August 9th, 2013
02:00 PM ET

'No Muslim parking' signs spark outrage

From CNN affiliate KPRC

Houston - New signs posted outside a mosque in Spring Branch, Texas, have sparked outrage from Muslims nationwide.

In black letters, the signs reads, "No Muslim parking in the Westview Shopping Center. Your car will be towed."

The posters lined the street near the El Farouq Mosque, where Muslims heading to worship services said they were were offended.

"I feel sorry for the person who wrote it," Ahmed Hassan told CNN affiliate KPRC. "This is what comes to mind because obviously he has a lot of hate."

"I'm very shocked because we do live in a society that's supposed to be very accepting, and this is what we all preach," said Yara Aboshady. "That we all have the freedom of religion."

The parking signs were mentioned Thursday in an newsletter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslims civil rights group.

In recent years, Muslims have faced protests nationwide when trying to construct new mosques, including in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where mosque opponents have filed an appeal with the state supreme court to block construction.

The El Farouq Mosque sits across the street from the shopping center. Store employees did not want to go on camera for KPCR but did say they get angry when mosque members park in their lot, taking up spots meant for customers.

With the Muslim monthlong fast for the holy month of Ramadan ending and a crowd expected at the mosque, the signs anonymously appeared.

No shopping center employees would admit to posting the signs. One worker said the shopping center owner, Steve Kwon, posted the signs. He denied it.

"I did not put up the signs," Kwon said. After speaking with KPRC, Kwon removed the signs.

Aboshady wondered about the sign writer's true motive.

"It could be no parking for the sake of patrons that come in," Aboshady said. "Or it really could be a prejudice and just a mean thing to say."

She and others still find the signs insensitive and offensive.

"It's really offensive and it's hateful," Hassan said.

The shopping center owner says he will call a tow company to try to get all of the cars that shouldn't be parked there out. He also says he'll be checking the property to make there are no more of the offensive parking signs.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Discrimination • Eid al-Fitr • Holidays • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • Ramadan • United States

soundoff (1,063 Responses)
  1. Mad Max

    History is the witness to the barbarianism of Islam...

    October 29, 2013 at 4:14 am |
    • MPA

      Islam was less barbaric than Christians/Catholics were in history.

      October 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  2. CR

    I don't understand what the big beef is. The Mall parking lot is specifically provided as courtesy to those who are shopping in the Mall. Perhaps, the signs can be modified to say: Parking for Mall Shoppers Only, Others will be Towed. There are always two sides of the coin. Perhaps, the Mall was fed up because so many Mosque-goers are habitually and selflessly park in its lot without any consideration that it is not their parking lot. A review of the building permit must be conducted in such a way the permit should only be issued when the mosque provides adequate parking spots anticiated to match its occupancy permit. There is nothing religious about this issue and the muslims should not make it as such. If the muslims want to make it into religous freedom, then let's ask those who are members of the mosque what country they come from and whether or not people of other faiths can freely practice their religion.Sure, now that they are in the US they think they can use the US law to their benefit. I wonder how many of those benefiting from the US freedom of religion are the same people who oppose others from practicing their faith back in their old countries. Instead, they should be the ambassador in the countries where they come from by saying: Hey, in the US we have freedom of religion and people can practice all the different faiths without anyone killing each other, blowing up each other, bombing each other, destroying other houses of worship, etc. so let's be tolerant and let people of other faiths practice their religiion openly. Back to the parking issue, I see no religious issue other than bad English.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:59 am |
  3. sfcmac

    Muzzies offended over a sign? Tough.

    September 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Mad Max

      they are so sensitive and reactive at the slightest thing, go and see what sort of freed we have in Islamic countries, one cannot carry the book of their Faith like Bible, Gita etc, forget about constructing a temple, church or synagogue. The world would be a much better and happier place without Islam, but who knows what is the play of the Lord, evil does have a sure place in the creation, only to qualify what good is, that I believe alone is the purpose of Islam.

      October 29, 2013 at 4:18 am |
  4. mlg4035

    Justy change it to "No *mosque* parking in the Westview Shopping Center. Your car will be towed."
    That would be perfectly legit. This could just be a case where lack of proper English skills resulted in discriminatory language...

