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Home » Huffington Post

Jewish Bagel Shop Rescued By Muslim Cab Drivers

8 November 2011 Huffington Post 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Coney Island Bialys and Bagels, Jewish Bagel Shop, Rescued By Muslim Cab Drivers

A 91-year-old New York Jewish bagel shop about to go under was saved by two former Muslim cab drivers who vowed to keep it kosher.

Coney Island Bialys and Bagels was set to close its doors in September, with longtime owner Steve Ross citing a bad economy as the culprit, the Jewish Daily Forward first reported.

But Peerzada Shah and Zafaryab Ali couldn’t let that happen, so the two former New York cab drivers and one-time roommates bought the store together.

Ali had worked at the shop for about 10 years and didn’t want to see the iconic neighborhood store shut down. Shah went to culinary school in Manhattan and was knowledgeable about ovens and baking equipment, the Jewish Daily explains. Both men immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan.

Ross’ grandfather, Morris Rosenzweig immigrated from Poland and opened the shop in 1920.

Some might wonder whether the “geopolitics that divide Muslims and Jews” pose a problem, but all three men say it doesn’t factor in anywhere.

“It doesn’t matter,” Ali told the New York Daily News. “I make the food for everyone.”

longtime customer also told WPIX he didn’t have any issues with the religion of the two men.

The new business partners are renovating certain parts of the shop, but plan to use the same recipes, equipment and the kosher menu, MSNBC points out.

Joseph Jackson has worked at the shop for 30 years and decided to stay with the new owners.

“The two men are very, very good-natured, well-intentioned and just good people,”Jackson told MSNBC. “They want to keep the bakery kosher and I want to help them succeed.”

And he’s not the only one who wishes them well.

“I’d like to see them flourish because they’re making a product that my grandfather brought to this country,” Ross told the New York Daily News.


  1. This is what I like to see – people cooperating. We all need to take this example to heart. If these were Christians, people would say How Christian of them, but I submit that this behavior is also very Muslim and very Jewish! Peace!

  2. Agree Mary-Louise. What caught my interest was that how often one sees the character of a Muslim accounted for. Time and again when a Muslim is in question someone feels the need to jump in and say things like “The two men are very, very good-natured, well-intentioned and just good people”. I think the story already tells us that. Sadly it seems that when Muslims are explained as “good-natured” its almost as if there is some sort of clarification going on. As if to imply that the Muslim(s) in question is/are different than most Muslims. Another case in point.

    A common theme I have noticed as an American Muslim.

  3. JeanBean,

    “someone feels the need to jump in” how do you know that the interviewer did ask about the new owners specifically, proding for such a response. you think joe jackson went out of his way to call msnbc? clearly the intent of the article is to put muslims in a good light. why else even do a piece on someone buying, oh sorry “rescuing”, a bagel shop. i thought it was going to be a story about them putting out a fire, not engaging in capitalism. i image it happens every day.

    anyways, as an american muslim i’m interested in your opinion on sharia. do you think it has a place in american jurisprudence?

  4. M2,
    congratulations on your negative comments about everything Muslims do. Treating your neighbors kindly is required of Muslims (regardless of religion). It doesn’t seem like much to talk about, but the fact that you don’t like it only shows you don’t approve of Muslims and Jews getting along. As for Sharia, it is like the British common law, or the Jewish Halaqa, neither is allowed to overturn the Constitution. And by the way, Sharia Law only applies to Muslims. Even in a Muslim countries governed by proper sharia law, the non-Muslims have their rights. They are allowed to practice their religion and were granted protection. AND DON’T go blabbing about how they were treated like second class citizens, they were treated equally.

