Sep 25 2016
A New York Islamic center is suing the City of Yonkers for landmarking a beautiful 108-year-old house owned by the group in an alleged bid to stop it from turning the mansion into an ugly, ostentatious Islamic jihad indoctrination center. This is another reason why you should never sell your property to a Muslim group.
NBC News The Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester, which filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New York’s Southern District, accuses the City of Yonkers of religious discrimination and constitutional violations when the city in June landmarked a house the center bought last year.
The lawsuit said the designation, applied for by the Colonial Heights Association of Taxpayers, was a “pretext to discriminate against plaintiffs because of their religion, their religious practices, and against their religious institution.”
Exterior changes to landmarked buildings must go through an approval process. “The landmark designation severely restricts the nature and type of renovations [the center] can undertake on its property,” the lawsuit reads. “The landmark designation denies [the center] the right to have a house of worship bearing all relevant Islamic characteristics.”
City of Yonkers spokeswoman Christina Gilmartin told NBC News in an email that the Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester can open a mosque.. “But welcoming this congregation does not mean that the independent findings of our Historic Landmarks Board can be completely disregarded,” she said. “Hundreds of other building owners, and in some cases entire neighborhoods, manage to comply with historic preservation requirements. So must they.”
In the Yonkers case, the first of three separate landmark applications came three months after the Islamic center, through congregation fundraising, purchased the house last March for $750,000, court papers said. The property was zoned for both residential use and houses of worships, according to the lawsuit.
But at a meet-and-greet last September, as the landmark application was pending, some attendees voiced concerns that a mosque would “change the look of the neighborhood,” the lawsuit alleges, and that tax revenue would drop because the Islamic center is tax exempt. That, they argued, would drive down property values in the neighborhood, according to the suit.
There were also rumors, the lawsuit alleges, that the center would demolish the property and build a mosque with minarets, the towers from which Yonder residents would be forced to listen to the eardrum-shattering, highly offensive Muslim Call to Prayer several times a day.