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

    Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, said do not call people by their skin color! The entire world are lying hypocrites, full of deceit so they turn aside and call you black and brown people. (1st Timothy 5:15) Our God is a consuming fire. (Obadiah 1:18)

    August 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  2. children of Israel

    The God of Jacob rules this earth, and he has given the earth into hand of wicked. Our people must repent, andacknowledge the truth! (Matthew 1:21) *Jeremiah 50:6*

    August 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  3. John

    Salami Lakum

    August 25, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Edwin

      Walakum lakum

      August 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  4. Josh

    the mohammedans put it up. this is false-flag. open your eyes people, this is what soft jihad is all about

    August 25, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      What evidence do you have to back up your claim?

      August 25, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  5. Sovereign One

    Private property rights ALWAYS trump civil rights. Regardless of what this sham government says.

    The lot owner would have been better served by putting up a "Customers Only", sign then sitting in wait for people to park ad leave the lot. Keep the tow trucks lined up and cause the people maximum inconvenience and cost.

    August 25, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  6. cheeseroll

    What's wrong with banning the Mohammedians from parking in your lots?

    You don't want a car bomb to go off there, do you?

    "This is what comes to mind because obviously he has a lot of hate."

    Yeah whatever, you Islamic loser. The only virulent, unceasing hate I see is those radiating from the followers of the pedo-prophet Muhammad.

    August 25, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Oh the irony

      "Yeah whatever, you Islamic loser. The only virulent, unceasing hate I see is those radiating from the followers of the pedo-prophet Muhammad."

      To see more virulent, unceasing hate, look into your mirror.

      August 25, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • Sameer

      What's a 'mohamadden'? I suppose some one needs more education than they're already getting in the red neck south.

      August 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  7. darrell

    It's a private business. They can choose who to provide amenities to. If they don't want Muslims or Jews or dogs occupying their parking spots then it's their right.

    August 25, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • mike

      And if the sign said no blacks can park there you would have no problem with it? What about the first amendment? What about the LAW. Just because you are a private business it is still against the law to discriminate.

      August 25, 2013 at 1:35 am |
      • Johnny Boy 5

        Actually it is not. As a private business owner, you can discriminate all you like. It's a bad business model, but it's certainly not illegal. If they have a no talking rule in their store, then they can kick people out who practice free speech. Again, not a very good business model.

        August 25, 2013 at 7:42 am |
      • jlo1965

        They have the right to refuse business to anyone they choose. I don't think this was motivated by hate rather I think this had to do more with ignorance than anything. They could of used different language like most people. Customer Parking only, all others will be towed away without singling anyone out.

        August 25, 2013 at 8:53 am |
        • Grammar Police

          "could of used different language"?

          Don't you mean could HAVE used different language?

          August 25, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  8. Poo

    Whoever made the sign is either extremely stupid or was aiming to start trouble. This could've been easily ameliorated simply writing "Westview Mall parking for customers only. All others will be towed at owner's expense."

    August 24, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  9. Ivan G

    The shopping center should have posted signs that say "no mosque parking" or "parking for shopping center only." Signs of this type are common (including "no church parking") and do not target a religion.

    August 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • John

      Where do Muslims park their Camels,In a camelot?

      August 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  10. Claude Slagenhop


    August 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  11. Claude Slagenhop

    I think the outrage should from the other side. When you have a religion founded by a pedophile, invading other countries, you can expect to have some pushback. America is tolerant to the extent you play nice with others, but when you force your women to cover their faces, beat your children if they play with the infidel or kill your teenager because they disrespect you, expect that you can't use the mall parking for your house of horror parking.

    August 24, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Intisarul Islam

      You clearly know NOTHING about Islam or Muslims. Prophet Muhammad was NOT a pedophile; the accusations are based on questionable and unreliable sources, and does not add up mathematically. More accurate sources, place the age of his wife Aisha at between 15-18 (which was common for most of history), NOT at 9. Women are not "forced" to cover their faces, they choose to do so. Furthermore, the tradition of covering faces was BORROWED from the Byzantines and Persians. Kids are not "beaten" for playing with "infidels;" I'm Muslim, and most of my friends are non-Muslim, so your claim is baseless and disgusting. Moreover, Islam is not founded on "invading other nations. If you knew history, you would have known that the "invasions" started after Muhammad's death, so they have nothing to do with faith, but with power, which is common to ALL nations; you also would have known that they were a result of the assassination of a Muslim dignitary to the Byzantine empire. I think you should actually LEARN a few things about Islam before posting your disgusting lies and spreading your redneck propaganda.

      August 24, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        I don't side with your belief by any means but Claude is definitely in the wrong here. I know good Muslims who are not extremists. The sign is horribly discriminatory and should have been worded to the effect of 'Customer Only Parking'.

        August 24, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • M

          Exactly! People need to stop making generalisations based on the actions of a few. Timothy McVay was white, does that make all white people terrorist bombers? Of course not! Very convenient how some people forget the terrible things done by those who have the same colour skin, or same religion as them. It is also unbelievable how people will post blatantly racist comments and not care, or not realise, how racist they are. Racisms is just another form of radicalism, and (unfortunately) way too common.

          August 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
        • M

          And when I say exactly, I am agreeing that the sign should have read " for mall customers only".

          August 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
        • Sara

          I agree that people over-generalize, but religion and race are very different things. Race says nothing about your beliefs and religion to a large extent defines not only beliefs but many of a person's action. In most places a person is free to choose a religion or to leave it and one's religion is a strong predictor of beliefs.

          August 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • duck

        You were doing so good till you decided to talk like him at the end. That is hate too, to call him a red neck. Hate is hate.

