Conflict Over Mosque Construction in East Meadow

November 29, 2002

Source: Newsday,0,1664916.story

On November 29, 2002 Newsday reported that "nearly a decade ago, the Long Island Muslim Society bought two small houses on a busy street in East Meadow and began holding prayer services there. Now the Islamic group of about 40 families, mostly of Bangladeshi origin, wants to tear down the houses and build a new mosque and school in their place. But plans for the mosque, big enough for 300 people but with only nine parking spaces, have sparked a clash with neighbors that may pit quality of life against freedom of religion. Some said they oppose the mosque because it would attract more Muslims to East Meadow, and they don't like Muslims, especially after last year's Sept. 11 attacks. 'A lot of people died in the name of your god. We don't kill in the name of our god,' said Michelle Caio of East Meadow. About half those present cheered Caio's comments, while the rest shouted disagreement, to which she answered: 'You don't want to admit it, but that's the issue. Parking's not the issue,' Caio said to her neighbors. 'I'm against building a mosque in the town I live in. I do not think this is the time after what happened last year.'"