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The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion. Islam is protected by the First Amendment like any other religion. The Tenth Amendment gives the states (which are sovereign entities in their own right) jurisdiction over issues within their own borders. The City of New York (which is chartered by the State of New York) has an well-established permitting process for projects like "Park 51." The local community planning board has permitted this project, under the authority granted to it by the State and City of New York, and the federal government has no power to overturn that decision.

The lot at 51 Park Row (which was a Burlington Coat Factory store pre-9/11) is private property, and the owners of that lot have determined that this is the best use for that lot.

There are many on both the left and right who say the "Ground Zero Mosque" should be built somewhere else--- but there probably is no Somewhere Else.  Even there is a Somewhere Else, it will be very expensive to start over at another site.  Even though construction hasn't started, the project has still incurred all sorts of expenses: a site plan has already been drawn up, a permitting process has already been gone through, etc., etc.

This isn't Second Life: the owners can't just buy land on another sim and re-rezz their prims.  This is real life.  The owners of 51 Park Row may not even own a suitable property elsewhere in the city.  It certainly would be non-trivial to buy an equivalent lot farther from the World Trade Center. And even if the owners do have other properties to choose from, they still have the right to pick the property which best suits the needs of this project.  They even have the right to build their Islamic center near the World Trade Center.  9/11 doesn't just belong to non-Muslims: many Muslims were killed that day alongside Christian, Jews, members of other religion, and even non-believers.

Originally posted to TimothyHorrigan on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 04:49 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A false argument (0+ / 0-)

    The majority of people opposed to the mosque acknowledge that it is the legal right, subject to normal building and use codes, of the owners to build the property.

    The fact that you have a legal right to do something does not mean that it is a good idea.  The Westburo Baptist church has a right to demonstrate at funerals, but that doesn't mean we all have to like it.

    Many feel this is pretty much the same thing.

    •  Then They're Nuts. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK, laker

      This is a mainstream religion not a radical sect that's promoting violence like so many Christianists are.

      This is like a Baptist activity center 2 blocks away and out of sight of the Oklahoma City building.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 05:19:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  false analogy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Holding signs saying "God Loves Fags" outside a funeral is harassment (which technically is not protected speech.)  Building an Islamic community center a few blocks from the World Trade Center is simply not analogous to picketing a stranger's funeral.

      I feel better knowing that was the best analogy you had, William.  It's a very weak analogy.

      •  But some feel it's similar (0+ / 0-)
        Obviously you disagree, but the constitutionality of it is not in serious question.
        •  depends on where Phelps and his little group (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          happen to be standing. The Nazi march through Skokie controversy was perhaps the watershed of free speech and protest speech in this country, at least delineating what happens when constitutional rights conflict with sensibilities.

          However, the difference is that Phelps intends to inflame and to inflict psychic and emotional damage on the surviving family members. The congregation for the mosque were simply trying to establish a center for worship (though the RW firebreathers have already labeled it a Muslim arsenal).

          The problem now lies in if the mosque is not built. There are some half dozen mosques which are being protested (or even burned as in TN) so that if the protests are successful, then the question has to be asked, if not there, then where? The American Family Association supports a complete ban on the construction of any more mosques in the US:

  •  because something is not seen as a good (0+ / 0-)

    idea at a certain time does not mean it should not happen as present vision is frequently myopic. I cannot find the primary source at the minute but in 1963, 70% of respondents to an LA Times poll responded that now was not the time for civil rights legislation.

    Of course, if the Constitution were a poll, that would have settled matters. As it is, the Constitution changes to reflect changes in American society, so civil rights legislation was enacted years before the general public was ready to accede to its being time for it.

    Now considering that 8% of Americans think the Chief Justice is Thurgood Marshall, it is a good thing that the Constitution is not a poll and we are not driven by the dictates of the passions of the moment.

    how banal are the wingers' arguments? Judge for yourself:    

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