        August 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
      • darrell

        Unreliable sources being Koran? I thought it was literal word of god?

        August 25, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  12. Justme

    Obviously, the parking lot is for the convenience of customers shopping at the mall. If the Mosque needs a parking lot for their mosque members, then they should either build a parking lot or rent space for them. The shopping center could install parking meters in spaces closest to the mosque for mosque members only and issue window stickers to identify mosque members. Anyone else would get a parking ticket if they parked there. Would be cheaper for the mosque and more money for the shopping center.

    August 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Sovereign One

      I wouldn't cater to these people, even for a profit. I would make it most inconvenient for them to keep the most open.

      August 25, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  13. Jose M. Pulido

    "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 freedom of religion."
    This is not a matter of freedom of religion, it is a matter of decency and courtesy the Islamic/Muslim invaders should show by not parking in the shopping center's parking lot. No one is asking those Muslims to stop bending their smelly rear-ends five times a day in the El Farouq mosque even though Islam is a worthless, useless and deadly ideology designed to destroy the host country from within.
    If this is how Islamists/Muslims react now that they are a minority, do you, my fellow Americans imagine what will they do once they acquire a population a majority? They will probably behead all those who write signs asking them to show some decency as these "no parking" signs, according to the Quran and Sharia Law.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • M

      Hey Jose, unless you are Native American, all Americans are "invaders" to use your own word. Your comment shows nothing but your level of ignorance.

      August 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  14. UpsetVoter

    This was a poorly written sign. It is similar to other signs from businesses near houses of worship to stop people who are not customers from clogging their parking lot. Houses of worship should have appropriate parking spots without preventing nearby businesses from operating.

    Some have come up with interesting solutions. I know Catholic churches that share parking with both Jewish Temples and Mosques since the services do not interfere with each other. The Temple and the Church have even borrowed each others building for high holy days when the congregation is unusually high. Both the Church and the Temple have been filled for Christmas mass. We have even had services where the leaders of one congregation has done guest sermons at the other house of worship.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • M

      Upsetvoter, I love that arrangement. Kudos to those leaders for coming up with a convenient solution that, in the end, just ends up creating a closer neighbourhood. I am sure everyone has learned valuable lessons from each others religion, even if it is not part of their own religious beliefs. Knowledge is power, ignorance breeds fear, and fear breeds hate.

      August 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  15. Chutney

    I am appalled by the ignorant racist bigots posting their hate filled comments on this story. Why must all of you be reminded that we do live in a country that guarantees freedom of religion to everyone, not just the christian bigots? They have a right to practice their own religion just the same as the rest of us.

    August 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • optikradio

      "ignorant racist bigots"

      Islam is a religion, not a race.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • CharlieSeattle

        Islam is a terrorist ideology spread by the sword for hundreds of years.

        August 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • caligula166

          Which is different from Christianity how?

          August 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  16. Jay Shawn

    Muslims discriminate against non-Muslims in their countries; all mandated by shariah as well. Why do they complain when they get a taste of their own treatment?

    August 24, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • CharlieSeattle

      True! Their shiite does stink!

      August 24, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • NooYawkah

      HYPOCRITES!!!! *Burp*...mmmmm, bacon....

      August 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  17. John Miller

    Sign should read: Parking for mall customers only. This is not a veiled threat!

    or: Males parking here but not shopping here forfeit all virgins after death.

    or: Mall worship services cancelled. Park somewhere else.

    August 24, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Dennis

      How about a sign stating "pork products sold on these premises"?..That's better than a sign saying "No raghead parking allowed"

      August 24, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  18. flash321

    The sign says more than the headline does. The headline is misleading. The sign is not 'anti-Muslim.' It is against the people of the church parking in the shopping mall. The parking in the shopping mall is for mall shoppers. How else can the mall express their needs? Maybe bit different wording, but the sign is definitely not bigoted. In order to be bigoted, it would have to say something bad about Muslims. It doesn't.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:20 am |
    • Lynda

      I agree totally. Seems like everyone, expecailly the media, try and turn everything into some kind of issue.. It's plan If you are not going to the shoping senter don park in there area..

      August 24, 2013 at 7:17 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Oh geez, no wonder you agree.

        Spell check and dictionaries are wonderful tools, you might wish to learn to use them or at least register for an English class.

        August 24, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • truthprevails1

      No, it does not say "No Mosque Parking" (that is what you have implied). It clearly states "No Muslim Parking"...it doesn't take too much to realize how discriminatory that is...it kind of generalizes an entire group of people. It should have been worded differently...something to the effect of 'Customer Only Parking' would have been politer and not made the owner look like an ass.

      August 24, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • optikradio

      Well said.

      August 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  19. children of Israel

    *Matthew 12:38 The field is the world; *Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? *Genesis 49:16-17 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way,.. *Matthew 26:4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. *John 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

    August 24, 2013 at 5:03 am |
  20. children of Israel

    The four corners are God is East. Satan is west. God is south. Satan is north. God is he. Satan is him. God is odd1 Satan is even strange. God is the true vine. Satan is divine *Isaiah 45:6-7 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. *Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. *Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. *Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. *Jeremiah 50:6 My people hath been lost sheep: *Matthew 28:3-4 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. *Mark 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. *Isaiah 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. *Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. *Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown: but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. *Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Psalm 58:3)

    August 24, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • CharlieSeattle

      “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
      Then he is not omnipotent.

      Is he able, but not willing?
      Then he is malevolent.

      Is he both able and willing?
      Then whence cometh evil?

      Is he neither able nor willing?
      Then why call him God?”

      Epicurus (ancient Greek philosopher)

      August 24, 2013 at 2:55 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.