-Frisbees. One of them hit the Voorhies Avenue construction site, & of course don’t need or want any trouble. Acchh! That’s the least we could do.”

    He then politely excused himself, as he was already late for the next siren test.

  25. Joking?!? Who’s joking?!? This is serious business! OY! You should see their oitqvake drills!

    Seriously, though – diversity is key, & some of it’s persistence is starting to bear fruit.

    A perfect example of this: On Avenue U yesterday, I saw a transgendered mixed Asian/Black/Eskimot individual, wearing a burka, a motorcycle jacket over it, as well as a Greek Orthodox bishop’s crown topped off with a Black Israelite yarmulka. A huge crucifix, which appeared to be made entirely of little porcelain Buddha heads, was hanging from his/her neck by a bicycle chain.

    The outfit was completed by faux fur covered hip high, hot pink vinyl boots, which were moving along at a brisk pace, in sync to the tune of the “Out With That Baby!” by the Cannulas playing on their Ipod.

    Now isn’t that wonderful?!?

  26. One of the homes on E28 St and Voorhies is Italian owned. So I guess you represent them?  
    2- there are double parked busses and cars for the school already.
    3- Fabric? As in Russian, Italian, Chinese, what? Are you sure about that? There are many,many,many (did I say many?) Muslims living in Sheepshead Bay. Open your eyes…go into the schools, hospitals and stores…they own and work there. Maybe you don’t recognize a Muslim when you see one. Either that or you do not leave your front porch!

  27. I believe Neptune hit it on the head. It is several times a day. It is Okay to say annoying and trust me I am not shy to complain. If it troubled me I would walk into the Yeshiva as I have done before.
    I hear St. Marks bells all time. I hear fishing boats going in and out to sea. I love it all, this is Sheepshead Bay.

  28. You remind me of a friend of my daughters. He can come up with intricate, colorful and hysterical concepts at the drop of a hat. Sad that he moved to California. 
    I think you should (if not already) be making money with your talent.

  29. Many thanks for the vote of confidence-especially considering just how cornball my attempts can be sometimes. When a situation or comment lands in my lap, almost immediately I’m conjuring up some bizarre scenario – but with enough obvious humor, irony & snarkiness that everyone (well…MOST everyone – can relate to & knowingly laugh & shake their heads at.

    But it’s just part of my personality (disorder, perhaps?!? Ya think?!?), & I don’t believe I’d last a second on stage – or, more accurately, make it out alive! (Remember those old comedy “roasts”? The one I’d be given would be LITERAL!)

    The blog medium is A LOT safer…so far, anyway.

    Sorry, but I have to run now; someone dropped a pebble into the bay, resulting in a tsunami warning just issued for all of 11235.

    It’s a good thing they sounded that trusty siren…


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