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. Greg

    I understand how the Muslims must feel. There are signs "No Park and Ride parking allowed. Vehicles towed at owners expense" signs at strip malls where I live. I guess those strip malls want to save the parking spots for their customers. How selfish.

    August 29, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Did you read the article? It's not that they want to keep the parking for shoppers, it's that the sign said "No Muslim parking ...". I doubt you'd make the same comment if your local mall had a sign saying "No Christian parking ..."

      August 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
      • gwg76

        To "In Santa We Trust": It's America. Even if the sign did say "No Christian Parking", everyone would just have a good laugh. It's not Christian's American's have a problem with.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • Chris

          You are right it is internet trolls like you that Americans have a problem with because you make us look as stupid as you.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
        • Howie

          Wrong. MANY of us have a problem with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and any other group that believes in mythical fantasy land at the expense of reason and common sense. You want something to worship? Look in the mirror (well not you actually because I'm not sure you're human). Mankind is the epitome. We are the only intentional creative force in the universe (at least the portions of it we have been able to observe). We are the closest thing to god that you will ever observe.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Chris

      You have to be trolling because the obvious difference is that the signs specifically target a religous people. If you want only customers to use your parking lot you put up a 'customer parking only all other will be towed' sign.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • brian

        Islam is not a religion, it is an ideology. It is an ideology of world domination that hides behind a prayer rug to fool silly liberals like your self. We need to resist this ideology the same way we resisted Nazi Germany's plans to rule the world.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
        • Howie

          In one respect you are right. Like ALL religions it seeks to dominate the world with its idea of morality. Like ALL religions it considers those who believe differently to be 'evil' and not worthy of the same human rights and respect as those who believe. Like ALL religions it bases its worldview on the ramblings of some half starved desert nomads who lived a few thousand years ago. However, it is a religion. That seems to be the problem. ALL religion is the problem. Grow up and realize that humanism is the only ism you need.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  2. gwg76

    Islam is not a religion. Islam is hate propagation which has no place in this society.

    August 29, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • mike friedman

      your right

      August 29, 2013 at 5:25 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Gee, if you're going to agree with an idiot, at least try not to sound like one...it's you're not your.

        August 29, 2013 at 7:06 am |
    • Bumboclot

      Yeah well, you may want to look at your own religion before you cast stones, Mr Glass House.

      August 29, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  3. gwg76

    I am so sick of seeing garbage bags walking down the street. But then again, you are what you act! GARBAGE!!!

    August 29, 2013 at 3:44 am |
    • truthprevails1

      At least they're not standing on the street corner handing out religious pamphlets or going door to door. If they're not causing you direct harm then live and let live (and set aside the 9/11 stuff, not all muslims supported it and numerous died in the buildings that day).

      August 29, 2013 at 7:08 am |
      • GBryant

        Direct harm? As in shooting people while in the military? Blowing people up trying to participate in a run? We can't trust any of them

        August 29, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Those are extremists. To blame all muslims for the actions of fools like that is no different than blaming christards for the crusades or the inquisition or Hitler's actions.

          August 29, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • JAM

          There is no such thing as Radical Islam. ALL ISLAM is an evil religion, period. There can be no compromise with evil. I truly feel sorry for muslim's who are in bondage for a religion that: says a woman's testimony is 2/3 of a man's; preaches jihad as a duty with poor suffering 72 virgins as a reward; quotes their Prophet that in the last days a "bush or tree will say, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill it". This is Satan's religion. Where is the outrage over the Christian woman in Pakistan who has been in prison and facing execution for drinking water using a Muslim's cup out of a well. Where is the outrage over the Coptic churches burned and the crucifixion of Christians?

          August 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • Howie

          ALL religion is evil. If there actually was a 'satan', it is clear that religion would have been his creation, and its adherents his followers. There is no difference between one religion and another, they are all full of people who want to dominate everyone else, tell everyone what they can and can't do and even think, and are perfectly willing to kill those who don't believe.

          August 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      So true. Surprised you're so self-aware.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
      • Bender the Offender

        I know you are but what am I.

