Anti-Defamation League Opposes Ground Zero Mosque


It’s a different take than many of those we’ve heard so far on Ricochet:

The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.

In recommending that a different location be found for the Islamic Center, we are mindful that some legitimate questions have been raised about who is providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values. These questions deserve a response, and we hope those backing the project will be transparent and forthcoming. But regardless of how they respond, the issue at stake is a broader one.

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain — unnecessarily — and that is not right.

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  1. Profile Photo Member


    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Inactive

    Maybe New York City can turn the site into a living museum of government red tape. The owners can still build a mosque, of course, but officials just need a few dozen cultural, archeological, and environmental study groups to sign off on the project first, to be safe. We can’t just rush into these things. If New York City can’t tie the process in knots, nobody can.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Contributor

    This is actually one of the sanest takes on the issue I’ve heard yet.

    Remember when George W. Bush said, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market”? I’ve heard many people espouse essentially the same argument in the GZM debate. It basically boils down to, “Let’s abandon the principles of a free society to save our free society.”

    On the other hand, appealing to extralegal considerations seems completely reasonable. This reminds me of the verse (10:23) in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians that says:

    “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Podcaster

    James, that is indeed an intriguing perspective. If we are expected to show sympathy and understanding toward people who take to the streets and call for the execution of anyone who as much as draws a cartoon of Muhammad, I don’t see why we can’t muster at least as much consideration for the families and the memories of the innocent people who were incinerated on 9/11.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Contributor

    This actually matches with some of the comments we’ve seen here on Ricochet. I think even Conor Friedersdorf took this approach — as long as no one is calling for government intervention to stop the mosque, opposition is fine.

    Reads like the ADL is making an important distinction in their opposition.

    • #5

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