(HARTFORD, CT, 12/19/2013) – The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) today thanked public officials for deciding to remove "no parking" signs apparently targeting Friday prayer times at a mosque in Windsor, Ct.
The signs, which banned street parking from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays, went up years ago following the opening of Medina Masjid. [Photo]
Some neighbors complained about the traffic and about Muslims parking on their street during Friday prayers. The town put up the signs in response to those concerns.
The mosque's leadership took measures to address the issue of parking and traffic on the street. They repeatedly advised worshippers to be considerate, to watch for incoming traffic while traveling on that street, to slow down, and not to violate any parking rules or regulations. They also hired a police officer every Friday to monitor the traffic situation and to deal with anyone who violates the parking rules.
After extensive fundraising, the mosque was able to expand its parking to provide for adequate off street parking spaces for all members.
Despite all these efforts, the street parking ban remained in place.
In the past few months, CAIR-CT responded to requests from mosque members to open discussions with the town's leadership. Following CAIR-CT's intervention, the town management decided to remove the parking signs.
"We recognize that towns and municipalities have an obligation to address issues of concern to residents, particularly in matters of public safety, however we believe that the solutions should not trample on constitutional rights of individuals or groups," said CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi. "We thank Councilwoman Lisa Marie Boccia, Windsor Police Chief Kevin Searles and Assistant Town Manager Emily Moon, who all assisted greatly in addressing both the parking issue and the concerns of the Muslim community."
Dhaouadi offered special thanks to Imam Kashif Abdul-Kareem and Adam Antar for joining him in advocating on behalf of the Muslim community at the meeting during which the decision was made to remove the signs.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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