Sunday, August 08, 2010

A short note on the WTC mosque 

I have not weighed in the "Ground Zero Mosque" -- the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan -- because I am not sure I have much to add to the sturm und drang surging through the blogosphere and talk radio. My own view is, well, libertarian: If the founders of the center own the land they ought to be able to build on it, and opponents should be perfectly free to demonstrate against it. Blocking the center by legal or political means troubles me more than letting it proceed with the understanding that many people will be offended by it, even if they are the families of the victims of 9/11 (friendly reminder).

I admit, my reaction to this controversy turns partly on my increasing irritation with people who take offense at the dropping of a hat. People who want to do things or build things or are a little rough around the edges are increasingly hemmed in by people whose sensitivities are so delicate that they cannot handle change or candor or swinging elbows. In the case of the Ground Zero mosque, the opponents ought to be strong enough to accept its existence and the people who build it and worship there ought to accept that it will forever be known in certain circles as the "Ground Zero mosque."

So, as you might imagine, Iowahawk's "future history" hits the center of my target.


By Blogger TOF, at Sun Aug 08, 09:36:00 AM:

You are way too accomodating. The people who are planning to build it are doing it as a symbol of triumph. Read Farangmeher Ghadiali's comment in the 6 August WSJ Letters to the Editor.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 08, 10:14:00 AM:

Praise Allah!! The Martyr’s Memorial Mosque WILL be built in the shadow of their ultimate victory. The brave Saudi Martyrs will always bathe in the glorious memory of their strike at the great Satan. The Martyr’s Mosque will become the most sacred Muslim site in the whole western hemisphere, at least for now. Blessing be unto the Saudi faithful who provide most of the funding to revere the sacred memories of the glorious Saudi Martyrs who will now always be revered in their memorial. We all pray for the day when the true nature of the Martyrs’ Mosque can be known. Only the blithering leftists and muslim terrorist accommodaters will ever call it the "Ground Zero mosqque."  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sun Aug 08, 10:33:00 AM:

Normally I'd side with libertarian property rights, but this is just too much of a stick in the eye.

Where are the officious bureaucrats when you need them. If they can shut down a kid's lemonade stand -- can't they just paper this project to death.

Note that, nearly nine years on, and Ground Zero is still a hole in the ground.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Sun Aug 08, 10:35:00 AM:

Silly me. I always thought libertarianism meant that the other guy was allowed to do his thing so long as he didn't harm anyone else.

Is there a libertarian exception for Islam for which I am unaware?

I guess I am just too feeble minded to understand.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Aug 08, 10:54:00 AM:

This issue begs for a scatological metaphor:

If you lift your leg at a cocktail party and emit a ripe, 120 decibel fart...your will not be taken to jail, but you will be considered an offensive, disgusting pig.

If you take a dump in the salad, you WILL go to jail...PLUS all the social repercussions.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with building a church anywhere in this country (as long as your don't display a cross behind the current President, but I digress...).

As far as I can see...this isn't really a church.

It is a TROPHY.

Those who begrugingly give this project "tolerance" cannot be condemned, but they CAN, IMHO, be thought of as offensive, disgusting pigs.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sun Aug 08, 11:36:00 AM:

"so long as he didn't harm anyone else."

To me this is a zoning problem. You might as well open a tannery or a slaughterhouse on that spot.

No one is saying you can't have a mosque. In fact there are quite a few of them in NYC. The Islamic Cultural Center has been on the Upper East Side at 96th and Third for as long as I can remember. (Try the link -- Google street view). There's at least 100,000 Jews within a mile of it and I've never heard of any kind of "incident."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 08, 11:51:00 AM:

JPmct writes: "This issue begs for a scatological metaphor:"

Yikes. Your choice of juvenile scatological references says all I need to know about you.

Back OT, I'm with Tigerhawk on this--and I live 15 blocks away from the site of the proposed mosque. For all you offended folks, here's some more outrageousness .

If only the Republicans "oh so offended" stance extended to the failure to pass legislation to provide federally quaranteed healthcare for all the first responders who worked at the Ground Zero following the WTC attack (and are now paying the ultimate price), you might earn some credibility in your concern.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Sun Aug 08, 12:01:00 PM:

I agree that this is a zoning issue. And, while I favor relaxed zoning requirements in general, in this case I'd call it a clearly incompatible land use.

