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. gwg76


    August 30, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • K

      Go back to sleep

      August 30, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  2. gwg76


    August 30, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  3. gwg76


    August 30, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  4. gwg76

    Kcuf all muzzies. Die! Die muzzies!

    August 30, 2013 at 3:20 am |
  5. gwg76

    Rot in hell muzzies.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:17 am |
  6. children of Israel

    The God of Jacob is going to judge America, and only the Israelites will rule this world. Do you believe Christ is the black messiah an Israelite, the Lord is a man of war.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      I could just as easily claim Zeus will hurl lightning bolts at you for your blasphemy and I'd be equally wrong.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  7. Dave

    It's pretty clear that the sign's author tried to make sure their parking lot wasn't being used for church overflow, and chose an inelegant way of saying it. This isn't news.

    August 30, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      If the sign had read "Parking for mall customers only...all others will be towed." The intended effect would have been the same without the bigotry and intolerance.

      August 30, 2013 at 3:18 am |
  8. Dan

    Islam is a cult, not a religion.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:52 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Want to try that again?
      To make the claim that Islam is a cult and not a religion alters the definition of the word cult such that Christianity too falls victim to that label. That wasn't your intention now was it?

      August 30, 2013 at 3:39 am |
    • Howie

      All religions are cults.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:55 am |
  9. jw

    So sad for the young victims, in Syria, but its not the job of U.S. to baby sit a bunch Muslim towel heads. There a great King who will settel All acounts. His name Jesus Christ Son of The one and only true God.So it is written, and so it will be

    August 29, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Harry Potter is written. I bet you walk into walls on railway platforms a lot, huh?

      August 29, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  10. tim

    Simple solution: put up signs that say "customer parking only -violators will be towed at owners expense." No discrimination. No angry jihadists blowing up your mall either.

    August 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  11. 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 5:49 pm |
    • Intisarul Islam

      You clearly know NOTHING about Islam, just like the rest of your fellow crusty brain-dead rednecks. "Jihad" merely means a struggle for a good cause, which is NOT violent most of the time. Islam forbids killing civilians and only allows war in self defense. At least Muslims would actually allow women to testify in court at a time when women in Europe were being burned for being witches or heretics. Prophet Muhammad never said the BS you "quoted." Christians in Egypt are not being "crucified" and no woman in Pakistan is in prison for using a Muslim's cup. If Muslims were really that intolerant, there would be no religious minorities in any Muslim country, which is obviously NOT the case. The only reason why churches are burned in Egypt is because they helped overthrow their democratically elected President. They also have been complacent with the military killing hundreds of protesters. All these are clearly POLITICAL reasons, and NOT religious. Maybe you should start commenting when you grow a brain to fill your empty skull. Your lies may work on Fox 5, but they're not going to work here.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        About ten years ago I began to use the word "jihad" when I wanted to emphasize a "struggle" as you describe, but the muslims that continually used the word to mean suicide bombing and other atrocities made me second guess that decision and I have since stopped using it correctly because of all the muslim fanatics that use it incorrectly.

        August 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • Intisarul Islam

          If what you said is true, then you're being irrational. Just because a small minority misuses the word (killing of civilians, minorities, and suicide are all forbidden in Islam, so can't be considered "good causes" in terms of religion), does not mean that their usage of the word is accurate. Nor does it mean that everyone else should stop using the word the RIGHT way, just because of the small minority.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
      • Aser

        let them kill each other those Muslims either by gun or gas or whatever they have to kill them selves ....this is what they pay for hitting America.... they thought they burn America on 09/11 but look, they are the one who is burning by their own fire (Libya, Egypt,Somalia, Yemen,Sudan, Pakistan,etc etc I can go on ....)just look at them they were the happy people on Earth on 9/11 giving candy to each other dancing on the street

        what i am saying is know your self America, in their eyes and in their brain you are "the great Satan" just defend your self and your brothers and friends in the world, and as the defender of Christianity look out and help all christian nations

        August 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • hnhtex99

          I thought them 19 boys, who killed so many innocent Americans in 9/11 were our heroes during our war against Russians in Afghanistan.

          August 29, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • jw

          Thats what I have been saying ever since 9 11!

          August 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
        • gwg76

          Aser: Thank you. You are one of the very few who are a true American. Islamist extremists will never be tolerated!

