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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. Truth Teller

    I need to send that person some money. Bravo!

    September 6, 2013 at 12:40 am |
  2. White Guy

    Muslims do not live in a tolerant society, they tolerate no other religion, any one else is an infidel and should be killed
    it says so in the Koran. They do, however take advantage of anything that others are offering without reciprocation.
    Like a previuos blogger said, try and walk into a Mosque if you are not a Muslim. You will be tossed instantly.
    Of all the horror, wars, death and mayhem in the world, Muslims are at the heart of it 90% of the time.Why we in the west
    even bother with them is puzzling. They have been killing each other in the name of religion for 2000 years. In another 2000 years they will still be killing each other, that is if there areany left to kill.

    September 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • JDMArkansas

      You are wrong on so many levels. First of all, Muslims have not been killing people for 2000 years. Islam has not been around for 2000 years. It was started by Mohammed in 622 AD. That is 1391 years ago, not 2000. CHRISTIANS have been killing people all over the world for nearly 2000 years. Ever hear of the Crusades? Ever hear of the Inquisition? Ever heard of lynching? MOST of the lynch mobs in the "Old South" were lead by CHRISTIAN PREACHERS! Ever hear of "Ethnic Cleansing?" This massacre of tens of thousands of Bosnian MUSLIMS was conducted by Serbian ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS! Ever hear of the Iraq War? The United States military, overwhelmlingly CHRISTIAN, caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims! I am not a Muslim, nor do I admire the religion of Islam. All of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are vicious bloodthirsty delusions that promote hatred and oppression. The only reason that CHRISTIAN countries are no longer burning heretics and alleged witches is because SECULAR HUMANISTS finally said "Enough is enough is too much!" and passed laws separating church and state in most traditionally Christian countries. In Christian countries that do not ;have separation of church and state, the witch-hunting still continues. CHRISTIAN preachers in Nigeria continue to pour boiling oil down the throats of children suspected of witchcraft. Islam is NOT alone in committing atrocities.

      September 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • Jesse

        Alright. I'm not sure whether most of what you said is true or not. But it sounds like you make good points. Regardless of your or my religious affiliation, you have one point wrong though. The Iraq War one. It doesn't matter the religion of the military. The military didn't decide to go kill anyone - it was ordered to go there, regardless of participants' race, creed, color, gender, religion, and so on. How that can make it through your filter of legitimacy makes me curious as to whether the rest of your rant is true. But, for sure you are wrong about the military. -1 for that.

        September 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • Rob

        JDMArkansas,
        Should it have been worded differently yes. However, the parking lot is probably filled when the Muslims go to service.

        As for the rest of your "facts" maybe you need to look into them a little TINY bit before you spew information that is false.

        First the Crusades came AFTER the Muslims had invaded Europe first. Really look into it. They massacred many many people throughout Europe.

        Secular people didn't stop the abuse of people claiming they were Christians. Other Christians did.

        Stating that Muslims are a peaceful people is just plain out wrong. Are all out to stick with the teaching of the religion? No of course not. Yes it sounds overboard. However, look at every country that Muslims get a slow foothold in. The Koran states that they should lie to non believers and that it is not considered wrong but ENCOURAGED. That is THEIR holy book stating that. Look at Europe. They kill people that they believe offend Mohamed. They are purposefully targeting and killing Christians in Egypt and other Muslim countries right now. You wont read it in the MSM.

        September 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Most muslims are quite moderate and would not agree with your overgeneralization. And, the Christians want just as much slaughter and torment as the muslims do. They want it at the valley of "Megiddo" at Armageddon and when their righteous and holy god sends their sons and mothers to an everlasting torture pit all because they didn't chant a 23 second magic spell in the right way and with the right conviction. Both religions think it's good for nonbelievers to suffer interminably. Both are bloody and disgusting.

          September 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
        • Intisarul Islam

          You're clearly just another idiot redneck who thinks he's some kind of a "scholar," who actually doesn't know s**t. Where do Muslims in the US try to "push" their beliefs on everyone else? NOWHERE. On the contrary, it is Christian freaks who like to go from door to door telling people to convert to Christianity, and it is Christian freaks who stand in the streets preaching that all non-Christians will burn in hell. Show me where Muslims have actually passed Sharia law in Western nations? You can't because they HAVEN'T. A handful of Muslims may have supported it in the West, but they are only a HANDFUL, and have NO chance. I'll add another thing, s***face hypocrite: there are rednecks in the US who want to have school prayers, and I don't hear you ranting about them. As for killing of Christians in Egypt (which is wrong), it is all for POLITICAL reasons. It's because they helped overthrow democratically elected Morsi.

