At Salon, Joe Conason writes about the attempts by Sarah Palin and others to whip up outrage and hysteria about the Islamic center that may be built in lower Manhattan. The world’s greatest city is not siding with the haters, Conason writes.
Certainly, you can find a few people in New York who are opposed to the center. I understand that about 100 or so showed up at a hearing a few days ago to protest the building. But in a population as big and as dense as Manhattan’s, I bet there are at least 100 people who sincerely believe they are the Tooth Fairy.
I’m sure many people around the nation hear about a 13-story building and picture it looming over Ground Zero. But the block just south of the mosque site is filled by a 20-story office complex. And the block just south of that is dominated by a massive federal building. Here is a satellite image of lower Manhattan that shows these buildings directly in between the proposed mosque site and Ground Zero.
So no, people will not be able to see Ground Zero from the mosque site, unless they have x-ray vision. Likewise, people at ground level at the old World Trade Center site will not be able to see the mosque. Given the size and location of the federal building, I’m not sure people would be able to see the mosque from Ground Zero even from a tower.
“I think our young men and women overseas are fighting for exactly this,â€ Bloomberg said. â€œFor the right of people to practice their religion and for government to not pick and choose which religions they support, which religions they don’t.â€
And Borough President Scott Stringer tweeted, â€œ@SarahPalinUSA NYers support the #mosque in the name of tolerance and understanding. You should learn from the example we set here in #NYC.â€
This really is the world’s greatest city.
I keep bringing this up because (a) it’s ridiculous, and (b) one of the reasons it has taken so long to build at Ground Zero is that wingnuts around the country keep interfering. Some of the early plans were scrapped, for example, because a proposed art center would have housed a gallery, now located elsewhere, that once upon a time exhibited some paintings with a political message the wingnuts didn’t like. As I remember, at the time, the wingnuts wanted a “museum” — more like a temple — built in honor of George W. Bush’s Iraq War.
Notice that these are the same people who claim to support “small government” and “freedom.” But the only “freedom” they really want is the freedom to control the rest of us.
Wingnuts: If you ain’t a New Yorker, butt out.