Argument: Developers have right to build ground zero mosque, but should not

Issue Report: Ground zero mosque


The Anti-Defamation League: “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.”[1]

Althouse Blog Posting. August 3, 2010: “the owner’s freedom means that the owner has a choice. The owner is certainly not required to build a Muslim center and mosque on that site. Because it is a choice, it’s not wrong for the community to ask: Why are you making this choice? Why are you doing something that feels so painful to us? The community isn’t wrong to plead with the owner to choose to do something else with that property. It’s not enough of an answer to say we are doing it because we have a right to do it. What troubles me about the way the NYT presents the problem is that it tries to make it seem as though the people who question the choice to build the mosque don’t understand or don’t support the principle of freedom of religion — that they just hate (or dislike) Muslims and, for that reason, would deny them the same freedom other religious persons enjoy. Rights don’t work like that. But we can completely understand and support a principle of freedom and still be critical of the way someone chooses to behave in this world. For example, I’m a big supporter of freedom of the press, and I don’t feel the slightest bit hypocritical condemning something stupid I read in the newspaper.”

“The Ground Zero Mosque Should Be Stopped.” The Directors of Redstate: “A “Ground Zero mosque” — even if only near Ground Zero, even if a “community center” rather than a mosque — is the opposite of reasoned restraint. It tramples upon the principle of a public square marked by democratic consideration. It displays a grotesque lack of generosity, while demanding extraordinary generosity toward itself. It insists upon rights — which no one disputes — and ignores responsibilities. It is, in short, a bitter vindication of the critics of American democracy at our nation’s Founding.”[2]