Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Angry neighbour who lives beside mosque erects 'Bomb Making Next Driveway' sign on front lawn

Some neighbours are just never going to get along.
And there won't be much discussion of the weather over the garden fence down down in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst.
There, Muslim leaders are enraged that the homeowner next door to their mosque has posted a provocative sign on his front lawn.
Michael Heick has advised passers-by: 'Bomb Making Next Driveway'.
Next door is the entrance to the Jaffarya Centre.
Loud and clear: The sign which has upset Muslims in the Jaffarya Centre mosque beside Michael Heick's house in East Amherst in Buffalo
Loud and clear: The sign which has upset Muslims in the Jaffarya Centre mosque beside Michael Heick's house in East Amherst in Buffalo
Heick put up the sign last weekend because he was frustrated with how the mosque and town officials handled his complaints that its light were too bright.
'The place is too close. I don't care what people think. It doesn't matter what people think,' he told the Buffalo News.
'This is a way to get answers now. I get none from the town. The intent was to catch the eye of the people who I have a problem with.'
However, Commissioner of Building Thomas Ketchum rejected Heick's allegation as 'absolutely false.'
He told WGRZ TV that outstanding issues had caused him to issue a conditional certificate of occupancy for the mosque.
Frustrated: Michael Heick put up the sign last weekend because he was unhappy with how the mosque and town officials handled his complaints that its lights were too bright
Frustrated: Michael Heick put up the sign last weekend because he was unhappy with how the mosque and town officials handled his complaints that its lights were too bright
It allows the building to be occupied but under the condition that code violations are corrected.
Heick, for his part, insisted the sign was not directed at a particular group.
'It does not say what driveway. It doesn't say "at the mosque",' he said. 'If they feel it's at them, that's how they feel.'
Mosque officials said the sign's message is offensive and that Heick hasn't responded to their requests for a meeting.
'I would really think it's an incitement of hatred against Muslims,' said Dr. Syed Jaffri, an Amherst psychiatrist and member of the mosque's board of trustees.
Next door: The Jaffarya Center is yards from Mr Heick's home. Officials there have called the sign 'offensive' and say that their neighbour hasn't responded to their requests for a meeting
Next door: The Jaffarya Center is yards from Mr Heick's home. Officials there have called the sign 'offensive' and say that their neighbour hasn't responded to their requests for a meeting
'Law enforcement should take it very seriously. Tomorrow, somebody could say, Oh they have weapons", and people believe it.'
Mubarak Abidi, mosque president, said he called Amherst police over the weekend about the sign and was told its posting wasn't illegal.
'They said there's nothing in the law that we can do anything about this sign,' he said.
Heick wants the mosque to erect a six-foot barrier before any fences can be mended.

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