Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Three Issues in the Debate over the “Ground Zero Mosque”

by Ilya Somin

The Volokh Conspiracy
August 31, 2010

The ongoing debate over the “Ground Zero Mosque” has generated lots of commentary. But I fear that much of it conflates three separate issues: whether the government should use its power to block the construction of the mosque, whether the construction of any Islamic facility near Ground Zero is objectionable, and whether this particular organization is problematic because of the views of its leader. As I see it, the government should not suppress the mosque, and I see nothing wrong with building an Islamic facility near Ground Zero. But objections based on the dubious record of Cordoba Project leader Feisal Abdul Rauf are not so easily dismissed. There are many weak, foolish, and even bigoted anti-mosque arguments out there. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good ones.