        August 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  4. gwg76

    Way too many muslim lovers posting here. Move to the middle east where you belong. True American's would never stick up for muslims and islam.

    August 29, 2013 at 3:18 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Way too many bigots posting on here. Move out of Secular US and to a country where they support your special brand of stupid!

      August 29, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • 1blkman

      By americans you mean the indian tribes that were here before Europeans and Spaniards discovered(conquered) the country .

      August 29, 2013 at 7:11 am |
      • viaquest

        Go ask any Indian, if they want their TeePee back so they can hunt Bison, or if they are happy with their cut from the Casinos, free education, no taxes, cheaper products, free homes, free land , and a government check! M.O.R.O.N bringing up the Indians is about as Stupid as bringing up Slavery. There is noone alive who had anything to do with either situation! Troll

        August 29, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • Howie

          While I agree with your final sentence, you are absolutely wrong about the entire rest of your comment. I know several Native Americans who grew up 'on the rez'. Universally they describe a sense of hoplessness. Thier culture was destroyed. By being penned in and given the handouts you describe, as a people they have essentially lost thier will to live. When they lived in their traditional way, close to the land, in touch with nature, they lived good, meaningful lives. When that was taken from them most lost any ambition or drive to succeed. Many have drug and alchohol addictions, most live in abject poverty. Those who do escape that life tell of being taught by their parents that there is no use in striving, no need for ambition. these are a broken, defeated people. They WOULD be much better of as you put it – living in a teepee and hunting bison.

          August 29, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Bumboclot

      Actually you should move to the middle east where they encourage hatred. In America religious freedom actually means something!

      August 29, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Chris

      You clearly don't understand what America stands for or what it was founded on. The colonists that left England left because they were being prosecuted for their religion and wanted to live in a society that had freedom of religion. Go troll somewhere else with your halfwit statements.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
      • Howie

        Everyone – stop feeding the troll! gwg76 is obviously either in prison, an insane asylum, or just trying to get a rise out of people. It is inconceivable that someone as ignorant and filled with hate is actually walking around free.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  5. Willlbur

    I think it is just a poor use of grammar. What was probably meant is that only people on official mall business were to park in the lot and that people attending the mosque should not park in the mall's lot.

    I expect that Muslims conducting business in the mall would be every bit as welcome as other customers.

    Some people just are not very skilled at Engllish.

    August 29, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  6. gwg76

    No outrage from me either. September 11th 2001 was an outrage.

    August 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • el dono

      Oh, right. And the people who attend the mosque caused 911. Is that what you are saying? You must have a hard time with anyone who is different than you, right? Fortunately, most people are different than you, gwg76. You say things and don't take responsibility for what you say. Head in the sand, eh?

      August 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
      • gwg76

        You want the terrorists to win. You are not a true American.

        August 29, 2013 at 1:48 am |
        • truthprevails1

          A true American shows tolerance for all and realizes that not all muslims are extremists.

          August 29, 2013 at 7:11 am |
        • Public Enemy Number 2

          A true American believes in freedom of religion, not "freedom of religion as long as Jesus is involved." How about YOU move to a country where your brand of freedom (that is, no freedom whatsoever) is acceptable, hmm?

          August 29, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  7. gwg76

    Wife beaters and child molesters.

    August 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Just as many in the christian churches and secular society.

      August 29, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • Public Enemy Number 2

      But enough about Catholics...

      August 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  8. gwg76

    Stupid muzzies. Bunch of terrorists.

    August 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  9. Misssmartypants

    I get the need to keep the parking lot available for customers but the sign is prejudiced as hell. Why not just say "Parking lot is for customers only". Does the religion really matter? If it was a baptist church down the street would it be okay for worshipers to park there? Can other people park there who are not shoppers but also not muslim? probably not, change sign, it's offensive and inaccurate....double duty dumb.

    August 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  10. Jack 2

    Leave the signs up! In fact put them on the borders, shorelines and airlines. Keep the violent selfcentered terrorists out

    August 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Misssmartypants

      Borders,shorelines...? You do realize that there are Muslim Americans born and raised in this country right? And that your comments are extremely prejudiced. I just thought you should know in case you woke up this morning thinking you were a good quality person...you're not!

