I resent the construction of a Muslim “community rec center with prayer space” (now called Park51) in the area near Ground Zero. I recognize that they have a legal right to do so and will more than likely build the thing. The insensitivity evident in their initial decision to site the center in the shadow of the WTC stunned me. What measure of bridge building to non-Muslim America did they expect to achieve with such a salt-in-the-wound proposal? 

I might’ve reconsidered my initial reaction had the proponents shown the least inclination to second thoughts once the blow-back started.  But, no! They feigned surprise and got all pious on us about our need to be tolerant of their initiative.  

I sense a similarity of spirit between the violent coercion of 9/11 and the legal and rhetorical coercion of Park51. Park51 merely pursues Muslim supremacy by other means.  Domestic Muslim “moderates” have a chance to demonstrate the authenticity of their claims to moderation with a simple gesture: set aside coercion in this matter, choose a less inflammatory site and then talk to us about bridge building.  

As it stands now, I offer no apologies for resenting this reckless proposal.  I will not wash the salt from the wound by pretending that the issue here consists solely of securing constitutional legalities for an aggrieved minority. 

Thank you, Rich Lowry: Monday’s commentary was spot-on.

Leonard Hoy, Greenwood


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