While the known universe was focused on the all-important "Ground Zero Mosque" fracas, the Department of Buildings has quietly pulled their approval of an Islamic community center proposed for Sheepshead Bay, just two days after approving it. And despite reasoning that it could cause parking problems or noise issues, property owner Allowey Ahmed is convinced the DOB caved to pressure from anti-Islamic locals. “It’s only common sense to assume that,” he told the Brooklyn Paper. “We lowered our plan from four floors to three out of deference to our neighbors. And now everything is on hold again."

The building proposal will once again face an exhaustive review, which will stall construction for up to five months. State Senator Carl Kruger agrees with Ahmed, saying, "Whenever the [Department of Buildings] knows that something is controversial, they don’t leave it up to one plan examiner," but also says that now "nobody is going to be able to go to them once they started work and say 'This is not appropriate.' " A DOB spokeswoman said they still need to "clarify the occupancy of the first floor to determine if a 'place of assembly' permit is required," which could give fuel to protesters who hear the words "assembly" and "Islamic" and freak out. Ahmed said they should be able to accommodate up to 120 worshipers, but only 20 or so would be coming on an everyday basis.

Protesters have previously claimed that the mosque would cause parking problems on the block, though that reasonable request was overshadowed by bomb threats from locals. But Ahmed remains faithful that the mosque will be built. "We believe that freedom of religion will prevail," he said. "But [the city] shouldn’t backpedal. Our leaders should be at the forefront of guaranteeing our religious freedom." Meanwhile, a mosque designed to serve about 5,000 Turkish-Americans quietly opened in Brighton Beach, and will officially open in December. The only peep from the neighbors seems to be local Suzanne Hogan saying, "they are welcome here." Leave it to Little Russia to give us a lesson in tolerance.