      August 28, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
      • RoRo

        Give 'em hell, Ms.Smartypants!!!! Lovin this.

        August 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • gwg76


          August 29, 2013 at 3:40 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Like Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber?

      August 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • mike friedman

      once again very good and true

      August 29, 2013 at 5:28 am |
      • truthprevails1

        See how this goes Mike?? Once again you're an idiot and a bigger bigot than christards make Atheists out to be. Bet your Momma and Daddy are proud of the ignorant loser they raised!

        August 29, 2013 at 7:14 am |
  11. John

    I disagree with the sign, but I also strongly disagree with the Muslims saying they believe in religious freedom. There are too many stories of Muslim women (especially) who left the religion and were either killed, kicked out of the home and totally removed from any family affiliation. In fact the Muslim religion is a birth to the grave movement designed to destroy any other religious belief. If they believe in religious freedom then why cannot Christians establish churches in the Muslim world without retaliation, eradication and expulsion. They have come to America, established Mosques and demand to keep themselves covered, obey sharia law and deny any part of being an American. Such hypocrisy!!!!

    August 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • ME II

      "The consensus: There are churches and/or synagogues in almost every Muslim country."
      ( http://www.tampabay.com/news/politifact-most-muslim-countries-allow-churches-synagogues/1126477 )

      August 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • Jack 2

        Get real and pull the blinders off. Do you really think we're that brainless? We are all very aware of what muslims do in this world.

        August 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
        • Misssmartypants

          Muslims,Christians,Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Athiest, Wiccans....hell I can't think of a single religious group that hasn't done something.

          August 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
        • Pole dancing for Jesus

          missnotsosmartypants, atheism isn't a religion

          August 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
        • Misssmartypants

          @Pole dancing....Atheism is a religion. I guess I am a lot smarter than you.

          A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

          Instead of criticizing maybe you should pick up a book sometimes and educate yourself.

          August 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
        • Pole dancing for Jesus

          Atheism is not a religion. It's you that don't got no education.

          August 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
        • ME II

          A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

          Many Atheists consider Atheism to be simply a lack of belief in god(s), and as such doesn't involve any of those components.

          August 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • Livefreeordiehard

          There are minorities psychopaths in every religion. I read here lot of stupid comments from lot of ignorant haters. America won't progress anymore if the majority of the people stay this ignorant.
          Yes, there are some messed up Muslims out there, but so Christians, Jews, Hindus and many other religious groups. Bin Laden was very bad Muslim who deserved worse than what he got, but lets not forget than not a long time ago in history, Hitler was way worse. Hitler was Christian and killed millions of Jews in the name of Christianity....
          Did or do the Jews think all Christians are terrorists?

          August 29, 2013 at 6:44 am |
      • ME II

        @Jack 2,
        You are committing an Argumentum ad populum fallacy by appealing to what "We are all very aware" of.

        If you have facts to dispute the article the present them, otherwise please keep your paranoia to yourself, as it can be contagious.

        August 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Misssmartypants

      The hypocrisy is coming from you...You assail them for their intolerance then you go on a tirade of intolerance against them...nice.

      August 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • gwg76

        Misssmartypants; I've really had it with your muzzy loving comments. Islam is the world's worst so called "religion". (which isn't even a religion).

        August 29, 2013 at 3:37 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Doesn't matter if you've had it with her comments. She has a point, you don't!

          August 29, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Public Enemy Number 2

      @John – Islam isn't like Catholicism. There's no central governing body that encompasses all of Islam. So comparing what Muslims do in Yemen, for example, to what Muslims do here is misguided at best, downright idiotic at worst.

      August 29, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  12. Rob Dougherty

    Actually if you read this closely, its about church (mosque) attendees that are parking when shoppers should be parking there. So instead of Muslims, should have written "mosque" parking and then the liberals would not make up such a story.
    Its okay for them to upset about lost revenue, and it is fair.

