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. dana

    if you still stone people to death in this day and age, you reap what you sow

    August 21, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
  2. cmi

    And if there were a synagogue next to Mr. Kwons shopping center...the signs would have read No Jews may park here? Crazy people.

    August 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Sara

      Probably just people who don't speak English very well. I suspect if we found the writer of the sign we would likely see a quick reversal in which we witness all critics attacked for jumping on a simple English error by a non-native speaker.

      August 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
      • Yeah Rite

        Agreed. The man's last name is Kwon. False outrage from the uninformed.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  3. JB

    "No Mosque Parking" would have been a better option. That way Muslims could park their to shop (which the sign implies they cannot do).

    August 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  4. Elijah

    As a private business in a truly free country, the owners of a private business have the right to refuse service to anyone. Thanks to the socialist "Politically Correct" laws, a business owner is not free to deny someone service because they are black, white, straight, gay or in this case Muslim.

    August 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      You mean a business in a truly free to be a racist country. A free to discriminate against people you don't know based on their skin color, s exual preference or religion country. I'm pretty sure you can find all of that in Iran still, good luck on your voyage! 🙂

      August 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Sara

      Those must be the same crazy socialist laws that limit your freedom to drive on the left side of the road, se.xually harass your employees, and dump toxic waste in the rivers. Damn communists.

      August 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • rs1201

      She and others still find the signs insensitive and offensive.

      "It's really offensive and it's hateful," Hassan said.


      August 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Hunter

      Socialist? Hehehe. You're funny. But funny like, "hey that retarded kid just ate his own shoe."

      August 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  5. gwats1957

    The 19 hijackers on 9/11/01 were all devout Muslims, and they managed to kill nearly 3000 Americans in a day. What do you say to that? It's not something most of us could get over easily.

    August 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      That's nothing. Christians dropped the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      August 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
      • Dawn

        Oh please, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were strategic bombings designed to end the Pacific fighting in World War II, not to be confused with a bunch of religious zealots wanting to murder because some book said their god told them they'd get a bunch of virgins for killing some peeps. Get a clue!

        August 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        • Ray

          "strategic bombing"...yes, I'm sure the houndreds of thousands of people that were vaporized in a split second, as well as the millions that suffered the aftermath will clearly see your point.

          August 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • Robert

          They started it. We won. We limited losses on both sides by dropping "the bomb". Such is the way of the world.

          August 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • redrong

      DId a christian navy ship (US) shot down a civilian airline in the Med. sea?

      August 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
      • Ray


        August 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
  6. Harry Kuheim

    Now Muslims can Hide behind their Religion and park at your business anytime they want...or you will get charged with a Hate Crime.

    August 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  7. children of Israel

    The world does not want you to read nor write. The satanic world is pushing signs and symbols. *Jonah 1:9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; *Matthew 12:39 and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: (*1st Corinthians 14:22*)

    August 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    Stop pumping up dead people that cannot save you. (Revelation 1:18)

    August 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  9. children of Israel

    No tribe, no gate, no kingdom of heaven for you. (Ezekiel 48:31) *Revelation 21:13*

    August 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  10. KJC

    This is horrible in the way it is worded and if it is intended to be derogatory. On the other hand, where I attend church, the merchants across the street have signs that say something like "no church parking – customer parking only," and I take no offense. It seems like the wording is intentionally malicious, but could it just have been written by someone without common sense about how to politely request that his or her lot be reserved for customers?

    August 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  11. Zapp

    Mar 16, 2012 – The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has said that all churches in the Arabian Peninsula must be destroyed.

    Yet the Muslims get off ended when someone with no power puts up a sign and 54 churches are burned in Egypt...

    August 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Copenshaw

      Don't you know that they are 'the victims' always?

      Now some of them are planning demonstration on Sept 11th for 'being victimized' as the perps. They don't understand why we cannot figure out the 'fact' that we deserved it, and made them do it.

      August 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        You sound a lot like the Muslim extremists when you generalize so stupidly with "they" and such all-inclusive pronouns. If you don't want them to lump all of us together as a "they" from their perspective, then why do you do it?

        August 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  12. children of Israel

    *Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) *Exodus 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. (Revelation 21:12)

    August 21, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  13. whatt?

    well...you could move the mosque back to the country of origin....that would solve the problem.

    August 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • whatttttt?????

      or we can also move all the churches, synagogues & mandirs, etc back to their countries of origin too. Idiot!!!!

      August 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
      • Mister Cool Ice

        Hey, even better idea!

