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. Jonah

    That's 'Murica - land of the free, home of the brave.

    August 26, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  2. the pope

    This is not racism, just a very stupid texan. That's a wonderful explanation.

    August 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  3. Ketielynn

    It should have read...Parking for Mall customers only. I see signs like that all the time when business share a parking lot.

    August 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  4. David

    There are no church parking signs at stores all across America. The writer of this sign probably meant "no mosque parking" and didn't realize his error. Not worth an article on CNN.

    August 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  5. Ryerson

    I'm pretty sure they invented algebra, mosque construction, suicide bombers, irrational thinking, and a belief that having 72 virgins would somehow be a good thing...

    August 26, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  6. some random

    Ok so

    1. blacks shouldn't go to KKK meetings
    2 whites shouldn't go to black panther rallies
    3. Jews shouldn't attend neo Nazi parties
    4 Muslims should not live in Texas

    It's common sense

    August 26, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Several prominent blacks have spoken and were warmly welcomed at Klan rallies, notably Muhammed Ali and Marcus Garvey.

      August 26, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Also, there were many whites involved with the Panthers.

      August 26, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  7. Steve

    Poor Muslims – just can't park anywhere!

    August 26, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  8. Olga

    Oh how we love making a big deal out of nothing! It was obviously an uneducated attempt at saying "No Mosque parking here."

    August 26, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Sara

      Pretty much.

      August 26, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  9. MohammedEatsPork

    Awesome! Where can i get a couple of those signs?

    August 26, 2013 at 3:06 am |
  10. What's the big deal?


    It does the trick, too! No more Jehovas Witnesses or Mormons! YEA!

    August 26, 2013 at 2:58 am |
    • Ryerson

      I feel sorry for you. You must be one of those liberals who are so accommodating and accepting of everyone...everyone except Christians, that is.
      Good luck with that.

      August 26, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • some random

      kill yourself

      August 26, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  11. mudgoemkeklopieo

    What happened to their flying carpets?

    August 26, 2013 at 2:02 am |
  12. Frank

    In my neck of the woods there are a lot of churches located in shopping centers, is very common to see "no church parking" signs. I think the shopping center owner just made a mistake.

    August 26, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  13. larlarme

    cnn: PLEASE quit stirring up the hate. YOU headline it indicating hate, then in the story you say the mosque is across the street, and people park in the mall and then walk across the street for the mosque.

    August 26, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • So Christians can park in the lot and go to the Mosque?

      Gotcha. It's just MUSLIMS that can't park and go to the Mosque.

      How about if they convert to Christianity, park the car, and then convert to Islam on their way to the Mosque? Is THAT OK? OK, ok, yes, they'll promise to convert BACK to Christianity before they get back into their car. NOW are you satisfied?

      August 26, 2013 at 3:00 am |
      • patriottony

        No, the point is ,,just like my community (christians), park at a strip mall,,,take up all the spots and the customers have no place to park, so you lose business, so there are signs that say "NO CHURCH or SERVICES PARKING" Vehicles will be towed.....it's private property..not public

        August 26, 2013 at 8:00 am |
        • Sara

          It's just a poorly worded sign that was taken down immediately. This is something that should have made the local papers and gone no further.

          August 26, 2013 at 8:03 am |
        • Joe Bloe

          The ONLY way people should be allowed to park at a strip mall is if they 'Take off all their clothes.' After all it *IS* a STRIP mall.

          August 27, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  14. skfalcon

    It is quite possible this was not meant to be discriminatory. I think the guy just had it with people from the mosque parking in his lot. He probably didn't know what to call them, so he just put 'muslims'. Perhaps 'mosque goers' may have been better?

    August 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • How about "MALL PARKING ONLY"

      Wow. That sure was a head-scratching, conundrum of a mystery that's a puzzle and an incredibly hard logic situation that took my Cray 251G Super Computer 149 years to figure out.

      I had to invent a time machine, go back in time, build the Super Computer, set it running, hop BACK in the time machine, and make it back here to be able to give you that answer, but gee – why couldn't the Mall owner have done that???

      Do you feel sufficiently belittled, yet, or should I shame you some more?

      August 26, 2013 at 3:04 am |
      • some random

        you need some Enzyte don't you?

        August 26, 2013 at 10:28 am |
      • Sara

        Usually if a particular business has most of the parking offenders that is made clear on the sign to make clear that the spaces really are being watched. "No mosque parking" would have been the correct sign. Then again, if they just towed 3 or 4 cars the mosque would probably offer to put up its own signs.

        August 26, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  15. ADoplhH

    Should the sign have read, No Towel Heads?

    Would that be better ?

    August 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  16. Foreal89

    I agree way to go keep it going

    August 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  17. Foreal89


    August 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  18. children of Israel

    Satan loves to distract you away from truth. *John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (Nehemiah 9:13-14) *Job 32:21-22*

    August 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  19. Win Adams

    I love it. I want one. I don't believe in lying. I don't like Muslims.

    August 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  20. children of Israel

    The Lord of hosts is with Syria, and Esau and Jacob mother Rebekah is a Syrian woman, who loved Jacob. (Romans 9:13) *Isaiah 19:23*

    August 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
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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.