Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn: Republican Senator Facing Election Jumps on anti-Mosque Bandwagon
State Sen. David Storobin has joined the hopeless fight against a mosque being built in Sheepshead Bay – a battle that’s been repeatedly quashed in the courts and has left political insiders believing that the newly minted legislator is more concerned with winning votes than helping mosque opponents.
Storobin fired off a letter to Mayor Bloomberg last week, claiming that the house of worship is thumbing its nose at city laws and threatens its neighbors’ lives. “This may pose a danger to public safety,” Storobin (R–Brighton Beach) wrote as he bashed the city for allowing work on a house of worship continue.
Yet political insiders say Storobin is using the mosque fight to strengthen his image as a right-wing conservative – something that will help him in the race for a new Midwood district peopled with conservative Orthodox Jews. “He thinks being further to the right is more helpful to him in getting elected than being for diversity is,” said political analyst Hank Sheinkopf.
Storobin’s letter discussed a variety of issues regarding the Islamic religious center, including the fact that it will accommodate between 200 to 300 people at a time while providing no parking. With prayers occurring five times a day, the mosque could see 1,500 people per day, Storobin claims.