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. dajowi

    "Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslims civil rights group." A civil rights group? It's actually a front for terrorist.

    "This is what comes to mind because obviously he has a lot of hate." Hate is when you strap on a suicide vest and blow up innocent people.

    "That we all have the freedom of religion." In American muslims can practice their religion. Go to a muslim country and try to practice Christianity and your church is bombed, burned and your congregation is murdered.

    All of America is waiting for mass demonstration of "moderate" muslim protesting islamic terrror. They're either afraid because their peaceful muslim brothers will hunt them down and murder them, or they're secretly hoping for the day of a world-wide caliphate.

    August 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  2. txldbg

    I'm sorry to say I work very close to a huge mosque. They take over our employee parking, block our entrances when wer're full, they just pull up any where and park on the street if they've filled us up. I've had men walk behind my car and stop and give me a weird/scary stare. They had no reason to do that. They fill the streets blocking traffic as if this part of town is theirs. It is a strange site to see if you've not worked around this. Just saying they are very aggressive towards us coming and going. Just my observation....

    August 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Stan

      Why are you sorry to say? Would you be sorry if you lived next to some megachurch that tied up traffic worse than rush hour every Sunday?

      It may very well be that this mosque needs to get a handle on its parking situation, but that is a logistical issue; it has absolutely nothing to do with the religious identification of its patrons and such a thing has no business even being brought up. It is a red herring raised by the bigots meant to hijack the conversation into a justification for their hate and ignorance.

      Of course, even if the mosque did try to remedy the situation by purchasing a new larger plot of land to accomodate its needs, these same bigots would be on site with their hate and ignorance filled signs protesting the development all in the name of "freedom" and stopping the spread of terrorism.

      August 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  3. Stan

    I love the obviously bigotted comments on here. I wonder if everyone supporting this racist and ignorant store owner would feel the same if it was a church across the street from his business and he put up a sign saying "No Christian parking"

    August 21, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Cynic

      That and worse happen to Christians in Muslim countries.

      August 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Stan

        I'm not talking about other countries, I'm talking about our country where we are supposedly more enlightened. Everyone here saying all the guy really meant to say was that he wanted no nonpatrons parking in his lot is being willfully obtuse and poorly hiding their own bigotry. If all he wanted was no nonpatron parking, all he had to do was put up a sign stating "No nonpatron parking". Instead he took it as an opportunity for a bigoted jab with the apparent justification that it's ok because "they" do it "even worse" "over there".

        August 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • TheSnail

        well said

        August 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • SLE

        Yeah, we TOTALLY want to model our society after those countries!

        Wait, no, we don't want to do that? Oh, gosh, you could have fooled me based on this comment.

        August 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Does one have to be a Christian to support him?

      August 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • TheSnail

      hate is such an abused and worthless word

      August 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Tony

      Thats because if it was a christian issue it wouldnt be in the news.

      The point i think the sign was trying to make is DONT fill out carpark

      customers only should have been put up but its the same anywhere theirs a mosque they just park and go and pray. dont worry who or what their blocking in.

      August 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        "they just park and go "

        I think every driver on this planet is guilty of having done that at one point or another.

        August 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  4. styve

    It seems like the only place Muslims want freedom of religion is any country they do not have political control over.

    August 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • yll

      The same could be said about christians. For example, you seriously think anyone not some form of christian-protestant, catholic, mormon, whatever–has any chance at becoming president? An openly islamic/buddhist/atheist/etc candidate would never have a chance. Every president serving over at least the last three decades made some mention during their campaign of their church affiliation and how devout they are, as though being a devout christian makes you a good person and not makes you a bad one (since we all know there are no christian criminals, and no law abiding non-christians amirite).

      August 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  5. WVLady65

    Seems like it was taken out of context. It sounds to me like they didn't want them taking up their parking spaces when they were going to worship. Besides, if they don't like it here, TELL THEM TO GO BACK TO WHERE THEY COME FROM! I'll bet we could get at least 50-60 million AMERICANS who would contribute money to send them home! I will!

    August 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      There are over 6 million people who call America home and are muslims. Perhaps you should just find a rock to hide under.

      August 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • miro

      That is such an ignorant statement seeing as a huge number of us Muslims are right where we came from, i.e. born and raised in the US and a lot of us, such as myself are converts. You should know that Muslims do not get offended by this statement either, we just realize that you are incredibly stupid.