  5. bennett,

    “congratulations on your negative comments about everything Muslims do”, thanks. not sure how you come up with that. ya’ll came up with a nice arch and good glass works and optics. but there are many things in islam i am very negative on. the opening of the 24th surah for example. but anyways, i don’t get how my comment was even negative about muslims. i thought i was being critical of the author and JeanBean’s comment. i don’t get how this is even news worthy. muslims buy business from jews, like i said i’m sure it happens everyday. so what? “It doesn’t seem like much to talk about, but the fact that you don’t like it only shows you don’t approve of Muslims and Jews getting along.” not sure how you came to that conclusion? buy all the bagel shops you want. how do you say i don’t like it? i don’t care. lol buy it don’t buy it….lmao i’m a capitalist. free enterprise is one of the things that make america great. to the contrary, i wish jews and muslims could get along better. many of the world’s proplems emanate from the israel/palestine conflict.

  6. so sharia only applies to muslims? so who is a muslim? if my sister marries a muslim man and they have twins, a boy and a girl. then the parents are killed in a plane crash. they have no wills. so if the father’s brother arguees in court that they are muslim and therefore subject to islamic law, as in the male inherits twice the female and i disagree and arguee on behalf of my niece that she should get her equal share, 50%. how does that play out in your mind? so if a muslim man is caught having an affair, like the guy who shot his wife in NY. should a sharia court be allowed to take him out and stone him, dispite the constitution. so if i’m raised a muslim and decide at age 25 i don’t believe in god, should i be stoned to death?????????

  7. M2, (read carefully)
    Your knowledge of Islam is quite pitiful. You really never bothered to understand what you read from the Quran as a whole. LOL, everyone gets a different amount when someone dies. The wife gets half, the brothers and sisters of the deceased EACH get 1/6 regardless of gender. The reason the male child has 2x the amt of a girl’s share is because he needs it more financialy. NOWHERE IN THE QURAN DOES IT SAY A WOMEN IS WORTH HALF OF A MAN. All debts must be paid first of course. Then the distribution would go to the relatives. So if they scenario mentioned above did happen then the children would receive their share and the relatives who take them in will also have a share (They are all family of cours). Here are some points you should know:
    A Muslim man is responsible for providing the dowry for the wedding. He is responsible for paying for a house, food, and clothing for his wife. A woman does not have this responsibility. A woman is entitled to her husband’s wealth, but on the off chance a woman has a job (rare in the deserts of Arabia) the husband is not entitled to her wealth.
    Most imp. point: Just because they are entitled to a certain amount as decided by God, does not mean relatives can’t or won’t share (sharing not prohibited in Islam). The distribution of wealth is so we don’t have another Cinderella. If the relative get along, they can share their wealth, but perhaps you the father, might be a gambler or drunkard, so if you had all the money you would just waste it.
    You seem to be obsessed with the idea of stoning. Stoning is a punishment only given to those who commit adultery in the open. You need 4 MALE WITNESSES to testify that a person commited adultery according to the sharia law. How are 4 guys suppose to identify you as an adulterer unless they personally know you, or if you are doing it in public for everyone to see? If the witnesses are found to be liars, they get flogged for slander and their testimony will never be valid in court again.
    Remember, Sharia law is only applicable for Muslims. Apostacy as I mentioned b4 (in other articles) is not punishable according to the Sharia. The judgement of apostacy and hypocrisy lies with God alone because he is the best of judgers (he knows what is really in their hearts). And don’t bother quoting that Hadith with Ali (only shows your close mindedness). God and Prophet Muhammad did not accept this as the norm. Apostacy is only punishable if a person joins a group that openly fight Muslims. There are plenty more Hadiths that show Prophet Muhammad forgave apostacy (does not mean God will forgive them though).
    As for the opening Surah of 24, you mentioned that to me already.
    Quran 24:1
    “This is] a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember.”

    If you read it carefully, you would realize the “you” is refering to the Muslims. This message is only for the Muslims. You would understand that if you had read the next 4 or 5 verses. But of course taking verses out of context or not reading it as a whole shows you only visited hate websites. You never bothered to read through the entire Quran and understand it.
    I mention this to most people but the Quran does say in 2:256 that there is no compulsion in religion. You are free to Muslim or free to disbelieve. You can’ force someone to believe. Whether I am a good Muslim or a hypocrite no one would know for sure except me or God. The final judgement rests with him.