    August 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Misssmartypants

      No one is making up a story, the sign is real and really offensive. If they don't want the mosque parking then they should say Parking is for shoppers only. Just another GOP who fails to see the rights of all people deserve to be respected. Typical..

      August 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • ME II

        Please don't stereotype those in the GOP.

        August 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
      • gwg76

        Misssmartypants is muzzy lover. Go to Afghanistan where the freedom fighters can finish you off.

        August 29, 2013 at 3:33 am |
        • Livefreeordiehard

          You are an idiot ignorant

          August 29, 2013 at 6:47 am |
  13. forbz

    monotheism is a joke. how in the world can christians, hebrews, and muslims all believe in the same god and the same beginnings cause so much problems for all of us. they all act like one big dysfunctional family. none of you all are right. religion is a tool to control simple minded individuals.

    August 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  14. John Calvin II

    Well, you can feel sorry for me too because Muslims do not belong in the USA period, end of story. They have many nations whre they dominate everything and where they would never let a westerner immigrate or a Christian practice his faith without fear of death, and yet they complain when someone puts up a sign saying that people visiting the Mosque can't park in their lot. The Quran IS a book of domination and murder. That IS factual and there is not debate for anyone who is willing to look at it honestly rather than 1) lying about their background (i.e., Muslims) or 2) putting their head in the sand and playing the PC game.

    August 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Howie

      You are partly correct. ALL religious texts are books of domination and murder. ALL religions should be banned. ALL houses of worship should be turned into parking lots (or at least made into useful pieces of real estate). Free your mind and realize that humans are the only thing worth worshiping. We are the only truly creative force in the universe. There is no god. There never was a jesus, mohamed, abraham, moses or (insert false prophet name here).

      August 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Allison

        Howie I agree with you but when human beings become so egocentric in their thinking they forget their obligation to protect the environment and the fragile eco-system which includes all life forms. I'm thinking about plants and animals not necessarily religious fanatics.

        August 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • ME II

      @John Calvin II,
      What other countries do is their business, but in the USA we respect everyone's right to Freedom of Religion and the Free Exercise thereof.

      If you don't agree with that, then maybe you would be more interested in a theocratic country somewhere else.

      August 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • gwg76

        You should leave America immediately "ME II".

        August 29, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • MZ Muslim

      Nice to see stupid people stille xist in this country.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  15. pat

    I think it's funny...where can I get me some of those signs?

    August 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Grand Whizzer

      Any of your local KKK outlets should have them.

      August 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • gwg76

        Moron, grand moron.

        August 29, 2013 at 3:26 am |
  16. Bubba

    Spring Branch, Texas. Need anything else be said. If it begins with a funny name, and is followed by a comma and "Texas", we can assume that it is both morally confused, and the product of the mentally skewed.
    We no longer pay much attention from statements made from KKK members, and equally low esteem should be given to Texans.

    August 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  17. Robert Walters

    If it said 'no restaurant parking' or 'no church parking' would this even be a news story?


    August 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      It is a lame story but it didn't say "No mosque parking" it said "No muslim parking" the equivalent "No christian parking" would be considered offensive by many.

      August 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  18. Sam the Sham

    OK, everybody let's not lose our heads. Nothing to get all blown up over.

    August 28, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  19. jsf12

    It was idiotic to write "no Muslim parking" when what was meant was "no Mosque parking". It is perfectly reasonable for a business to choose to not subsidize the parking for a nearby organization.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Xevious

      Absolutely correct. Because one defines the parking logistics and the other can easily be taken as discrimination. Better yet, if the sign said parking for customers/patrons only to avoid being exclusive for who could be towed.

      August 28, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Lisa W

      yes. I see them posted in lots by bars all the time.

      August 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  20. Bill

    to hell with the signs. Hire a tow company to sit in the parking lot and watch. If a person gets out of their car and heads to the Mosque tow the car and then charge $200. to get it back. Soon people will get the point. Its that easy....

    August 28, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Truth

      Agreed...help spur the local economy; tow the cars!!!

      August 28, 2013 at 12:26 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.