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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. Pat

    I find the Muslims in my country to be dangerous as reported in live video newscasts. They are currently under surveillance in this country. Arrests have been made and some not reported. They just getting in communities and business awaiting the time to react to a calling. Home grown or locally radicalized does not make a didderence. As in Hasson at Ft. hood they passed him up the line just so they could not be labeled racist. He was spewing hate numerous times and wearing a U S Army uniform. Killed 13 U S soldiers and wounded many more. The bad date does not fall from the tree.

    August 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  2. Ariel

    The dont have to tolerate Islam. Every other religion is fine, but Islam is violent in its methods. Islam should be taken off the religions list imo. Im 31 years old and have never heard of a group of satan worshipers or wiccans blowing up a church or confronting people on the streets of London for drinking alcohol. Im just done with them hiding behind our western tolerances, just done.

    August 23, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  3. capnmike

    How about some more of these, and a bigger sign that says "MUSLIMS GO HOME...You and your violence and fanaticism and intolerance are not wanted here"".

    August 23, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • mf3

      Nah! Let's send you home to where you came from.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  4. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    That's exactly what goes on in most parts of India, UK, France where Muslims spill over into the roads kneeling down to pray and bringing all traffic to a grinding halt.

    In London's Heathrow A/p you have to jump over Muslims prostrating when you are in a hurry to catch a flight.

    While I see NOTHING at all objectionable in the business protecting their customers, I would have rephrased the sign to say "Mosque Goers Barred from Parking Here...."

    August 23, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      Also the fact of the matter is, even when there are only a HANDFUL of Muslims living in the area, Muslims living 10's of miles away go over to each other's Mosques ONLY to demand greater space for their Mosques and facilities.

      No wonder we have the MURFEESBORO, TN's 55,000 sq.ft Mosque (built with Saudi Money) to cater to 200 Muslim families.

      August 23, 2013 at 8:58 am |
      • mf3

        and your point is...

        August 23, 2013 at 9:39 am |
        • jim terwiliger

          I think the point is that it was Saudi Nationals responsible for 9/11 and we shouldn't be allowing their country to buy property here

          August 23, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Victor

      No need. If you watch the video, carefully, you will see at 0:37 that there is a sign that already should do the trick – and that is much more appropriately phrased. If anything, perhaps that sign should be made more prominent and/or easier to read.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  5. omad

    What's the big deal about Muslims? They were taking up paying customer's parking spaces. The mosque should have adequate parking for their people just like any other establishment.
    There is a bar (that's not open on Sunday AM) in Silver Spring MD that physically blocks it's parking lot on Sunday mornings to prevent the church people across the street from using their lot. Where's the outrage over that? Why do Muslims rate preferential treatment?

    August 23, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Muzak

      Does that bar in Silver Spring, MD post a sign that says "NO CHRISTIAN PARKING"?
      If so, you make a good point to be considered.
      If not, then there is no comparison to be found there.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
      • InvestMattA

        Islam is evil and is not a religion. It is a totalitarian, supremacist, pagan ideology that is similar to Naziism, Communism and Fascism. It is to be banned and those who practice it should not be allowed in the US.

        August 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
        • HistoryGeek

          Muslims worship the same god you do....... and they consider Jesus to be a prophet.

          August 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Pete

          The irony is that since Nazism was basically a rabid sack of hate filled speeches with no logical grounding it is pretty close to what your comment is. The only difference is the target religion.

          August 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Muzak

      Do you not know how to speak for yourself?

      August 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  6. Spidey-Man

    Most shopping centers have signs posted that say "Customer Parking Only". When nearby churches, or in this case mosques, park in this parking lot they create hardships for paying customers. It happens all the time when the churchgoers feel priviledged and park in nearby neighborhoods blocking people in their own driveways so they can't get out until church lets out. Or my favorite. When they can get the offending cars towed at the owners expense. The sign was probably posted by a fed up store owner or employee when their see people park and then go across the street.

    August 23, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • mf3

      Now that would be civiized! However the shopkeeper wants their business, but just wants them to be there when they are shopping in his stores, the question is why would they come there in the first place? to pray at the Mosque? Why don't they just expand the parking lot.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:42 am |
  7. underwaterops

    The sign should have read "parking for patrons of ... only. All others will be towed at owners expense to ..."
    :
    No other mention is needed. After the first offenders are towed, no matter who, the problem will be solved.

    August 23, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Victor

      Already exists. See 0:37.

      August 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  8. hubert39

    Guess which religion hates the other religions around the world?
    The church I attended when I was young felt the same way toward Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Hindi, Buddhist etc.

    August 23, 2013 at 5:50 am |
  9. Marc

    It really should have read "No Mosque Parking".. The problem is the people attending the mosque are parking in front of businesses, blocking customers from parking there. This has nothing at all to do with religion.

    August 23, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • S.M.C.

      I agree with you regarding the wording of the signs... A simple minded Texan decided to let their inner racism come through to the surface... Although, I notice, no matter which you go to (church, temple, mosque) people act pretty ignorantly because they feel their religion will absolve them of their "transgressions". Like a little give and take. I'm Roman Catholic and we are the worst... Well, I bore false witness against my neighbours; westborough baptists are the worst! – love everyone!

      August 23, 2013 at 6:26 am |
      • Scotchy

        SMC, Could have been some Connecticut transient for all anyone could know. Assigning responsibility to some "Texan" betrays your falling well short insofar as what I suspect you likely to profess; your unflappable open mindedness and yes, that utter lack of prejudice.