  8. Muhd Bennett,

    “Your knowledge of Islam is quite pitiful”. no doubt. that is why i ask questions. but i have read “the women”. and yes 4:12 has sibling regardsless of gender inheriting equal shares. seems inconsistant with the logic of the son getting 2x the daughter. as for careful reading perhaps you should take your own advise. my issue is with the son getting twice the daughter.

    4:11: Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one’s estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one’s parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children – you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah . Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
    4:12: And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they [may have] made or debt. And for the wives is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave, after any bequest you [may have] made or debt. And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth. But if they are more than two, they share a third, after any bequest which was made or debt, as long as there is no detriment [caused]. [This is] an ordinance from Allah , and Allah is Knowing and Forbearing.

    Yes, i’ve been told the man is “the maintainer and protector” of the woman. thus the reasoning for the inequallity of this sharia inheritance law. but don’t you see that as a problem? “A woman does not have this responsibility”, see to me that is the very definition of sexism. you are treating her as if she was still a child. so with this social structure in mind it makes perfect sense to not bother educating girls, especial when there are limited resources, say like in afghanistan. “NOWHERE IN THE QURAN DOES IT SAY A WOMEN IS WORTH HALF OF A MAN.” where did i say it did? your owe advise seems in order again. but i can see how critics of islam draw that conclusion. let’s see, when witnessing a will you can have 2 men or you can replace 1 man with 2 women. and of course there’s this whole “for the male, what is equal to the share of two females”. but you are right i haven’t read the whole koran, just the first 4 surahs and the entire 24th (just opened it one night and the title “the light” made me think there might be some enlightenment within) but then i read it.

  9. “You seem to be obsessed with the idea of stoning.” don’t forget the flogging, i’m obsessed with that too. i wonder why, oh yeah the brutallity of it. the fact it is such an ungodly act. even if you don’t whip someone in the face or genitals. the fact it is inconsistant with the idea of not allowing “cruel and unusual punishment”. i’m glad to hear your fiqh differentiates between minor and major apostate. but i think you are in the minority. are you a “koran only muslim”? is that why you don’t like hadiths being posted? anyways, the four major schools of islamic all agree to stone apostates. either way you are in favor of stoning adulterers, flogging fornicators and slanderers and drunks, RIGHT!!!!! given there are “4 MALE WITNESSES”. so why do they have to be MALE? see i don’t care if there are 400 witnesess, we don’t flog people in america anymore. is a video tape evidence? what about pregnancy. do you need to see the hadith where pregnancy is considered proof? well if your not sunni, as in follow the sunnah, but you do know 90% of muslims are sunni and even the shia follow some hadiths, right? not many koran only muslims.

    as for sharia is only for muslims, yes i understand the concept. but i disagree with it 100%. i believe american law should apply equally to all americans regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, gender or even sexual orientation.

    “you only visited hate websites.” really. the hadiths and verses from the koran are from i think it’s daisy khan and iman feisals (however you spell that) website? you should check it out. if you mouse over the drop down tap Sunnah and click on Sahih Bukhari then scroll down to the 84th book. Dealing with Apostates. i don’t see the word treason anywhere, but with my poor reading skills i may have missed it?

    as for “2:256 that there is no compulsion in religion.” according to my “the message of the qur an: translated and explained by muhammad asad”, that verse has nothing to do with apostates. it’s from the medina period and is in referance to forced conversions. i think you took that out of context. let me know if you need me to give you the entire explaination/footnote. or maybe cair gave me a “hate koran”?

    “quoting that Hadith with Ali (only shows your close mindedness).” what?how’s that? why would quoting a hadith be proof of close mindedness?????????????????????????????????

    maybe this guy is koran only? do you speak arabic? how do you define zina?

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