Midwood, Brooklyn: ‘Little Pakistan’

If you live in or frequent the area, you might know these things. Most of America, however, has no idea – but needs to know these things.

We’ve posted previously on Little Kabul (Queens) after the NYC subway plot. We also told you about Little Palestine (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn). Now, following the Times Square car bomb attempt, Brooklyn’s Little Pakistan is back in the headlines.

BrooklynMuslimsStreetNoWomen

Image Source: New York Times

The Midwood section of Brooklyn —on Coney Island Avenue, between Avenue H and Newkirk Avenue—has been called “Little Pakistan” because of its many residents of Pakistani descent. The nickname “Little Pakistan” is cited in print from at least 1999. Source

Despite the incessant violence and jihad waged in Pakistan, Muslims of Little Pakistan are shocked that a Pakistani would do such a thing, via Little Pakistan Reacts to Arrest of Times Square Bomber:

As more information about the attempted car bombing in Times Square emerges, the mood of the Little Pakistan neighborhood has changed from indifference to concern about their adopted country’s safety and how the community will be perceived.

The humid rain kept many of the residents of Little Pakistan on Coney Island Avenue inside on Monday morning. A few women wearing saris shuffled down the street pushing shopping carts. In an area community center a group of women wearing black burqas learned how to conjugate “to have” in English.

The few people that were on the streets said quick hellos and goodbyes.

No one was talking about the attempted car bombing in Times Square that was originally believed to have been a terror attack perpetrated by the Taliban in Pakistan.

“We don’t really read the paper,” said Little Pakistan resident Omar Farooq “It’s too upsetting. We are just business people that do our business.”

As community residents woke to hear the bomber was a naturalized United States citizen from Pakistan, many were in disbelief.

“The community is shocked,” said Asghar Choudhri, a local accountant and president of the Pakistani American Federation of New York. “I couldn’t believe a Pakistani could do this.”

Since at least the 1990’s, areas in central New Jersey (Woodbridge and New Brunswick in particular) have also been referred to as Little Pakistan due to the large numbers of Pakistani’s. Which brings us to our next quote, from the NY Daily News:

“We’ve got more publicity from this one failed bombing in New York than from more than 100 bombings in Afghanistan,” a high-ranking militant in the Afghan Taliban told Newsweek.

The extremist said there are many Westerners like 30-year-old Shahzad, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan, who send hundreds of e-mails seeking to join the jihadist group.

C-o-n-n-e-c-t t-h-e d-o-t-s.

8 thoughts on “Midwood, Brooklyn: ‘Little Pakistan’

  1. on that crowded street not one of the people in the picture is female!

    “We’ve got more publicity from this one failed bombing in New York than from more than 100 bombings in Afghanistan,”

    above quote reminded me of something I read at a link posted by one of your commentors

    “by killing those they want to convert, run a risk of alienating that same
    population. Tribal in nature, and often in strategic and tactical employment, the terrorists we
    encounter today understand this risk to recruiting if they kill or offend the “wrong” members of
    the community. Therefore, killing American’s in general, is an aligning function and helps
    recruiting.” http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/2010/03%20March/Stone%2003-10-10.pdf

  2. As a native Jewish resident of Brooklyn and someone who went to school and frequents this neighborhood, I think you need to give a more balanced picture. I teach a number of Pakistani-American college students in Brooklyn and none of them are any more terrorists than I am. (Actually, Brooklyn has a much larger Arab Muslim population whose food stores and restaurants I went to as a kid back in the 1960s. I had Muslim friends in high school and college even then.)

    The quotation from a Taliban in Afghanistan is totally unrelated to Brooklyn’s Pakistani community. This neighborhood is also very, very Jewish and people here get along fine. The New York Times famously had a front-page story years ago calling Coney Island Avenue “the Boulevard of Tolerance” for the many ethnic groups who coexist here easily.

    Just from today’s NY TImes is an article by Joseph Berger (who wrote about the quintessential American city, NYC, in his book “The World in a City.” Here it is:

    WHEN a major event occurs with implications for one of the city’s ethnic groups, the ethnic press responds — sometimes analytically, sometimes angrily, sometimes defensively. In recent weeks, three newspapers — two Pakistani and one Indian — reported or reflected on the attempt by a Pakistani-American, Faisal Shahzad, to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. Here are excerpts translated with help from the New York Community Media Alliance.

    ***
    As investigators probe the Times Square bombing plot and delve deep into the personal history of suspect Faisal Shahzad, scores of Pakistani-Americans are left wondering why their worst fears came true and why this seemingly ordinary citizen tried to harm them and their fellow citizens.

    In interviews with News India Times, several Pakistani-Americans revealed they were not just deeply dismayed and disappointed, but felt beleaguered and frustrated about the setback in their struggle to portray their community in a positive light.

    As with any such incident, the backlash usually manifests itself against the larger community, they fear. “Please don’t let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude. Please don’t let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude,” was what Wajahat Ali, born and brought up in the United States, was repeating to himself in the hours before Shahzad’s name was revealed.

    ELA DUTT, May 14

    News India Times, based in Chelsea, distributes up to 15,000 copies a week, primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

    Patriotism in ‘Little Pakistan’

    Kasif Akhtar, an engineer by profession, also pointed at the sad reality of greater community scrutiny; however, he believed that Americans today were better aware about the values and sentiment of the Pakistani-American community than what was witnessed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Kasif had one piece of advice for the community: to strongly condemn Faisal Shahzad’s actions. …

    Many Pakistanis on Coney Island Avenue, in Brooklyn — also known as “Little Pakistan” for its large Pakistani-American population — said that America is their home and expressed pride in the country since it gave them liberty, respect, a home and opportunity. They also expressed the need for the imams to educate Pakistani youth against religious extremism, to be better Muslims and proud Americans and thus prevent them from being lured by extremists outside the United States.

    MOHSIN ZAHEER, May 5

    Sada-E-Pakistan, based in Flatbush, Brooklyn, has a weekly circulation of 17,000, primarily in the New York area but also Chicago.

    Media Fail to Note Pakistani Condemnation

    Words are not enough to describe the emotional and psychological stress the Pakistani-American community is undergoing after Faisal Shahzad’s failed attempt to bomb Times Square. It’s the topic of discussion everywhere, from living room gatherings to community social events. Everyone is searching for words to condemn Shahzad’s action and everyone seems to be looking for reasons that lead an educated person to commit such a despicable act. …

    However, the mainstream media is not framing the Muslim and Pakistani community’s condemnation properly. Little wonder anti-Muslim politicians are stating publicly that Muslims do not condemn Faisal Shahzad’s action just like they did not condemn the 9/11 terrorist attacks — and the mainstream media ends up reporting these provocative statements.

    WAKEEL ANSARI, May 13

    The Urdu Times, a Pakistani-American weekly based in Jamaica, Queens, has a New York-area circulation of 15,000.
    :

    • Richard….. 6 years on what say you now? . Quran Sura 5:51 ” O’Believers take neither a Jews nor a Christians as your friend and a protector , for they are friends and protectors of one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship and supports them shall become one of their numbers , Allah doesn’t guide the wrong doers ” .

  3. Pingback: Brooklyn: Protest against Muslim Brotherhood mosque in residential neighborhood « Creeping Sharia

  4. Early Muslim arrivals in the U.K. were very respectful of local traditions. Check out the latest Sharia demonstrations in London “Humble ” Muslims in the USA will in time join their U.K .brothers as their numbers increase.

  5. Pingback: Links to Muslim Enclaves and Mosques across America. : :: United Patriots of America ::

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