New York area Muslims deal with backlash from Bin Laden’s death
by Armir Taraj, The Examiner
Several local and international newspapers have recently reported on acts of vandalism on New York and New Jersey Muslim sites following the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.
The Gothamist reported on May 10th that a planned mosque’s fence in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, had been defaced with Bin Laden Graffiti: “Osama bin Laden’s death roused up strong feelings of patriotism and jingoistic drink recipes—and it also inspired someone to inform a proposed Brooklyn mosque of the Al Qaeda leader’s death by way of graffiti. Sheepshead Bites reports that “He is dead” and smiley faces were spray painted onto the fence outside a controversial mosque site. The mosque’s organizers called it a “hateful act.”
The Brooklyn Paper also reported on the story as part of its coverage of the larger story on the Sheepshead Bay Mosque winning approval by Judge Mark Partnow on Tuesday, May 10th: “A state judge ruled that the construction of a controversial mosque in Sheepshead Bay can move forward shortly after a lawyer for the developer hinted that opponents of the plan are terrorists — citing inflammatory graffiti cheering the death of Osama bin Laden at the mosque site.”
BBC also published an article on the same mosque’s recent approval titled “Brooklyn mosque row reflects wider tensions” in which it covered recent anti-mosque opposition throughout America: “For the defence, lawyer Lamis Deek said a “terrorising environment” had been created for the Muslim community in Sheepshead Bay. After Osama Bin Laden’s killing, graffiti reading “He’s Dead” went up at the construction site. The case was motivated by “racism and hatred”, Ms Deek said.”
Opponents of the mosque had claimed that the mosque’s construction would create traffic congestion and parking problems.