Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

So a politician, a Sikh and a rabbi all sat down in a mosque…
This was not the beginning of a joke, but rather the start of a new life for a Holliswood temple that was rededicated Sunday, October 12 as a mosque in a ceremony that drew a variety of local political and religious leaders. The Temple Israel of Jamaica, on the corner of McLaughlin Avenue and 188th Street, was turned over to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community after months of negotiations.
Mosque Education Director Ahmad Mubarak, who moderated the ceremony, encouraged the guests of different religions to use the new Bait-Uz-Zafar Mosque for their own prayers.
“This is for everyone,” he said, looking over a crowd of more than 250 that included Pakistanis in traditional fur Jinnah caps, Buddhist monks in orange robes, Jews wearing yarmulkes, a Sikh man in a crimson turban and two Baptist ministers.
Sandy Reisman, president of Temple Israel, which recently merged with Temple Emanuel, welcomed the Muslim congregation to her former synagogue. “Mutual respect and admiration will be the basis for a true friendship,” she said.
The ceremony also drew several local politicians, including Representative Anthony Weiner, who called the inauguration of a new house of worship a positive sign for the community. “What we do in politics can only fill a thimble,” he said, comparing the power of politics to the influence of religion.
Even in the most ethnically diverse county in the United States, City Councilmember David Weprin said he was impressed to see, “Just about every religion represented.”
“Abraham is the father of us all,” State Senator Frank Padavan told the crowd.
Down the hall, Faiza Bajwa looked out the window as her 2-year-old daughter played in the late afternoon sun. “The kids are loving it outside,” she said, recalling the lack of outdoor space at the congregation’s former mosque just down the street.
“This is five times bigger than that,” noted congregant Rizwan Alladin, “so that helps with the parking.”
He estimated that 2,000 congregants came to the recent celebration of Eid, marking the end of Ramadan. Parking for religious events can be contentious in Queens. Alladin said in many cases the Ahmadiyya Community is able to share parking space with Christian and Jewish neighbors during high-traffic holidays. “We are brothers,” Stuart Davidson, who is Jewish and a longtime friend of the Ahmadiyya Community, told the crowd gathered at the new mosque. “Maybe we are brothers in a dysfunctional family, but we are brothers nonetheless.”

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Related Stories
Queens News Quiz: How well do you know this week’s news?
Queens News Quiz: How well do you know this week’s news?
Cops buckle down on knifepoint robberies, Denny’s is coming to Queens and 8 more top stories this week
Cops buckle down on knifepoint robberies, Denny’s is coming to Queens and 8 more top stories this week
Popular Stories
Photo via Shutterstock
With Obamacare in doubt, New York eyes a single-payer healthcare system supported by Queens lawmaker
Photos courtesy of CNN/Parts Unknown
Dine at these restaurants to retrace Anthony Bourdain's footsteps on 'Parts Unknown' in Queens
Photo: Shutterstock
UPDATE: Male found dead in Queens' Alley Pond Park was stabbed 28 times, homicide probe underway


Skip to toolbar