The Park51 controversy is bound to blow up now that President Obama has weighed in. I've written a lot on the substance of it. The only new argument I've seen recently comes from Rick Hertzberg, who explains why the Auschwitz-Nun incident cited by the ADL and other opponents of Park51 doesn't hold water:
1. The convent at Auschwitz was to be a purely Catholic institution, with none of the interfaith aspects or broad community-serving purposes that mark the Park51 project.
2. In their fundraising appeal, the convent’s sponsors
described the convent as “a spiritual fortress and a guarantee of the conversion of strayed brothers from our countries as well as proof of our desire to erase outrages so often done to the Vicar of Christ."Whether or not “the strayed brothers” requiring “conversion” is a reference to Jews—it might refer to fallen-away Catholics—it’s hard to interpret the reference to “outrages” supposedly perpetrated against the “Vicar of Christ” as anything other than an allusion to the well-documented charges that Pope Pius XII was, shall we say, less than fully engaged in trying to prevent the Nazi slaughter of the Jews of Europe.
Plus, of course, the fact that the Auschwitz convent was proposed on location at Auschwitz, while Park51 is two blocks away...M'kay. Obviously Chait has bought into the Imam Rauf's interaith baloney, no questions asked, else why would he bring it up? As for location, location, location--does he really think those "two block" make any difference at all? If the Wahhabis behind cared at all about "interfaith" "bridge-building, they would make sure to build their al-Andalus mosque a lot more than a mere two blocks away.