          September 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
      • Allaisa

        There are muslims in the US army and when ordered they killed fellow muslims in Iraq. That is what the army is for, BTW in the war between Iran and Iraq (both muslim countries, in case you did not know) more than a million muslims were killed, which is much more than those killed by the US army. In Africa, the Jandullah regularly slaughters fellow muslims in the most horrific way and in Pakistan, Sunnis kill Shias every day. So dont shed tears for those few wretched muslims killed by the US army in the line of duty.

        September 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Ann J

      Sorry, but the muslims haven't even been around for 1,000 years yet. They have a new "religion" that came up A.D.
      Just so you know. And yes, they are the most intolerant, fanatical, childish religious fanatics in the world. I'm sure 1,000 years from now (if they haven't killed each other off by then) they'll be doing the same stuff.

      September 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • LeyLineWalker

        Woops, I posted this as a separate reply. Sorry.

        Alright, the current year is 2013 A.D. Now going off of the start date of 622 A.D., as stated by JDMArkansas, and using some basic math skills, we find the Muslim religion started 1,391 years ago and matches up with what JDMArkansas stated. Going off of your 1,000 year remark, that would mean the Muslim religion started in 1,013. Googling significant events from that period says that the Muslims had just finished building a Mosque in Cairo. Your claim isn't holding up so well.

        To reiterate a point made by JDMArkansas, Christians haven't always been so nice either. They have had their share of violent, religious, wars. You can't cherry pick history or you're doomed to repeat mistakes.

        September 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  3. stank eye

    Well it is obviously an official sign seeing how it's on cardboard and all...

    September 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  4. shamus

    if they are not shopping, their vehicles should be towed out of the parking lot.the mall owners paid for the paving and own the lot,its their property, try walking in a mosque, if you are a white christian.

    September 5, 2013 at 4:23 am |
    • LineWalker

      ...and? What happens if you walk into a mosque as a white christian?

      I agree that, if they're not shopping, the mall has the right to tow-away their vehicle. However, this could have been worded without the negative intent the original sign obviously harbored. "Customer Parking Only – Violators Will be Towed" Is that so hard?

      September 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Bons

        The point is that it is laughable that muslims expect tolerance but do not respond in kind. If you were paying attention to what's going on around you, you would know that already!

        September 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • LeyLineWalker

          How is that laughable? As an American, I understand that our land was founded on the belief that a person could practice the religion of their choice and I expect tolerance to be at the core foundation of what makes us who we are.

          What is laughable is wrapping up an *entire* religious group into one stereotype and using the horrors of terrorists to hide your own bigotry, hatred, and ignorance. As of 2010 there are 2,600,000 Muslim Americans, and only a handful of those have had violent agendas. There are extremists in the Muslim religion, but that is true of nearly every organization in this world. There are bad eggs, but you can't point to the few and judge the entirety.

          Let me ask you this, and if you respond, make sure to give me an answer. Can I wrap the Westboro Baptist Church in with the entirety of Christians? Can I stereotype that all Christians spread hate? That all Christians condemn our Military sons and daughter who have been wounded or made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty? If not, why?

          September 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • Rob

          LeyLineWalker,

          Have you paid ANY attention to history? Look at every country that the Muslims have slowly moved in. They typically come in like a dove. Then they slowly start pushing their beliefs on everyone. That is in the Koran. Look all over Europe. Look at the countries that they are getting larger and larger populations. They are killing people that offend their prophet. Even in Canada they are pushing sharia law and have gotten certain things through. In Egypt and other Muslim countries they kill not only the people that don't have the exact same faith as they do they set out to target Christians and Jews. I know that the main stream media isn't reporting it. So you have to go beyond the cursory research.

          September 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  5. myrighteye

    It's amazing how people can rationalize ignorance. This has become an un-Godly age. People don't care about anyone else anymore or even stop to think of the damage that is done.

    September 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Jesse

      That "Muslims nationwide" jumped to the conclusion that it was prejudiced and hateful before considering that the owners just don't know the difference between Muslim and mosque, says a lot more about Muslim intolerance than anything else. If you don't like that they're dumb to that fact, don't give Westview Shopping Center your business until it smartens up and uses the correct words. However if it actually was meant hatefully, this would be a great opportunity to prove them wrong, and prove that you really are a tolerant religion - even of others' hate.

      And how about this too. Maybe you don't come to the U.S. if you're so thin skinned that you think everything is an insult directed at you, because you know what? You're going to get insulted in these fine United States. Ever heard of New York hospitality? Neither have I. It's because there is none. They're a rough, blunt bunch up there - and more power to them for it.