          August 30, 2013 at 4:01 am |
        • Intisarul Islam

          You are clearly confused. The guys who attacked us on 9/11 are dead. The 100,000 civilians who have died in Syria had nothing to do with 9/11.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • oldstockman

      You sound like, you are another brainwashed John Hagge Zionist Christian klan. Eat grits and gravy and chant old time hate hours. As a retired foreign service officer, I lived in 7 different Islamic countries for a total of 18 years. I was never ever hated in any of these country ever by anyone. Wherever I went, i was shown respect and I found Muslims to be exceptionally inviting people and great host. Even the poor want to share their meals.

      Shame on you...

      August 29, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • gwg76

        Then go back, America hater! Nobody wants you here! Leave now!!!

        August 30, 2013 at 3:54 am |
        • Intisarul Islam

          If you can't be tolerant, and and if you're really that stupid I think YOU should get out of the US. There are too many idiots on welfare like you in this country, and people like you are tearing this country apart. If you want to stay in this county, I suggest you get an education, GROW A BRAIN, and GET A LIFE.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • cbsinjon

        I too spent time in the middle east among muslims just recently and never experienced any hatred or violence. They could have easily harmed me over there if they had so desired. I am an agnostic and think both Islam and Christianity are equally guilty of crazy violence against their fellow man and both make crazy claims about who God is and how we should all live. One thing is for sure though, religion makes hypocrites out of most followers. How many so called Christians actually follow Jesus's teachings? " Love thy neighbor as thyself, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Forgive your enemies, Turn the other cheek, Do not as the hypocrites do, they love to pray in public to be seen among men but go and pray to your father in private, If you as so much call your brother a fool, you are in danger of hell fire, Take up your cross and follow me!

        August 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
        • Mark

          You just contradicted yourself. You stated how authentic Christians act, thus proving that anyone not loving their enemies is not a Christian. Well said. Lots of people claim to be Christians, in order to tarnish the name. The KKK, mormons, JWs, catholics, Oprah ... etc. But claiming to be one does not make you one. Those who follow the teachings of Jesus, also obey the great commission. They preach the Gospel. The teaching is based on love, unlike other religions where the teaching is based on violence and keeping people living in the past.

          So examine the teachings to know what is true, and what is evil. Anyone not following their teaching is a hypocrite.

          September 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  12. Bender the Offender

    Gee I wonder why Muslim's are getting a bad rap, could it be because they like to blow themselves up along with anyone else who just happens to be around them?

    This is America where you have the right to be Muslim or hate them.

    August 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Intisarul Islam

      Dear Brainless Bigot,

      I am now going to prove you wrong using common sense, so get ready. If all Muslims were suicidal terrorists, they would all be dead, which is clearly not true. If it were true that all Muslims were violent people, there would be TOTAL chaos in EVERY single Muslim nation or ANYWHERE you find Muslims (including the US) at ANY given time, which is clearly NOT the case and could not be farther from the truth. Also, if all Muslims were terrorists, there would be 1.7 BILLION terrorists in the world, and 6 million terrorists in the US. If that were the case, all Americans, and most of the world's population would be dead by now, which is also clearly NOT the case. Your comment only shows how dumb you are, and shows how dumb your fellow Conservatives are as well. Maybe this is why the Republican Party is dying out...Anyways, I dare you to challenge anything I said, and I can't wait for you to respond so that I can prove you wrong again.

      August 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • Johann

        You realise you made some inaccurate generalisations as well, correct?
        Not all conservative individuals assume all Muslims are terrorists. Nor do you have proof that all of them are stupid, or any other bold assumption you'd like to throw in. It seems you fell into the same trap of generalising an entire group of people. Doesn't that prove you are dumb? Given your previous post, it seems to be the logical conclusion, given your own reasoning.

        August 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • Intisarul Islam

          Maybe my wording was a bit harsh, sine I typed it during the heat of my wrath...but just the half a line about the conservatives though. The rest of my comment is accurate. Comparing my comment with "Bender the Offender"'s comment is a bit of a stretch because only the last sentence (out of 7) or so was based on a generalization of a group of people, whereas, Bender the Offender's entire comment consisted of generalizations.

          August 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • Johann

          It happens. Though I think I'd assume Bender the Offender is a troll, not necessarily an individual with any political affiliation. Too much gets turned into politics and finger pointing. It is a very common thing in America in general to not really have an understanding of Muslims, and people on the whole are distrustful of anything foreign to them, no matter their political affiliation. There is also no changing the opinions or creating substantial dialogue with the percentage of the population that is irrational or prone to emotional response. It is up to the people who can be calm, reasonable, and ask why the other has their point of view to establish dialogue that will, if we are all very lucky, move the country past partisan lines. 🙂

          August 29, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • hnhtex99

      It is because Jew control media did an excellent job of brainwashing half educated Americans.

