Last week, the Department of Buildings went back on their approval on plans for an Islamic community center in Sheepshead bay, citing the need to determine whether a "place of assembly" permit is needed. However, property owner Allowey Ahmed believed the DOB caved to pressure from anti-Islamic protesters in the area. Yesterday, the DOB re-approved construction designs on the center. “They came in to address our questions and the hold has been lifted,” spokeswoman Carly Sullivan told the Brooklyn Paper.

The re-approval came much faster than expected; last week Ahmed was told another review could take up to five months. But the main opposition group, Bay People, stands by their position that the community center would cause traffic and parking problems, as well as problems with "neighborhood character." Their website says, "The neighborhood residents are mostly of Italian/Russian/Jewish/Irish decent and will not benefit from having a mosque and a Muslim community center."

They also mention the call to prayer: "Other mosques in the city are creating just the problems we are trying to avoid....Their neighborhood mosque wants to broadcast loudspeaker calls to prayer that would be heard three blocks from the mosque. The Imam specifically states: 'Islam requires us to do adhan,' (call to prayer). In our neighborhood three blocks will not only encompass private houses, but PS 52 as well. Do we want these calls to be heard inside Public School? Isn't it a violation of our Constitution?" Granted, anyone on a loudspeaker three times a day in a quiet neighborhood is going to be a bit annoying, but it's about as unconstitutional as that "under God" bit in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ahmed says he plans to get construction underway "as soon as possible," and Bay People has threatened to take him to court. That newly-opened mosque in Brighton Beach still seems to be doing just fine.