    September 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
  5. FAA

    So. Coptic Christian are being killed by Muslims in Egypt and not a single word from CNN. Instead we get this crap about a sign made by someone that doesn't want their parking lot used illegally. Oh NO! He used the Muslim word. How dare he! Wake up!

    September 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If you didn't let your crybaby christian persecution complex get in the way you would be able to find a recent article about what Babble Humpers in Eygypt are facing.

      September 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  6. MPA

    Ahh good ole American White Trash are at it again. The lowest of the low in a futile attempt to make another group feel lower than themselves.

    September 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  7. chris

    silly..I am parking a car, not a muslim...I would be more upset, if the sign read." Mosque attendee car parking not allowed in parking lot"..because it would be very clear that the author was articulate..instead of ignorant..

    September 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  8. gahh

    Ishmael you're right, anybody who votes for Ted Cruz, a Texas Tea Party Darling, is definitely short on brains, and common sense. Cruz is threatening to shut down the federal government cause he has insurance, but he doesn't want the 50 million uninsured Americans, to have the same. Cruz wants to shut down the government, cause he's a big ole cry baby, and wants his way. Wah Wah!!

    September 7, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • bahh

      Sounds like you are also a cry baby. Congress wants everyone to have obama Care except themselves. When they get on board with everyone else then I will believe it is a good thing.

      September 7, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  9. Ishmael Finn

    A simple "No Mosque Parking" would have done the trick. Texans – long on bluster, short on common sense!

    September 7, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • mlg4035


      September 7, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • MPA

      It would still be illegal. You can't post no parking signs along public streets.

      September 8, 2013 at 7:50 am |
      • Howie

        It isn't on a public street, it is in a private parking lot.

        September 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • MPA

          Yes. It's a Mall Parking lot, I think that the courts have given ambiguous rulings on whether Malls are held to the same standards as public.

          September 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
        • Howie

          Some malls are subsidized by the municipality, in that case it may be considered public property. In this case it is a privately owned mall and parking lot. They can put up whatever sign they want. Not saying I agree with discrimination (I think this was just poor english, but beside the point), but private property rights are paramount in this country. If you own it, you can be as discriminatory as you want with it. There may be consequences – if you put up a 'no blacks' sign there would be protests and boycotts unitl you went out of business – but it would not be illegal.

          September 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  10. lcleejr

    if the sign says no parking, you follow it. period. its a shopping center parking lot.

    September 7, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  11. Allaisa

    For all you know, the sign could have been put up by the Mosque administrators themselves. They might have received lot of grief from the shops in the mall about Mosque patrons hogging the parking spots at the mall and might have told someone who has just emigrated from god forsaken country and he might have put up the signs. English not being his primary lingo, you cant blame him and the Mosque might be thinking that they were doing the Mall patrons a favor and must be truly puzzled at all the bruhaha!

    September 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  12. Allaisa

    More likely it is bad english rather then hatred. He probably meant those visiting the Mosque should not park at the mall. In Stockton I see signs which say no parking for Farmers' Market shoppers. No one objected to that and there is normally a Cop enforcing the ban.

    September 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  13. grandpareggie

    Does Wal-Mart carry these signs? 🙂

    September 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  14. pinkfloyd43

    I think it's more stupidity than hate! They didn't know and should of written 'No Mosque Parking' but too stupid! I hope that's it!

    September 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  15. LeyLineWalker

    Alright, the current year is 2013 A.D. Now going off of the start date of 622 A.D., as stated by JDMArkansas, and using some basic math skills, we find the Muslim religion started 1,391 years ago and matches up with what JDMArkansas stated. Going off of your 1,000 year remark, that would mean the Muslim religion started in 1,013. Googling significant events from that period says that the Muslims had just finished building a Mosque in Cairo. Your claim isn't holding up so well.

    To reiterate a point made by JDMArkansas, Christians haven't always been so nice either. They have had their share of violent, religious, wars. You can't cherry pick history or you're doomed to repeat mistakes.

    September 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm |

    Puzzles and shocks me how Muslims can live in our Country and the goverment lets them build these shrines called Mosques!
    Deport them all back i say.

    September 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I wonder if has anything at all to do with that whole "freedom of religion" business in our most important founding doc.ument?

      September 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  17. missed it

    Were is the beheading? No death cry.OL is the muslims getting soft on cookies or bbq.

    September 6, 2013 at 8:06 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.