      Be a little more tolerant of other people's ignorance or hate - that's roughly the essence of a peaceful and loving religion, isn't it. Or.... if you don't want to be tolerant, get some thicker skin quick.

      September 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  6. The Turk

    No Mosque parking would have been better.

    September 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Rod C. Venger

      You're correct, but with an added flair of a pic of Mohammad.

      September 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  7. Perhaps...

    Another interpretation of this makes it pretty benign, just a gaffe. I would wager money that some un-sophisticate wrote that sign and meant to write NO MOSQUE PARKING, much like you often see NO CHURCH PARKING in parking lots near churches.

    September 4, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Agreed...

      It just looks like a warning sign not to park in the Mall parking lot if you're going to the mosque, or your car will be towed. Possibly done by someone whose primary language is not English. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the signs were put up by someone affiliated with the mosque itself, as a courtesy to its worshipers. But it's just simpler to immediately go into outrage mode than to think things through clearly.

      September 5, 2013 at 11:42 am |
      • Justin

        Yes, I'm sure someone who attends the mosque posted a "No Muslim" parking sign. That makes perfect sense. Bible beaters would be crying foul if someone posted a "No Christian" sign.

        September 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Bons

          No Justin, Bible-beaters as you put it, do not call foul as I have seen that type of sign as well next to a Christian church. We don't call foul either when we are being killed and opressed for our beliefs in their country. If you did, you would probably die!

          September 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Allaisa

        You could be right. The sign might have been put up by a recent muslim immigrant whose primary language isnt English!

        September 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
  8. Ron

    It's not their (Muslims) lot! Eff 'em!!!

    September 4, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Justin

      So, why couldn't the signs just read "No Mosque Parking"?

      September 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  9. Elias

    I know thousands of shopping centers around the world where the signs are a little different way. They read "No Americans parking, go green, go!"

    September 4, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  10. John

    Who gives a rat's tail.

    September 4, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  11. J R Brown

    I'm fairly sure that the sign would have been put up IN RESPONSE to muslims patronizing the most parking in the shopping center lots. I am certainly sick of hearing about how "offended" people are by being called out on their inappropriate behavior and playing the "race" or "religion" card.

    I'd have a tow truck sitting there waiting to immediately tow any car that was parked and the occupants went to the mosque instead of the mall....

    September 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  12. G F

    The only reason to limit parking is to ensure parking for shopping center patrons. Thus, a sign reading "Parking for Shopping Center Patrons Only" is acceptable and gives the owner the right to tow other cars away.

    September 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  13. nonsense23

    Spring Branch. Houston. Texas. I will never question why an idiot would post a sign like this considering the location in which it occurred. Texas. Says it all.

    September 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  14. makulit

    No problem. The store owner is Chinese; they'll forgive him. However, if the store owner was white they'd put out a 'fatwah' on his life. Maybe the guy didn't like camels pooping in his parking lot, eh?

    September 3, 2013 at 4:03 am |
  15. dhimmi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib9rofXQl6w

    September 3, 2013 at 3:16 am |
  16. Dusty J.

    I found a loophole to this: Does this new policy apply to muslim horses? I'm sure there are some Amish Muslim still use horse and buggy like in the old days.

    September 2, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • Intisarul Islam

      Not in America.

      September 2, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  17. hharri

    to the trained/experienced observer, stone is demon possessed

    September 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • hharri

      no question about it

      September 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • hharri

      no question about it!

      September 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • hharri

      no question about it! none

      September 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • hharri

      and to be encouraged by wordpress cnn and the other atheists, well, let's just say all of it will be explored in depth

      September 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  18. hharri

    we know that children raised by parents with this degree of paranoia/fixation have little success on any level. what selfishness. they love their god of hatred more than their kids

    September 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • hharri

      for example, notice the pr ope n sity to the v u lg ar and p or n ogra phic?

      September 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • hharri

        the delight with which the poster makes these evil statements? the bitterness? the depravity? and the chronic attention to the lowest common denominator? all indicative of demonic possession.

        September 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • hharri

        the delight with which the poster makes these evil statements? the bitterness? the depravity? and the chronic attention to the lowest common denominator?

        September 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • hharri

        the delight with which the poster makes these evil statements?

        September 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • hharri

        to the experienced eye, stone is quite obviously demon possessed

        September 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  19. Mark

    It is unfortunate that so many were disrespectful and abused the private property of others that caused the need for a sign like that. Respect others, and there won't be a need for a sign.

    September 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • godd

      "they" ?

      September 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  20. LB

    Oh we'll it's better then stomping on a flag and chanting I hate Muslim like they do about the great USA! They have to expect
    things like this will happen and not to be but hurt of a box with letters

    September 1, 2013 at 10:55 am |
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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.