Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hindu temple cries racism after DOB violations

From the Queens Courier:

A Hindu temple in Richmond Hill has been battling with the Department of Buildings (DOB), after the mandir was hit with several violations that both the building owner and priest say were incorrect and unfair.

The DOB began to issue violations in January for working without permits on electricity and plumbing, said Ali Mahmood, who owns the building on 101st Avenue. He went on to say that the DOB claimed the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the structure was not listed as commercial.

Mahmood took the agency to court and argued that since the structure was erected before 1938, it did not require a C of O. The entire block, he said, was actually mixed-use and he had been paying commercial taxes on the building for years.

The next court hearing will be on Tuesday, August 21, and Mahmood said he will now have a lawyer with him.

Mahin Gosine, the mandir’s priest and a sociology professor, said the larger problem was the city’s attitude toward the Indian community. Right now, he said, the city was enforcing its power on the community to the point where residents feel it is discrimination.

“This is a form of behavior that’s meted out toward the whole Indian community,” Gosine said.

Unfortunately, this poorly written article left out some important details, like the address of the offending building and what its use has been since 1938.


Anonymous said...

There are dozens of other similar illegal mixed use buildings being used by so called religious groups all over Queens.

Anonymous said...

Applying for and getting the required permits BEFORE doing work seems to be a concept alien to some Richmond Hill motormouths. The motormouth M/O is to scream discrimination after getting caught doing something illegal. Shame on the Courier for giving this nonsense credence with this article.

Anonymous said...

Face it...
Richmond Hill is a shit hole just like Flushing,
but with different immigrant groups settled there.

The law of the land is constantly being skirted
in both of these 3rd world locales.

And when the law breaking perps
get caught red-handed, they quickly scream 'RACISM"!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Indian community is being singled out .... to get them up to the same standards the rest of us take for granted.

Anonymous said...

One would think a sociology professor would be educated enough to know why there are laws and regulations governing how buildings are constructed and used in a 21st century urban society and law-abiding enough to follow them.

Anonymous said...

The address is critical, since every reporter in the City is willing to "run" with a discrimination story without ANY investigation. Constructed before 1938? ok-but were there Alterations? And, trust me, Dept of Finance has NOTHING to do with this - everyone, including DOF, agrees the records are spotty. More than tax records are needed to create a preponderance of evidence - which is wierd: you'd think if the City takes the money they're condoning the use, eh?

Anonymous said...

When you come from a land of lawlessness and where the value of human life (and the desire to protect it) is low, it comes as a shock to these people when they suddenly are asked to follow the rules.


Anonymous said...

Got to thank Honest Joe Crowley's machine for this - the are taught that should something happen they don't like, scream discrimination.

They get the press and attention and sympathy.

Let a developer do something like crack your wall or leave an open pit next door for year and you are on your own. Quality of life is such a waste of time for the pols.

Anonymous said...

What's Mahmood's claim here? That because the structure was erected before 1938, it is like a little island of anarchy for him, where plans, permits, building codes, and taxes don't apply?

It's typical for Queens Courier to forget W5 Journalism 101.

Anonymous said...

There is a cadre of big mouths in Richmond Hill who have the misguided notion that freedom of religion means license to ignore rules and laws governing building safety.

Anonymous said...

Super Halal Meat 253-06 Hillside Ave
This job was done without permits and has been a quality of life nightmare for over two years. The store owner claimed he was being harassed because of racism. While the neighbors watched the quality of life on their block ruined.
The store isn’t fixing any of the violations and the city refuses to do any enforcement. Why?