Wednesday, August 04, 2010

More on the Mosque (that isn't a mosque)

A reader:
I see you (or your blog) got into the mix today. Not sure I understand E. Fink's post though. I frankly don't understand the controversy. The people own property and wish to use it for a purpose that is at the very least perfectly legal (a cultural center) and probably protected by the first amendment as the exercise of religion (a mosque). The government is supposed to deny them the necessary approvals for doing so because they are Mulsim or practice Islam? Don't we live in America?? Aside from the fact that any such action would be thrown out of court in a nanosecond (there are about three or four slam-dunk reasons why such action by the city would be unconstitutional) as Jews, do we really want the government telling people where they can pray?

I understand why the location of the Mosque might anger some people (actually, I don't but I will say I do for the sake of argument) but part of the life in a constitutional democracy means granting people rights you may not care for because you know you will benefit from those rights as well. The complete lack of moral imagination by right wing and their friends among our brethren is truly sickening.

Mayor Bloomberg:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg subtly
reminds his critics that this is the sweet land of liberty
This morning, the City’s Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously voted not to extend landmark status to the building on Park Place where the mosque and community center are planned. The decision was based solely on the fact that there was little architectural significance to the building. But with or without landmark designation, there is nothing in the law that would prevent the owners from opening a mosque within the existing building. The simple fact is this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship.

“The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right – and if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question – should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another.

I don't blame every Muslim in the world for the behavior of a minority of their co-religionists, and I don't want the government telling people how they can worship on their own private property. Those are the two salient issues for me, and I'm disgusted with those of you who'd like the government to curtail the First Amendment rights of all Muslims as retribution for what 18 lunatics did on 9/11.

I understand that some of you find the mosque "offensive", but guess what: You don't have a right not to be offended, while they do have a right to freely exercise their religion. This idea that we must not ever be offended is exactly the sort of thinking that got the fatwa slapped on Salmon Rushdie and that Dutch cartoonist killed. I'm sorry if the mosque offends you, and to some extent I can sympathize, but upholding the First Amendment together with civil rights we wish to enjoy ourselves strikes me as far more important. If you disagree, don't come crying to me if your gentile or secular Jewish neighbor has a problem with your eruv or your zonage-violating yeshiva.

Its the same thing.

P.S: The Muslims win this in every court, every time. Why? RLUPA, that's why This is why every eruv wins. Its why every shul wins. Its why every yeshiva wins. And don't we wish to keep it that way?

Search for more information about idiot Right Wingers and their foolish, fearful, stupid, can't see past the end of their own self-righteous noses behavior  at

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