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Queens Chronicle

Islamic school will open in Flushing

Lack of funds and seeking permits delayed the project for a year

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Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 5:17 am, Wed Dec 24, 2014.

Although delayed a year, an Islamic elementary school is expected to open this fall on Parsons Boulevard in Flushing.

Aftab Mannan, joint secretary of the Jamaica Muslim Center, confirmed to the Queens Chronicle on Monday that he hopes the school will open by September. “It all depends on the Department of Buildings,” Mannan said, citing permits and upcoming inspections.

The Chronicle broke the story a year ago that the Muslim center bought the long-abandoned properties at 78-31 and 78-39 Parsons Blvd. for a pre-kindergarten through seventh grade school. It was to open last fall.

“Things were delayed because everything was being paid for by donations that we had to raise and the large number of city permits needed for the project,” Mannan said.

He said about 65 percent of the interior work on 78-31 Parsons has been completed. The school will house up to 160 students, most of whom will be bused from the JMC, where their classes are now held.

It will use the same name as the current facility, Al’Mamoor School, and when more money is raised, the adjacent building will be renovated for school use.

Ken Cohen, president of the nearby Flushing Suburban Civic Association, said the property has not been maintained well. “It’s a concern to us,” Cohen said.

The shrubs are overgrown and tall weeds fill the area, which is also choked with paper refuse and even a book bag.

Mannan said once the school opens the site will be well maintained. “It will add beauty to the community,” he added.

Cohen also noted that his group was never able to sit down with Muslim center officials to discuss the plans. “We have heard nothing about the school,” he said.

City Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) has been keeping abreast of the situation, according to his spokesman Paul Leonard who said the councilman had met with the rabbi of Yeshiva Ketana, which is a block away from the planned school.

Rabbi Yonason Karman, executive director of the yeshiva, was concerned about the facility adding congestion to the area. Aside from the yeshiva, there are two other schools nearby on Parsons Boulevard.

Mannan does not consider it an issue since most of the Al’Mamoor children will be bused and won’t be dropped off separately. “It won’t be a problem with the other school [yeshiva],” he said.

The two Parsons Boulevard properties bought by the Muslim center and a third at 160-40 78 Road were originally owned by Aurora Concept, a detox center. It opened in 1972 and offered 107 beds for long-term care and a large outpatient service.

Due to alleged mismanagement of funds, the program sought help in 2006 from the state and it eventually was closed in 2007. The two Parsons properties then remained vacant until they were purchased last year.

Cohen said the former Aurora Concept residential building on 78th Road is being converted into a medical complex by a developer, but that work hasn’t moved forward recently. “It’s off and on,” he said. “Maybe they ran out of money.”

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Iftikhar posted at 10:49 am on Fri, Jul 26, 2013.

    Iftikhar Posts: 0

    A civilisation is measured not by the rights it grants its majority but the privileges it allows its minorities. Muslim families are as entitled as any other religious group to schools that nurture their children's faith. Muslim pupils should be educated in Muslim schools because the current system is marginalising them. Teaching Muslim children in a Muslim school would remove the "problem of them being exposed" to values that conflict with Islamic faith. Muslim pupils are disadvantaged and marginalised in the city's state schools because the cultural heritage of the curriculum is "European and Christian".

    Muslim schools provide an education in accordance with the Muslim beliefs and values, such as providing single-sex schooling after puberty. They are thus a response to the danger of absorption into the dominant culture.

    The number of Muslim children is on the increase in Bradford state and church schools. There are lot of schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies for proper education. British history from early periods to present day should be taught in all schools. Islamic history from the early period to present day should be part and parcel of the National Curriculum. I think to be fair the Arabic and Persian contributions to the world in medicine, mathematics and other sciences plus their involvement in world affairs should be taught.

    The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of the land. Muslims are not asking for any favour. I set up the first Muslim school in London in 1981 and now there are 188 Muslim schools and only 12 are state funded. I would like to see each and every Muslim child in a state funded Muslim schools and I hope one day my dream would come true. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental period. There are few schools for Hindu and Sikh communities. Now even Black community is thinking of setting up their own state funded schools for their own children with black teachers.

    You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands.British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion.

    A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. He/she is well versed in standard English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages so that they do not find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage and are able to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.
    London School of Islamics Trust

  • NY2AZ posted at 1:57 pm on Thu, Jul 25, 2013.

    NY2AZ Posts: 20

    Whatever happened to Pam Geller?