        August 23, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  10. jake d

    Not taking sides here but, in response to this quote; "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."

    We also live in a society with freedom of speech. People, especially land/store owners have a right to post that sign. I feel like this Muslim should know that he lives in a country in which Muslims are viewed as "strange" because of their religion's loose affiliation with terrorism and so I don't understand quite how he is shocked by a sign like this.

    August 23, 2013 at 1:51 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Why should Islam be singled out? What about the reputation of Christians who supported child molesters (and still hide them) or Jews who support rabbis who traffic in human organs?

      What about the Shinto who started WWII in Asia? Bhuddists who supported Mao? The Inquisition?

      August 23, 2013 at 7:51 am |
      • Paul

        "Jews who support rabbis who traffic in human organs"

        If such Rabbis exist I doubt they are supported by other Jews. Remember, it is not necessary to fabricate wrongs of Jews to defend Muslims.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:03 am |
      • Yeah Rite

        Umm. Excuse me, but there is not one single Jew on this planet who 'supports rabbis who traffic in human organs'. For the record. You are dealing in blood libels. Get real already. There is no – no – comparison to be made between the atrocities we see daily from Islam and its adherents, and the Jews or Christians' past or present behavior. None. The intolerance, backwardness and hate emanating from Islam today is so obvious – nay blatant – and stands in such contrast to the other religions you mention, that I fear only a newcomer to geopolitical thought would seek to come to the aid of its reputation. More often than not in fact, you will find that of the aforementioned religions, the two latter are commonly victimized by the former, throwing into further relief the point that everyone understands but few will utter – Islam is the problem.

        August 23, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      He has a right to post a sign – the sign should not have been worded that way; it should have said something like "No mosque parking" or "Shopper parking only". That sign is the equivalent of saying "No christian parking" or "No jew parking"; I'm pretty sure that would have (legitimately) created an uproar.

      August 23, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  11. james

    Close

    '"No Muslim parking' signs spark outrage"–So what's the problem? We don't let them park and they blow up our cars.–Big difference.

    August 22, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • James

      I think I vomited a little in my mouth reading your comment. When did they ever blow up cars what the F..k is wrong with you. All the muslims I know are are like anyone else.

      August 22, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  12. children of Israel

    Deny Christ, and you deny the Father because his son Jesus is an Israelite. And no man can stop his truth from freeing his people. But the proud have rejected his grace (John 1:17)

    August 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • mongol1

      And this is relevant to the article how? Fanatical Christianity is as deplorable as fanatical Islam is. I don't understand the arrogant egotistical viewpoint of exclusive domain exhibited by most religions. If a belief system helps a person be a better person, that's all that matters.

      August 23, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Fladabosco

      More human suffering has been avoided by washing hands than by kneeling in supplication.

      What greater arrogance is there than to claim to know what god is, what god wants and which religion is right and which are wrong?

      August 23, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • capnmike

      You actually believe that garbage? Pathetic.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  13. children of Israel

    Why are people judging a person by their skin color? Because the world is calling you black and brown people, those are primary colors. Is that a lie? The United Nations building represents every nation / nationality in the entire world. *Isaiah 40:17* (Deuteronomy 14:2)

    August 22, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Fladabosco

      You are a sick person.

      August 23, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  14. gahh

    Muslims in this country, are in a country full of infidels, so why do you want to live here anyway? In the middle east, there's plenty of parking for your camels. Look at the money you'll save on gas, so go home.

    August 22, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • James

      Did you just say that or are you really that re..tarded? I think I vomited a little in my mouth by reading your comment. No one is going "home" you a..hole there are Muslim people in the US who are much more successful than you will ever be. They contribute to society and are actually wealthy and hardworking unlike you. I'm Christian BTW.

      August 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • mf3

      Most american muslims are American born.

      August 23, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  15. Grouch

    Maybe the sign was put up to stop people from going to mosque from parking in a parking lot that was for store customers. I see those signs everywhere, just not worded as poorly.

    August 22, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  16. children of Israel

    The greatest of all time, gave up his life as a champion to follow Allah. Then the powers that be, the forces have silenced him in old age. Is that a lie, the Israelites the twelve tribes are with the most high God keeping his commandments. (Isaiah 46:3-4)

    August 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  17. children of Israel

    What is a revrend, another fake pastor? No such thing in the Bible. So called black people are dumb founded (1st Corinthians 14:38)

    August 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  18. mm

    Muslims.. Park somewhere else..Like over where you came from

    August 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Ed

    If better wording had been used, the uneducated sign writer would have avoided a big problem. How about "No Mosque parking in shopping center lot" You are then directing it toward folks incorrectly using a lot for onother's business – not attaching a religion. Businesses have problems all the time with Church goers improperly clogging their lots. Understandable problem, but very poor use of words.

    August 22, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  20. I LIKE IT

    Well, one way to limit car bombs.

    August 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Paul

      we do not owe you anything – get a life

      August 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • littlepeaks

      Before we had all the relations problems with Pakistan, a few of my coworkers went to Pakistan on a business trip. The hotel they stayed at had a forklift operator on duty all the time, to prevent car bombs. If someone left a car unattended in front of the entrance, he would pick it up with his fork lift, and drive it to a safe area.

      August 22, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • jboh

      You mean like Oklahoma City?

      August 30, 2013 at 9:54 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.