STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (WPIX)—Members of the Muslim American Society are working to quell growing uneasiness among Staten Island residents after revealing their plan to buy a convent in Midland Beach and convert it to a mosque.
The Muslim American Society (MAS) met with community leaders and members of the Midland Beach Civic Association Wednesday to outline their plans and address any concerns.
MAS is outspoken when it comes to allegations that they are connected to terrorist organizations, and such allegations are rampant on the Internet. The conservative website Investigative Project on Terrorism has a video from 2000 that depicts Mahdi Bray, the director of advocacy for MAS, apparently pumping his fist in support of Hezbollah and Hamas.
At the meeting today, Bray addressed the crowd reportedly saying, "I categorically deny that I am a supporter of Hezbollah or Hamas or that I am a terrorist supporter." "The citations by the Investigative Project are not based in fact," he added.
MAS is now planning to renovate the former St. Margaret Mary R.C. Church on Greeley Ave., and turn it into a mosque that would double as a recreational facility that would provide computer labs, tutoring and a headquarters for Boy and Girl Scout troops.