For students living on Beige Block, the potential move of the liquor store closer to the area may be a godsend.

But to Ahmed Rushdie, the news is nothing less than “insulting.”

Officials familiar with the negotiations say that there are talks to move the 41st and Market streets liquor store to 43rd and Walnut streets, a location close in proximity to a K-8 school and a community mosque.

The Masjid Al-Jamia Mosque is located at 4228 Walnut St., while the Penn-Alexander school is at 4209 Spruce St.

Rushdie, a professor in Penn’s Near Eastern Language and Civilizations Department and a board member of Masjid Al-Jamia, says the move raises serious issues for Muslims in the area – under Islamic law, it is illegal for Muslims to consume alcohol.

Rushdie’s concerns go further than religious convictions, however: He said Masjid Al-Jamia is most concerned about the possible negative side effects that a liquor store might have for the area.

“Most importantly, it’s really bad for the neighborhood because there are many families, and [it would be] less than 300 feet from the school on 42nd” Street, he said. “We’re not disputing the relocation of this store because it’s a religious matter only.”


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