Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bigotry in Buffalo

A feud between two Transit Road neighbors -- a homeowner and a mosque -- turned ugly this weekend when the homeowner staked a sign on his front lawn insinuating that the new 11,600-square-foot Islamic worship site is home to a "bomb making" operation.

Michael Heick, who lives next door to the Jaffarya Islamic Center of Niagara Frontier, put a small sign that reads "Bomb Making Next Driveway" to northbound traffic on Transit Road. The next driveway on the same side of the road as Heick's home heading north is the Jaffarya Center, at 10300 Transit.

Given the culture of anti-Muslim bigotry that has sprung up all over American, with conservatives -- and, yes, leading Republicans -- stirring up fear and hatred, are we surprised?

But this guy has an excuse:

Heick said he put up the sign because he was frustrated with how the mosque and Amherst town officials have handled his concerns about the building, which opened in November.

"The place is too close. I don't care what people think. It doesn't matter what people think," he said Monday evening 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."

Really? He objects to the mosque's bright lights and so puts up a sign saying it's a haven for terrorists? (Because, of course, all Muslims are either active terrorists or would-be terrorists. Isn't that what we are being told?) He's certainly managed to get some attention, but he's really just exposed himself as a bigot.

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