I.F. Stone said freedom of religion means they can park in front of your house but you can't park in front of theirs. That was half a century ago, and the struggle between faith and urban planning hasn't gotten any more compelling since then, even with a Terror Mosque going up in the shadow of Ground Zero 9/11.
I have to confess, as a progressive, that I don't care one way or the other. I don't have a team in this game, and a man has only so much dudgeon, and I'm not going to waste mine defending someone's right to build a megachurch.
That said, everyone who's against the mosque is missing the point. It's not about honoring the memory of the last attack; it's about preventing the next. The problem isn't that the mosque is too close to the hole where they're building the Freedom Target; the problem is it's not close enough.
The Freedom Tower is the greatest geopolitical "Come and Get Me" since Roosevelt double-parked all those battleships at Pearl. If you're worried about a downtown construction site that's going to inspire terrorism, don't look at the Burlington Coat Factory. Look in the crater. Everyone who hates America is going to get up in the morning thinking of knocking the Freedom Tower down, then spend the day planning it, and go to sleep at night and dream they pulled it off.
The only thing that might possibly deter them? The risk that their target could fall over and hit a mosque.
The Qur'an, like the real bible God gave America, is full of loopholes about who you can and can't kill, but it's pretty bad for a Muslim to kill another Muslim, even if they're aiming for the building next door. Look:
And it does not behoove a believer to kill a believer except by mistake, and whoever kills a believer by mistake, he should free a believing slave, and blood-money should be paid to his people unless they remit it as alms; but if he be from a tribe hostile to you and he is a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (suffices), and if he is from a tribe between whom and you there is a covenant, the blood-money should be paid to his people along with the freeing of a believing slave; but he who cannot find (a slave) should fast for two months successively: a penance from Allah, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.
Think that's not serious? You try blowing up an office building then fasting for two months per victim.
And that's if you do it by accident. Killing another Muslim on purpose? For that you go straight to hell, forever. It's really serious. Like our book's rules against strong intoxicating drink, mixing textiles and eating owls.
That's why we want as many Muslim houses of worship around lower Manhattan as was can possibly get. A ring of mosques, if possible. A wall of mosques. The taller the better.
And one huge, round mosque, on top of the Freedom Tower itself, rotating slowly.
On top of the rotating mosque? Two penthouse apartments. In Penthouse A: Muhammad Ali. Penthouse B: Omar Sharif. I don't care if he says he's Catholic. The president says he's Presbyterian. People say a lot of things.
It's beside the point.
Like whether or not freedom of religion is in the Constitution. I don't care about the law, or justice, or fairness, or even consistency. I'm talking about keeping America safe.
Sorry, "Keeping America Safe."
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more