It's not that hard to distinguish between incompatible uses in the extreme. We don't put whore houses with neon signs reading, "Get your Fuck here!" in front of elementary schools.

Given the history of all this, I'd say no mosques in NYC. Ever.

London and Madrid might try this also.


By Anonymous AVP, at Sun Aug 08, 12:07:00 PM:

Stunning. In less than a month, we've had calls to ignore the 1st Amendment and to repeal of the 14th Amendment. Boy, for a party so eager to "tea-up" the Consitution, you guys sure are doing a splendid job of thumbing your nose at it. Or to use a JPMT metaphor, "pissing all over it."

How conveeeeeenient.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sun Aug 08, 12:45:00 PM:

To Anon at 11:51am, allow me to retort:

There's no good reason to build a mosque at this particular location other than to make a "statement." The immediate vicinity is purely a business district. There are plenty of other sites available on the island -- and more than a few motivated sellers right now. It's not like the mosque was already there, and people wanted it removed. So the would-be builders picked this fight -- what am I missing?

Giving Muslims a place to pray within the borders of the Pentagon City State -- your "outrageousness" link -- is different ... it's an enlightened employer accommodation ... not an attraction. Why don't you just give the military credit, for once.

Lastly, "aid for first responders" has nothing to do with this. Raising it here is a diversion. (Which is what I suspect Anthony Weiner -- Chuck Schumer's Mini-Me -- is totally about on this issue.)


"Police powers" is what underpins the exception to the 5th Amendment to allow for zoning. It's particularly applicable here -- else the NYPD will need to post a permanent protective detail. Like Mr Ed, I'm not a fan for increasing zoning powers ... but it has its place ... especially in Manhattan.

If you're a libertarian absolutist on this, don't complain when the Bunny Ranch or a glue factory opens next door to you. Instead, the idea is that you can do what you want, you just can't do it anywhere.

To Mr Ed

We already have one huge mosque on Manhattan as I noted above, smaller ones too -- and others out in the boros and burbs. As far as I know, they've never been a problem. We have lots of decent law-abiding Muslims in greater NYC. But they're not the ones behind this -- am I wrong?  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Aug 08, 12:54:00 PM:

@ Anon 11:51 ...

Ah, it seems I touched a nerve. Mission accomplished....AND I actually signed my name to it!

Regarding he 911 Responders health care. PLEASE!!

Americans (mostly disaffected Republicans and Independents) were foolish enough to vote an overwhelming majority for the Democrats in the House of Representatives. Ignoring for a moment the disaster THAT has been for this United States, let me just ask you WHY the bill could not have passed with such a majority.

While I'm at it. why did the overwhelming House Democratic majority wait several years until the summer of an election year to bring the measure to the floor?

Why did so many Democrats vote against it?

Anon, since you obviously don't read much. let me answer for you:

The White House and Republicans would have been quite happy with a fund of about 150 million a year to handle true claims for compensation.

What we actually got was an 8 BILLION dollar slush fund funded by tax increases on foreighn companies that hire Americans in the US territory, an allowing compensation claims from illegal aliens.

The usual standard operating procedure for Democrats...Give 'em an inch and they will take your wallet!

A significant number of Democrats, seeing the handwriting on the wall for their re-elections...were petrified and voted no.

A significant number of Republicans, including three of the sponsers of the (initially) bipartisan) bill, could no longer support this abortion.

Good for them.

The country gets less taxes and more jobs, the Democrats get to be Demogogues and maybe, just maybe...the TRUE bill will see new life after we throw these fools OUT of the HOUSE this November.

Capice, Anon?

Want your relief bill?...just wait until the ADULTS take back control and you will get it.  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Sun Aug 08, 06:21:00 PM:

I was carried away by the moment. All mosques are not inappropriate uses. The mosque proposal in question is in my view an act of war, war by other means, in the ongoing war between radical Islam and the West.

An appropriate Muslim use downtown might be a memorial, paid for by Muslims, in honor of all those who died at the hands of Muslims on 9/11. Some expression of shame and sorrow for the horror committed in the name of their religion would begin the bridge building which some imagine this Mosque would do.