      August 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • Allison

        Idiotic statement not even worth responding to...

        August 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  13. Carl

    Simple solution: fill the parking lot with crucifixes. Problem solved.

    August 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

    HEY. Simple. The MUSLIMS know why the sign is THERE. IT is BECAUSE MUSLIMS visiting a MUSLIM place are parking in a shopping center. SO instead of stepping UP to the PLATE and fixing a parking issue FOLKS pathetically try to make the shopping center owner look bad. SIMPLE. Address the parking issue MUSLIM leaders. PERIOD. Maybe you could carpool, run a shuttle, work with local shop owners that you will frequent stores and go to services. Should the sign be worded differently. of course. BUT don't PRETEND you do not know why the sign is there. IT IS BECAUSE MUSLIMS were abusing the lot. And probably a great number.

    August 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Pmiami

      Exactly, plus when I read that the guy's name is Steve Kwon it made me think he just might have made a mistake in his wording, like many Koreans do!

      August 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Why not say "No Mosque parking"? How would you feel about a "No Christian parking" sign outside your church?

      August 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  15. Fiona

    Just putting this out there – if people who are going to the mosque are using the privately owned mall's free STORE parking then the mall owner has every right to say they can't park in the mall's parking lot. It's for people using the stores, not everyone around. The sign could have been written much better. It could have said, "Parking is for Westview shoppers only. All others will be towed". That would have been fine for everyone I think.

    August 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  16. gwg76

    Howie just finished blowing his muslim boyfriend who was molesting a child at the same time while beating his garbage bag wife.

    August 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Intisarul Islam

      It's funny that you say that, because all the cases of pedophilia that I have heard of were from conservative Evangelicals....

      August 29, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
      • gwg76

        Get out, American hater! Get out now. Your time is up!

        August 30, 2013 at 3:51 am |
        • truthprevails1

          America is a Secular nation Mr Bigot...take your own advice!

          August 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
        • finman1966

          Yup, secular and that is the problem. I am really going to stir up a hornet's nest on this one and this is a message to all agnostics and atheists out there- since all of your money says "In God We Trust" and you don't believe in God, you won't have a problem sending me all of it- hey, you can't have it both ways right? How about the fact that in the U.S. House of Representatives, it says "In God We Trust" right above the Speaker's chair? The problem is that both groups misinterpreted the framer's intent. Freedom of religion does not mean you have the right to worship no God, it does mean the Government will not tell you what religion to believe in. This is why the Pilgrims left England, because they were being forced to worship in the Church of England, not atheism, etc. The people wanted the right to worship, and I underscore the word worship, as they pleased. Here's a news flash, MY rights are being violated because you ramrod secular beliefs down my throat. Where is the ACLU and the outcry over that? We were fine as a nation for nearly 180 years until this movement took hold- is it any wonder that since societal mores and progressive liberal thinking took hold, our country has gone into a downward spiral? There is no respect for authority, everyone is so sensitive for any number of reasons (oh we were discriminated against in the past), and now because we have tried to make everyone happy, our country is weaker and is laughed at around the world. When the Chinese, the Iranians and others come knocking on your door and drag you out into the street, you can go ahead and protest all you want- don't think it will happen? Keep going and see.

          August 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          In God We Trust was put on money in 1954. The Constitution went in to effect in 1796. You can cry persecution all you wish, it does not change anything. If you want respect for your religion, then expect to have the same requested of you. My secular views, which quite apparently you have no damn clue about, are rather simple; in fact they fall into a 10 Commandment sort of thing, with all 10 being reasonable and not one of them demanding idolatry (unlike the 1st 4 of the christian commandments):
          1- Proclaim the natural dignity and inherent worth of all human beings.

          2- Respect the life and property of others.

          3- Practice tolerance and open-mindedness towards the choices and life styles of others.

          4- Share with those who are less fortunate and mutually assist those who are in need of help.

          5- Use neither lies, nor spiritual doctrine, nor temporal power to dominate and exploit others.

          6- Rely on reason, logic and science to understand the Universe and to solve life's problems.

