Update: I'll take Marty Peretz's clarity on the subject over Hitch's incoherence any old day of the week (including Tuesday):
This is not a matter of the First Amendment which covers the right to worship (or not to worship) as anyone pleases. (By the way, there is no right not to worship in Saudi Arabia where the mutaween will whip your behind if you don't fall to your knees and bend your head to the street at prayer time.) I was wrong when I wrote in a Spine that there are 1000 mosques in America; there are actually just shy of 2000, and none of them is threatened. The Cordoba Initiative, so-called, would also not be challenged if it were trying to establish itself anywhere else on Manhattan Island.
I have an inkling that Mr. Rauf, however tolerant he may or may not be (there is mixed evidence on the question), and his comrades knew this. I also have an inkling that they chose Ground Zero precisely to invite the protest against it. This is a skirmish in a very long contest with historic resonance. If the elite's indifferent to the reasonable emotions of a society win this one they will ultimately have lost much more than chalking up a sterile and merely circumstantial reading of the First Amendment.
Post a Comment