Controversy is raging over a mosque under construction in New York City—no, not that one. A Muslim developer in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn has been trying to build a mosque in a vacant lot for five years, but an organization known as Bay People, Inc. has been fighting it all the way, and now state and national politicians are getting involved, Salon reports. One Republican state senator recently wrote to Michael Bloomberg saying the building "may pose a danger to public safety," and US Rep. Bob Turner, Anthony Weiner's replacement, is calling on local officials to halt construction.
Protesters have covered the site in graffiti suggesting that mosques breed jihad. And while opponents officially list objections like noise and traffic problems, you don't have to dig deep to find a strain of Islamophobia. "If they build a mosque there, I’m going to bomb the mosque," one opponent said at a 2010 protest. "They’re not going to stay here alive." Pam Geller, a blogger who led the fight against the "Ground Zero mosque," has repeatedly called the site the "Sheepshead Bay Mega Mosque," even though it would fit on a lot for a single-family home. (Read more Brooklyn stories.)