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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. children of Israel

    Who is the thirteenth tribe? Genesis 49:16-17 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way,.. *Judges 5:17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches. *Psalm 108:8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver; *Hebrew 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. (*Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. *Psalm 76:1-2 In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.)

    August 24, 2013 at 1:43 am |
  2. children of Israel

    The Israelites are alive and well scattered through out the four corners of the entire world. Who ever is calling the Israelites a cult, they truly do hate Christ and his people. Our heritage lives on *Ezra 9:9 For we were bondmen; *Deuteronomy 28:68 and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen, and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you. *Luke 1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

    August 24, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I don't buy the whole God of Israel and its chosen people bit. I feel a sort of sympathetic embarrassment for people who do. It seems like they are on the wane though, and that's all to the good.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Please identify, specifically, where the four corners of the entire world can be found. All religions are cults.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:11 am |
      • ..............

        'four corners of the world' is just a metaphor for 'everywhere

        August 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Duh, no kidding. . .

          August 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  3. Bill

    I'll make sure to shop in that shopping center if I'm ever in the area.

    August 24, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  4. children of Israel

    Psalm 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. (Revelation 16:14) *John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? *Exodus 20:2-3 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. *John 10:34-35 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; *Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. *John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

    August 24, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  5. children of Israel

    The most high God will destroy Allah and of it's followers of radical Islam. The God of Jacob is with his people only, and the Star of Jacob is Jesus Christ himself. (Mark 12:29) *Isaiah 43:22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

    August 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Mirosal

      "the most high God will destroy Allah" ??? really?? so god will destroy himself? that sounds cool, divine suicide. Can't happen soon enough. You do realize that your god and "alah" are one and the same, right? "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for "god", nothing more nothing less. Jews, Chrsitians, Muslims, it's the exact SAME god.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:33 am |
      • ..............

        actually God and Allah are two very, very different gods. Christians (me to) say that God hears everything and is everywhere, yet Muslims say that Allah is too high up that you have to pray super hard to make him even hear a word of it

        August 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • ..............

      God will not destroy them, but save them from falling into the Lake of Fire, if they listen to Him.

      August 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  6. Student in Training

    Whoever (or whoevers) posted the sign is a racist moron. I agree with previous post. If they really wanted shopper sit could have simply said "parking for shoppers only".

    August 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Javell

      lol so Islam is a race? Moron....

      August 24, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • optikradio

      Islam is a religion. Nothing to do with race.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  7. No common sense.

    Let us put like that. If you park your car in the Mosque parking lot and go to the Shopping Mall. You would take the risk to have your car bombed.....with you inside when you come back to live the property.

    August 23, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
  8. No common sense.

    Let us put like that. If you park your car in the Mosque and go to the shopping. You would take the risk to have your car bombed.....with you inside when you come back to live the property.

    August 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  9. MikeyZ

    Reminds me of a casting call for Annie, years ago, where they had already filled the role of one of Warbucks' bodyguards.

    The sign for the casting call included the line, "No Punjabs."

    August 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  10. Jermaine

    "Parking reserved for shopping center customers only." is even more appropriate.

    August 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  11. oh dear

    I can completely understand them not wanting non-customers parking there, but "No Muslim Parking" doesn't convey that message. Perod.

    August 23, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  12. Jay

    If the cars belonged to people going to the mosque and they are occupying spaces that would have been used by shopping center customers then they have total justification in having the cars towed.
    I would repost signs saying "parking reserved for shopping center customers only" and then tow their cars as soon as they enter into the mosque

    August 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  13. sarcasticsonofab

    It would have been better if the last part read "Your camel will be towed".

    August 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  14. Chris

    Seems like whoever made the sign was too stupid to make it "mosque" which is probably what the sign was meant to say.

    August 23, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Jermaine

      Pretty much. Morons. Too stupid, or too racist. One or the other.

      August 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
      • optikradio

        Racist? Islam is a religion, not a race. It's ignorant to conflate the two.

        August 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  15. Ricky ricardo

    Dirty Arabs taking up all the white mans parking

    August 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  16. sara

    .
    If at all, the U.S. truly belongs to Native Americans. The rest of us are foreigners. don't you forget it when you open your ignorant mouth and spill verbal crap.

    August 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Ricky ricardo

      We should adopt this for all parking spots

      August 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Sara

      The people we call native Americans came in waves, with each group displacing the next. The "original" inhabitants are almost certainly people pushed far south of what we now consider the US border. Would you like to invite them back?

      August 24, 2013 at 12:19 am |
  17. InvestMattA

    Good for them. It's time to face up to the fact that Islam is evil. Islam is much, much more similar to Naziism, Communism or Fascism than it is to Judaism or Christianity. We should be banning all Muslim immigrants into the US and we should try to convince those here to leave or convert. Islam is evil.

    August 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Since you obviously don't believe in the first amendment, I think you should be the one leaving. You sir, are the fascist.

      August 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Sally Hodges

      Go take your forgotten medication.

      August 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  18. teafor2

    Consider yourself lucky if their morning call to prayer blaring over huge loudspeakers in the wee hours aren't infringing on your rights to peace and quiet. Their freedom of religion allows them to wake many parts of the world with their loudspeakers perched above residential areas. Other church bells are perhaps just as offending but I pray not. Gimme a rooster any day.

    August 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • RK

      Church bells are pleasant compared to the loud fast food grade loud speaker the muslim's use.

      August 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  19. Tyler Mannison

    Good. We need more of this. Start restricting their rights before they take ours away.

    August 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Anymoose

      I agree. Anybody that is in a cult (christianity, mormonism, islam, judaism) should have their rights restricted. And also be subject to strict eugenics programs.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  20. Nanson Hwa

    It appears the sign was posted due to parking problems in the shopping center. Worshipers were using the private parking lot while attending service thereby inconveniencing Westfield customers. It is a parking policy not a sign of hate. The sign should have read: "Parking for Westfield customers only. Violaters will have their vehicles towed away."

    August 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • el flaco

      Thank you for pointing out the part of this story that should be obvious to everyone.

      How could anyone who can read and write be dumb enough to compose that sign?

      August 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • SA

        A mall owner who is so irate that he is consumed by his own bigotry and cannot hide it.

        Irateness at people abusing your parking lot is justified. Bigotry isn't.

        August 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Mary

          Bullsh!t, they have no right to park in the other lot, but muslims feel they have the right to do anything they want.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
        • Jules

          How do you know that the person who wrote the sign wasn't foreign so English isn't their first language so the intent of the poster wasn't bigotry at all but bad English? So sick of people going on about bigotry – there's enough to go around with all races if you ask me. And Muslims need to get off their high horses since they are happily going around Egypt at the moment burning down Churches and attacking Christians. Large numbers of them are the most intolerant people you will ever meet. Fortunately, there are a lot of really nice ones too. But my point is, the Muslim lady who was indignant in this article would serve a better purpose by looking at the atrocities Muslims are committing around the world, including their actions on US soil and making comments about how disgusting and intolerant her fellow Muslims instead of pretending to be holier than thou!!!!

          August 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • SA

      It is a sign of hate. Replace the word MUSLIM with the word Mosque and it is no longer a sign of hate. Replace the message on the sign with your message "Parking for Westfield customers only. Violaters will have their vehicles towed away." and it becomes the most accurate and professional. (Although, Violators is spelled with an 'o'. FYI.)

      August 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • Mary

        You mean bend over and kiss muslim as$,yet again.

        August 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
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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.