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News, May 18, 2011

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Islamophobia in the US:

New York Man Puts 'Bomb Making Next Driveway' Sign In Mosque-Adjacent Yard


Jillian Rayfield | May 10, 2011, 10:21AM

A man in East Amherst, New York escalated an ongoing feud with a neighboring mosque by placing a sign that reads "Bomb Making Next Driveway" on his lawn, saying his "intent was to catch the eye of the people who I have a problem with."

Michael Heick is feuding with the Jaffarya Islamic Center of Niagara Frontier, which was recently built next door to his home, and which he says is violating town codes.

"The place is too close. I don't care what people think. It doesn't matter what people think," he told Jay Tokasz of on Monday, speaking from his front porch. "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."

Heick's complaint is that the mosque's lights are bright and shine into his yard. He's asked that the mosque put up a six-foot high fence to block them. The mosque said it was too costly, and instead planted a row of shrubs that will eventually grow to block the lights.

Heick contends that the sign wasn't mean to be inflammatory. "It does not say what driveway. It doesn't say at the mosque," he said. "I have issues with the mosque. The sign is not directed at anybody. If they feel it's at them, that's how they feel."

Dr. Syed Jaffri, a member of the mosque's board of trustees, disagreed: "I would really think it's an incitement of hatred against Muslims."

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