Regarding the Islamic Center in NYC - I have an idea - let's settle this through a contest. We'll have a fundraiser - two fundraisers actually. One team will be in favor of the center at its current location - the other team in favor of moving it to a more discreet location in Manhatten still capable of serving the Muslims in NYC. The two teams will be in competion to raise the $100 million for the center. Here's the fun part. I suggest that the imam select a worthy and friendly cleric (a rabbi) for the opposition.
Let's name the teams - If the 'wacky wingnuts' raise $100 million first, the imam will cheerfully move to a different location with the money raised by his foes. As a consolation prize, the imam gets to donate all the money raised by his team to a worthy charity. If the 'merry muslims' win, they stay at Park51 and the rabbi gets to assign a worthy charity for the money raised by the 'wacky wingnuts'.
The wingnuts frequently claim they have nothing against Islam BUT it's only the location they object to. Fine. The money they need to build the center is a drop in the bucket for the millions who object. Put your money where your mouth is if you're not motivated by hate. Make a gift of the Islamic center - not TO the center - but finance the whole frickin' thing if you understand freedom of religion and you are only concerned about the location.
Or let those of us who believe in the imam help him build it as he envisions it and we will see if he can reach out to NYC and bridge the cultural divide. It's a daunting and noble task and a contest to raise the money will bring it to reality that much sooner.
No matter what we do or think, someone who owns property can sell or rent it for any lawful purpose. Property rights aren't democratic.
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