          7- Conserve and improve the Earth's natural environment—land, soil, water, air and space—as humankind's common heritage.

          8- Resolve differences and conflicts cooperatively without resorting to violence or to wars.

          9- Organize public affairs according to individual freedom and responsibility, through political and economic democracy.

          10- Develop one's intelligence and talents through education and effort.

          Atheism only defines my disbelief in any god due to the complete lack of evidence. You can cry all you wish that I am wrong but it doesn't matter...until you provide evidence outside of your bible, there is no justification to accept your god. I care that what I believe in is based off of substantiated facts and evidence :-).

          Now you don't have to like living in a Secular country and having to tolerate our views and we don't have to tolerate your intolerance.

          August 31, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Wow, the amount of ignorance in that is just amazing. So let's clear this up...In God We Trust was put on money in 1954 and in case you're too uneducated to realize it, money is not the governing paper of the country-that paper would be the Constitution, written in 1796 that makes it very clear that it is a Secular Nation. No-one is violating your rights...you still have the right to practice whatever silly thing you believe, providing it doesn't impede on the public...it's called freedom of and from religion. Get over yourself.
          As for my secular beliefs...you mean the ones where I believe that all citizen's of our planet deserve equal treatment regardless of sexual orientation; gender; color; belief; disbelief; the ones where I believe in fighting for saving our planet or maybe the ones where I am able to weigh right from wrong without the need for divine guidance from a 2000 year old book. You have no clue as to what I or any other Atheist stands for because the only thing any of us can be guaranteed in sharing is a disbelief in any god...that is all the word means. Now if you want to get picky, we'll just classify you a Theist and say you're no different than a JW or a Muslim or a Satanist.
          I happen to give a damn that what I believe is based on solid facts and evidence. You only have your bible and after having read it, it is obvious that your god is not worthy of worship!
          My opinion versus yours...see how that works??? That respect you demand goes both ways!

          August 31, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • tallulah13

          ".. the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,"

          From the The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams.

          I'll take the word of a Founding Father over decorative symbols, any day.

          August 31, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  17. 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 12:13 pm |
  18. gwg76

    To all the grammar correction people posting here: A lot of people are posting comments from mobile devices which automatically generate a word when typed. So state an opinion or go to the middle east and teach them proper English grammar.

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

      There is such a thing as proffreading. You can also shut off that foolish autofill option. Unless you like appearing to be uneducated and ignorant. Based on the content of many of these posts, that is probably the case.

      August 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
      • gwg76

        You just proved my point moron. All you want to do is tell people how to spell and speak properly. You made absolutely no valid opinion here.

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

          'You have made'

          August 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
      • Fiona

        "There's such a thing as proffreading you know..." Proffreading. Hilarious.

        August 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Howie

          Yep, that's funny. Pot, meet kettle.

          August 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  19. lolita from rhode island

    this is not a good idea. You don't wanna see a Muslim getting mad. They will explode something of blow themselves up. Just look at the news: terror, suicide bombers, and the list goes on and on. These religious people are fanatic and dangerous.

    August 29, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Chris

      Not as dangerous as biggoted generalizations such as your own.

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

        Chris: think about this; The next time a muslim blows up something in America, it could be you or your family or friends that die. God bless America and those that stand up and fight for it's freedom and security.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Chris

          Why don't you go ahead and give me examples of muslims blowing things up in America other than 9/11. The list will be short. Then I want you to go ahead and give me a list of christians that have blown stuff up in America. Compare the two. Also radical Islam is barely a fraction of those that practice Islam so I will take my chances with allowing freedom of religion to reign in America. Those that stand up for freedom and security in America are heroes but you are not one of them so don't invoke their honor to lend to your own cause. Freedom means freedom of religion as well...simple as that you filthy fat troll.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
      • brian

        several plots have been stopped by law enforcement, then we have had Boston Marathon, Fort Hood shooter. Take a look at what is happening in Europe. In England a soldier is butchered in broad daylight. you can yap all you want to but some day we will have to fight these people.

        August 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Howie

          Better get ready to fight Adam Lonza (and his mom), Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Randy Weaver, David Koresh, etc.etc. If you are not aware of the names, hint – none were muslim, all were terrorists or at least killers of Americans.

          August 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  20. Bumboclot

    Sweet. Now just go put up "No Christian Parking" and "No Jewish Parking" signs. That way I'll easily find a parking spot EVERY DAY!

    August 29, 2013 at 10:33 am |
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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.