      August 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  6. Logan6

    Yes, I think what he means is "No stinking, dirty, F-ing muslims taking up his parking spaces".

    Clear enough for you terrorists and politically correct, bleeding hearts now?

    August 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • AMERICAN!!!!

      Muslims are our brothers!!!!

      August 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • yll

      should chinatowns say "no christians blah blah blah" too? or other non-christian-dominant areas?

      August 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  7. EaglesQuestions

    I have to assume that it was just a poorly worded "Customers Only" sign,
    ...or a troll out to make trouble for both sides.

    August 21, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  8. Chester

    We don't cotton to political correctness. If they had built the masque where they could have enough parking, like west Texas or better yet, California) there would have been no sign. Obviously, the management sees the masque members as it's parking problem.

    August 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      So you've never parked where it was most convenient for you – you always park in the prescribed area. Right!

      August 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • bob

        Wow, santa, can you engage in any critical or objective thinking? Everyone of your comments has been some kind of subjective accusation or name-calling... But, I guess that you find that easier than trying to ascertain facts, right?

        August 21, 2013 at 11:43 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Show me an example of name-calling. I don't think I accuse and certainly in this case I was commenting on the fact that at some time the majority of people have parked illegally or in contravention of posted signs.

          August 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          The facts are that people were parking where they shouldn't. That's not purely a muslim failing. No one would have complained if the sign had said "Shopper parking only" or even "No mosque parking".

          August 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  9. bob

    Do muslims think that they have a special right to illegally park their cars in someone elses parking lot while they attend their religious services at a nearby mosque - I think not. I'm glad to see Americans speaking out more and more these days about these islamic hypocrites and their thinking that THEY CAN SAY AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT IN AMERICA simply because we Americans are tolerant people. Also, if muslims are such nice, and totally misunderstood people, as they claim, why are they conducting a "million muslim march" in Washington, DC this SEPTEMBER 11TH??!!??

    August 21, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • warren

      What does this actually have to do with muslims, are they alone in being the only people that use nearby parking lots when there is no parking at their preferred destination? This occurs constantly on a daily basis, there was no parking for them so they used the parking lot that had spaces, that's the entire story. There's no muslim conspiracy to drown our economy by taking up all the parking spaces or a jab in the americans eye to prove they can take over our shopping centers, this is just people who had no place to park, and used a public parking lot like anyone else...For F sake this country is getting out of control.

      August 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
      • Anonymous

        I want to point out that this happens all over the country, and it is not uncommon for signs indicating that non-shoppers will be towed. Clearly that is what was intended, so get over it.

        August 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • Bu YAH

          AMEN. Just tow the cars like mine got towed. People learn. Some of us are slower. No Big deal.

          August 21, 2013 at 11:56 am |
        • yll

          because clearly, like everywhere else in the country that wants to restrict parking to its customers, they single out a group who CANT park there rather than specifying those who CAN. oh right, that's NOT how the rest of the country does it. but maybe those signs are so rare that store owners in this place didn't know what standard convention was. oh right, as you said, non-discriminatory versions of the sign that mean what they actually say are all over the country.

          August 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • bob

        Did you even read the article? I'm certain that this parking lot owner was able to determine whom was illegally parking in his parking lot by observing them park their cars and then walk over to the mosque, so how about giving the guy a break? I'm betting that if this mosque was near your home and if these muslims parked their cars in your driveway or in front of your house that you would be upset too. But seriously, your non-sensical and irrelevant remarks about some muslim conspiracy, and jabbing Americans in the eye pretty much prove that you are the one out-of-control...

        August 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Bob, Your speculation while possibly correct is not in the article. The point is he should have worded it along the lines of "Parking for shoppers only". Where I live this happens all the time – people park where it is most convenient for them not necessarily where parking is assigned.

          August 21, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I just wonder if bob is going to see the irony in his statement when he said "I'm glad to see Americans speaking out more and more these days about these islamic hypocrites and their thinking that THEY CAN SAY AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT IN AMERICA simply because we Americans are tolerant people."

      August 21, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • bob

        Richard, I think that we can agree that even tolerant people have a breaking point, and that this man had finally reached his. I'd be interested in learning what measures he might have taken beforehand in trying to resolve this matter. Did he contact the police? Did he attempt to address the matter with the muslims? Lots of unknowns here...