        August 21, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
      • Cocopuf4u

        It appears to me that Muslims are no longer welcomed in the U.S. and many other countries too.
        And for good reasons too.

        If you can't figure it out for yourself, then THAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH MUSLIMS. They just want to force islam on you to make them feel better. What a wasted 7th century idea.

        And you wonder why so many of them are no longer respected in this world of ours.

        Some of you may think that I am biased; but in fact not. I JUST SEE THIS IN A MORE OBJECTIVE WAY – we live in a small world compared to the 7th century world.

        Muslims MUST REALIZE THIS AND DO something about it instead of being so quiet about it. Don't U think so?

        August 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
  14. children of Israel

    Christians hide themselves behind the book of Acts? Apostle Paul is an Israelite (Romans 11:1) Christ is an Israelite, a black man, so bow down or die in your sins. Who created the word carribbean? It is not defined in the Webster's dictionary. Who invented the word racism? *Acts 10:34 Then peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: *Proverbs 15:25 The Lord will destroy the house of the proud:

    August 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Cocopuf4u

      Where is your quotation showing that Jesus was a black man? LOL Isaelites are not black unless they came from Ethiopia or some other African country. yes?

      Also, you really must not understand the Book of Acts when you say that Christians "hide" behind Acts? LOL

      What are you hiding behind from? LOL the koran?

      Are U just the typical pick and chose for your postings? Your not even Christian. Yes?

      August 21, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  15. kenburch

    What the heck is "Muslim parking"? Is that different from Baptist or Catholic parking?

    August 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Copenshaw

      Just different in the subtleties.. In the Middle East, 'Muslim Parking' tends to be cars packed with TNT or similar goodies.

      August 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  16. kenburch

    What the heck is "Muslim parking"?

    August 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  17. yll

    all the bigot apologists saying this was accidental poor wording, consider this. if the shopping center were across from a huge church with inadequate parking, would anyone put up a sign that says "NO CHRISTIAN PARKING IN WESTVIEW SHOPPING CENTER"? of course not. because clearly christians (like muslims as it turns out, surprise!) can be customers for the shopping center. plus, being a de facto christian country despite claiming separation of church and state, christianity is considered the norm, so you separate them from people you consider customers (you don't think of people parked there as christians OR customers the way these people thought of them as muslims OR customers, you think of them as christians, and maybe customers maybe not but unrelated to their faith)

    August 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  18. poisondartfrog

    So many clueless people here. It is abundantly obvious to anyone that this sign has an intent to show intolerance/prejudice.

    So are no Muslim customers supposed to park in that lot? Because you know, Muslims do things other than attend mosques. They are *gasp* normal people who on occassion shop.

    "Customer parking only" is the standard and accepted sign they could've put up.

    August 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Janus D

      Clearly they are prejudiced against muslims. Honestly, I can't blame them considering how they behave.

      August 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • ObitoUchiha

      Honestly, I disagree. I personally think he was just trying to say that he didn't want people to park at the mall if they're going to worship at the Mosque, and he just worded it quite poorly. I think people are blowing this way out of proportion...

      August 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  19. Barron Sinclair

    My church members are instructed NOT to park in certain boundaries in our neighborhood and WE took OWNERSHIP OF THE COURTESY OF PARKING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND ARE MAKING THE SIGNS. The Muslim parking signs are poorly worded, but I have NO SYMPATHY with this being a Mulslim outrage. There are people in this country who don't even know what a mosque is (even in 2013), and we need to give benefit of the doubt to who wrote the sign. They can take the responsibility and be responsible citizens in this way.

    August 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • yll

      so you're saying they're either ignorant, or...ignorant? i guess you're right then. in all seriousness, i don't buy it. every other store/office/shopping center/apartment complex/etc who wants to keep parking spaces for its own has a sign that says "for customers only" or "for residents only". even if they didn't know that islamic worship occurs in something called a "mosque" it took a deliberate extra effort to specify a group who was not allowed to park there, rather than saying everyone except their customers as is convention

      August 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • SLE

      If it said "No Christian Parking" instead of "No Church Parking," wouldn't that make you think that maybe the person who wrote the sign was prejudiced against Christians instead of just wanting to reserve the spots for their customers?

      "No Mosque Parking" is the correct terminology here. "No Muslim Parking" is evidence of bigotry.

      August 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  20. Brian

    This is why wording is so important. If they had simply said no mosque parking there would be no story here and no reason for people to rant endlessly

    August 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.