HOUSTON – New parking signs posted outside a Houston-area mosque sparked outrage on Thursday.
The posters lined the street near the El Farouq Mosque.
In black letters, the signs read, "No Muslim parking in the Westview Shopping Center. Your car will be towed."
Many Muslims heading to worship services were offended.
"I feel sorry for the person who wrote it," said Ahmed Hassan. "This is what comes to mind because obviously he has a lot of hate."
"I'm very shocked because we do live in a society that's supposed to be very accepting and this is what we all preach," said Yara Aboshady. "That we all have the freedom of religion."
The mosque sits across the street from the shopping center. Store employees did not want to go on camera, but admit they get angry when mosque members park in their lot, taking up spots meant for customers.
With the Muslim month-long fast for the holy month of Ramadan ending, and a crowd expected at the mosque, the signs anonymously appeared. No shopping center employees would take credit. One worker said the shopping center owner, Steve Kwon, posted the signs.
"I did not put up the signs," said Kwon.
Aboshady wondered about the sign writer's true motive.
"It could be no parking for the sake of patrons that come in," Aboshady said. "Or it really could be a prejudice and just a mean thing to say."
She and others still find the signs insensitive and offensive.
"It's really offensive and it's hateful," said Hassan.
The owner says they will be calling a tow company to try to get all of the cars that shouldn't be parked here out. And he says he'll be checking the property to make there are no more of the offending parking signs.