Proposals for Mosque in Flushing Rejected by Locals

(Photo by Eric Jankiewicz via Queens Courier)

(Photo by Eric Jankiewicz via Queens Courier)

Representatives behind a proposal to construct a mosque in Flushing withdrew the plan at a community board meeting Monday night after criticism from residents, reports Eric Jankiewicz for Queens Courier:

Dozens of residents came to the meeting to voice their opposition to the mosque on the grounds that the application requested several waivers be made to the area’s building code laws. But some were simply unhappy about a mosque coming to the neighborhood.

“This is a very congested area,” said Grace Kelly, a Flushing resident. “Flushing Remonstrance is something we value, but this spot just doesn’t work,” she said in reference to the historic 17th-century commitment made to freedom of religion by leaders in Flushing.

Harry Coumna said the mosque should be built on the industrial part of College Point in one of the warehouses, a suggestion one board member thought was “offensive.”

“Why do you want to come to our area and do this?” Coumna said. “Do we come to your neighborhood and build stuff there? Leave our neighborhood alone.”

The proposal for the mosque was the first opportunity for the 400-strong congregation to have a fixed location after, according to lawyer Emily Simon, being “forced to move from month to month.” Members of the congregation come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and several African countries, mentions Jankiewicz.

Since 2013, the group has jumped between temporary mosques, and they were hoping to establish a stable place in a part of Flushing that is home to a diverse number of places of worship.

What did a member of the congregation think, especially of the suggestion of building the mosque in the industrial part of College Point? Find out at Queens Courier.

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