Here’s an interesting post from Volokh Conspiracy, taking a serious look at the various arguments being raised against the construction of 51Park, the erstwhile ‘Cordoba Center’.
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.
Somin identifies and discusses three principle arguments:
I. The Role of Government.
II. Objections to the Presence of any Islamic Center.
III. Objections to this Particular Center.
I find his discussion to be generally apt, though I’m not quite sold on his parsings of statements by Imam Rauf. Refreshingly, comments to the post are not (yet) infected by the crazies. Others, for instance, do push back on his interpretation of Rauf’s intentions and speech. Definitely worth reading, comments too.