But I remember something TH said about it being better to receive an apology than ask for one, and I agree with him on that.


By Blogger Stephen, at Sun Aug 08, 06:57:00 PM:

Being an absolutist about libertarianism shows a lack of proportion (as you said about the lemonade stand). There is a great effort to keep church and state separate yet somehow saying this is not the time or place for a mosque is inappropriate? Give me a break.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sun Aug 08, 07:32:00 PM:

another view
of the big mosque that's already at 96th and Third. It clearly shows a sizeable minaret. This had to have required a zoning variance back in the 1980s when the mosque was built. This shows NYC accomodates.

If Muslims picked almost any spot on Manhattan, if' sure they'd be accomodated again.

Just don't put a stick in our eye.  

By Anonymous Clinias, at Mon Aug 09, 08:49:00 AM:

America is full of cognitive dissonance. This "freedom of religion" and "freedom of speech" is this.

The Basis of Western culture and thought is Paramenides principle of non-contradiction. This is the basis of logic, part and parcel of the masculine mind.

Building a mosque at Ground Zero is an affront to this country. It is a trophy. And yet, because this country is illogical, that its basis is tolerance and diversity, Masonic ideals, it can't stop this causing people with good sense, common sense to riot. It is illogical to be "for one's country" and then allowing your enemy to build a trophy at a site of a bomb attack. This is ludicrious, just like "freedom of religion" and freedom of speech is ludicrious. America has NO unity, no cohesion, no right standards.

Libertarianism is an Enlightenment heresy has nothing to do with Western culture, tradition or customs. It is like all other -isms of the Enlightenment. And because of this illogicity, it eats upon itself. Libertarianism is fundamentally nihilistic. That is why it collapses.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 09, 11:48:00 AM:

Freedoms often clash with one another. That's doesn't mean we can't come to rational common-sense resolutions.

A little "l" libertarian solution to the Ground Zero Mosque flows from the principle "you can do what you want (mostly), but you can't always do it where you want."  

By Anonymous daniel noe, at Mon Aug 09, 07:16:00 PM:

Can someone please explain to me why, just because the muslims may or may not view this as a trophy, we have to take this as one? Let them think whatever stupid thing they want to think; we've got bombs.  

By Blogger buck smith, at Mon Aug 09, 11:08:00 PM:

The Tigehawk's post inspired me back to libertarian principles. So did Greg Gutfeld's idea to open a Muslim gay bar next to it.  

By Anonymous Clinias, at Tue Aug 10, 09:16:00 AM:

Liberalism is the first stage of Nihilism. Libertarianism is "Arch-Liberalism". And then someone says "Freedoms clash and then we find ""commonsense"" solutions"??? WTF?

When "Freedoms clash"---that means there is NO common sense, so how can one find "commonsense" out of something illogical?

This is cognitive dissonance. And America is full of it.

You Americans might think "Libertarian", but Muslims don't. Some may say--but Islam is about Conquering the world for Allah---not about your precious moronic ideology. Life is War. Either you stand up to it---or you will be subjugated and die. Life is War. Either you get with Nature's program, or Nature kills you and Nature is not about libertarianism. The Bible says "Study the way of the ant and follow him". There is no libertarianism in Nature.  

By Anonymous Captain Bawls, at Fri Aug 13, 06:52:00 AM:

You hit the nail on the head. While I can't honestly say I'm thrilled about the idea of this mosque being built, because, as mentioned, this guy is doing it to stick it to the Great Satan. That being said, I am of the belief that if they own the land they can build whatever the hell they want on it - memorial, strip club, Mcdonalds or a mosque. Those against it, on the other hand, should protest by all means. When legal/political powers become involved, however, is when this truly disturbs me. I would rather see something I'm not in favor of, than to see the obstruction of freedom and property rights over something that's ultimately rather arbitrary. Are people really willing to see freedom sacrificed over this mosque? Ironically, I believe that would be a bigger victory to militant Islam than any building could be.  

By Anonymous LarryH, at Tue Aug 17, 11:57:00 PM:

I live two blocks from the proposed "WTC Mosque." It creeps me out to see all these idiots who don't live here, and have never been here using this situation to further their nefarious political goals. If this is "hallowed ground" why didn't they do something about the porno shops, strip clubs and dive bars?  

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