Community members got the shock of their lives when they pulled into a shopping center in Houston, Texas. Large signs had been erected near the parking lot that said “NO MUSLIM Parking in Westview Shopping Center. Your car will be towed.” The shopping center sits directly across the street from a Mosque called El Farouq Mosque. The street that runs in between the mosque and the shopping center was covered with the signs, as if to form a barrier between the two locations.
Unapologetic workers from the shopping center explained that they didn’t want people from the Mosque parking at the center’s lot if the parkers were intending on going to services at the Mosque and not patronizing the center. However, despite defending the purpose of the signs, no one would come forward to admit to putting them up. One shopping center employee placed the blame on the center’s owner, Steve Kwon, but he denied being responsible. Some of the employees of the shopping center said they were upset because the mosque-goers always use the shopping center for parking.
The wording of the signs has some residents upset. One woman said the signs were “prejudiced” while social media commenters have called them an example of “stunning bigotry.”
One Muslim man, Ahmed Hassan, interviewed for news station KPRC was more forgiving, however. He said “I feel sorry for the person who wrote it. This is what comes to mind because obviously he has a lot of hate.” Another Mosque attendee, Yara Aboshady, said she was extremely shocked by the signs’ message. “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; that we all have the freedom of religion.”
Other social media commenters took the side of the shopping center. A website calling itself “Jihad Watch” posted a blog entry saying the sign could have been worded better and claiming that the police are going to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
The police are investigating a “hate crime,” Hamas-linked CAIR has sent it out in its daily mailing, and soon the politically correct police will find the person responsible and destroy his or her life with spurious and malevolent “hate” charges.
A commenter under that story seemed to agree with the sentiment of the blog post, saying. “When are muslims not offended? They hate us to the core so anything we have to say that would cause them to integrate, act as equals would offend them. mI have no problem with the sign. It should say no muslims allowed anywhere, f*** them all. Send them back.” (sic)
A Huffpo commenter blamed the situation on Texans, saying:
This is Texas. Nothing surprises me about this type of sign. I am not saying being anti-Muslim is acceptable. This is how many Texans behave towards people that are not like them. Texans typically have a “if you are not one of us you are one of them” attitude. No major surprises there. This attitude goes hand in hand with being a Republican.
Many other commenters agreed, saying they were not surprised the incident occurred in Texas, and one summed it up by saying: “Texas. Keeping it classy as always.”
Kwon had his son remove the signs after the media showed up to interview Kwon and shopping center employees. He said that although he was taking the signs down, he would hire a towing company and tow the cars of any non-patrons using the shopping center parking lot.
By: Rebecca Savastio