A New Crusade?

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It's shocking, some say, that the Muslims want to build an Islamic center a couple of blocks from Ground Zero. Now, at least one activist has called for a moratorium on building mosques anywhere in the United States.

I've always operated on the principle that one shouldn't go where one isn't wanted. But I upset a few friends recently when suggesting that on those grounds, there would have been no Rosa Parks, no lunch-counter sit-ins, and perhaps, no civil rights movement.

The idea of an Islamic center near Ground Zero is offensive to many Americans, just the way those lunch-counter sit-ins offended many whites in the Deep South back in the 1950s and '60s. Not the same thing at all, some of you will say. Think of the 9/11 victims' families! It's just another liberal appeasement. But how liberal an idea is private property?

To be honest, I don't really want an Islamic center near Ground Zero, either. If I were advising those behind this project, I'd beg them to put it somewhere else, if for no other reason than to defuse this controversy. But the law doesn't require sensitivity to anyone's feelings, or even wisdom.

Most terrorists that we're concerned about lately seem to be Muslims, but only a minority of Muslims are terrorists. Do we object to locating a Catholic church near a park where children play because some priests are pedophiles?


Keep extrapolating from forbidding the building of mosques, and where do you end up? A new crusade against Islam? If you'll excuse me for a minute, I have to dig out my history book, but as I recall, the last one didn't go all that well for the crusaders.

With a Perspective, I'm Mike Meenan.