        August 21, 2013 at 11:29 am |
      • Richard Cranium

        It was just very ironic that you went on an intolerant rant while calling Americans tolerant.
        The person who put up the signs could have worded the sign better. He has the right (or speaks for the people who have the right) to control the access to the property. Banning one group by name is what is not right.
        A simple "Parking for mall shoppers only, others will be towed" would have suited his purpose much better. I would think that they don't mind when the muslims finish their services that they then come to shop. I'm sure they don't want to alienate any who might use their business, or would they? It is a very bad business man who would alienate potential customers, but he does have the right.

        August 21, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Oh the hypocrisy within that blurb! You're part of the problem when you talk like this!

      August 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • bob

        Please, truthprevails, I'm all ears, so please point out the supposed hypocrisy in my comment.

        August 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
      • truthprevails1

        "THEY CAN SAY AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT IN AMERICA simply because we Americans are tolerant people."

        If that was said in regards to christians they would lose it! They be screaming how horribly persecuted they were. The sign should have read for Parking For Customers only and not specifically Muslims.

        August 21, 2013 at 11:39 am |
        • bob

          truthprevails, your gross generalization about christians is groundless and a very poor attempt at changing the subject by casting blame elsewhere. Since it is only logical, I'm going to give the owner of this parking lot the benefit of doubt, and believe that he observed whom was parking in his parking lot illegally (hmmm, let's see, this happens only during mosque services, and i see them getting out of their cars and then walking into the mosque, duh...), that he probably tried to resolve the matter in an adult manner, and then had to resort to the action that he took. I'll tell you what, truthprevails, if you're so understanding and benevolent, why don't you go open a business next to their mosque and offer them free parking?? apparenknew was parking there illegally

          August 21, 2013 at 11:54 am |
        • truthprevails1

          The point is he discriminated against Muslims. He could simply have used some diplomacy and posted a Customers Only Sign.

          August 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Chester

      But land is so expensive and if they supplied enough parking there would have been no money for the gold dome.

      August 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        I'm not defending islam but christianity also has more than its fair share of displays of wealth.

        August 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • fyre

      It's an issue with churches with small parking lots too, not just a muslim thing. Places of worship need to have enough parking for their congregation, and absolutely the mall should enforce a customers only parking policy, but the signs need to reflect that. The current signs just say 'no muslims' with no explanation.

      August 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Dan Coulson

      I totally agree these shifty rag headed sleeper cell, Babes need to leave our country.

      August 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • AMERICAN!!!!

      Muslims are our brothers!!!!

      August 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Mike T

      If people want to see how tolerant we Americans really are, all they have to do is read some of the comments on these forums.

      August 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  10. tuffgong

    I dont advocate hate but when I worked for a plumbing company we had a mosque across the street and every friday they would park there cars in our company lot blocking our trucks from coming or going.

    August 21, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Dippy

      Their, not there.

      August 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  11. George

    The mall owner should just put up a sign that says "Parking for mall patrons only", which he has every right to do. The lot would of course have to be monitored for compliance.

    August 21, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • bob

      You are not wearing this parking lot owner's shoes, so quit telling him what he should have done. This article is anecdotal at best, and these guy, I'm guessing of course, has probably bent over backwards trying to accommodate these muslims, and they just probably just blew him off. So please, quit telling others how to run their lives... I will also add that there is a trial involving a professed muslim who has acknowledged killing over a dozen unarmed men and women, too include a pregnant woman and the child she was carrying, be conducted right now as we speak. Maybe if these nice muslims were to conduct a rally in support of the dead they might receive something nice in return for their actions?

      August 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
      • Stan

        So bob, if I own a business across the street from a Christian church and put up a sign that says "No Christian Parking, Cars Will Be Towed" you wouldn't have a problem with it, right?

        August 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  12. ora pike

    they don't get upset about the way they treat women or the remarks about jews or killing christians and burning our churches or putting someone in prison for THEIR RELIGION-FREEDOM OF RELIGION????? i believe the point here is the owner of the shopping maul did not want the parking spaces taken by those who are not shopping.

    August 21, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • midwest rail

      No one wants to be mauled at a mall, but it is inevitable.

      August 21, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • truthprevails1

      No the owner of the shopping mall was clearly discriminating...he didn't say 'Parking for Customers Only', he specifically pointed at a group of people. Muslims shop too.

      August 21, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • bob

        If muslims were the ones illegally parking in his parking lot, why is it discriminatory? Or do you just find it easier to just play the race or religion card versus your getting a headache attempting to indulge in some critical thinking?

        August 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
        • huh?

          Given your clear bias and seemingly personal knowledge of what the person who put up the sign thinks and feels, I believe that you, "bob", are actually the guy that put up the sign.

          Here's a sign for you, bob, "No unemployed WT on the message board".

          August 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • David Harlem

      I don't think muslims hate jews, women and Christians anymore than Christians seem to hate Jews, Muslims, women, and gays.

      Many a cross has been burned in the name of racism in this country. It's wrong regardless of who is doing it. You shouldn't stereotype plain and simple not all muslims, jews or christians are the same, they don't all hate but all it takes is a few to give the rest a bad name.

      It's all unjustified because Jews, Muslims and Christians believe in the same Judeo-Christian diety and none of those religions actually preach violence and hatred it's the supposed faithful that do that.

      August 21, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  13. old cynic

    Given the home made look to the sign, it may have been put up by one of the mosque attendees themselves in a preemptive sympathy ploy. Maybe they can lift some prints from the tape and cardboard box?

    August 21, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  14. SAS

    Ban Muslims from parking in shopping mall parking lots in return for a full withdrawal of ALL US military forces from the Middle East and reparations for wrecking Iraq.

    August 21, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • americantothecore

      Its called freedom of speech, the right to refuse service to anyone, if you happen to be Muslim and are parking where they want parking for shoppers instead of people attending their religious service so be it.. DONT PARK THERE. Is a fact the majority of Americans don't like the Muslim religion or middle eastern people that go along with it....or any Muslim nationals from any country...they try not to support it so they express it anyway they can to make a point, we all know that is what this is all about. Call it like it is..... its intended to send a message... can you hear me now?

      August 21, 2013 at 10:15 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        Explain how muslims behave differently than christians.

        August 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • bob

          For In santa we trust: if you really want to know how they behave differently, try wearing a Christian Cross or the Star of David in Egypt...

          August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Anonymous

          Christians treat the bible as a general guide, taking a moral lesson from it, but do not follow it literally. Muslims treat the Koran like an instruction manual, to be followed without question.

          In the modern day Christians do not physically attack people who challange their religion. Muslims threaten and attack anybody who challanges or even speak out against Islam.

          Christians do not throw people off the roof, muslims do.

          I can go on and on.

          August 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Jimbo

          They don't do sucide bombing!

          August 21, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • huh?

          @ bob: Or try being a muslim in America and see how tolerant "christians" behave. Looks like its time for your meds, bob.

          August 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • bob

      Have you ever been to Iraq? I doubt it, since Iraq was a total wreck long before the United Nations forces, of which the USA is a member, responded militarily to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. But hey, don't let facts get in the way of a good story...

      August 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • oldblindjohn

        Kuwait was a set-up job. Check the April Glaspie memo.

        August 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  15. earlyhaze

    I like that sign!! Muslims are trying to take over they need to be stopped!!!

    August 21, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  16. Muslims Suck

    I used to stick up for Muslims, but I keep hearing crap like this..

    "We have a RIGHT to illegally park on public property, because we are Muslims!!!"

    No, Bin Laden, you do not. If there is not enough parking at your Mosque, you need to sell a few camels and goats, buy more land and build a lot.

    August 21, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Where did you ever hear anyone say they can illegally park because they are muslim?

      August 21, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  17. CTexas

    I've seen signs before that say "No church parking". They could have left it at that.

    August 21, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  18. Scott

    Thats what we do here at Cox Communications, we just use different excuses and don't have the sign. But if a islamist parks here their car gets towed.

    August 21, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Discrimination based on belief alone is a horrible thing and believers have the audacity to whine when people do the exact to them....you get what you give in this world.
      I get the image that people get from Muslims but not all are so extreme and maybe, just maybe, once these better-imaginary friend battles finally cease to exist, we'll actually see a world of peace.

      August 21, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  19. children of Israel

    Who created the word racism, do tell.

    August 21, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  20. children of Israel

    This is Americult god of the dead (Revelation 9:11)

    August 21, 2013 at 8:37 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.