This great article comes from LIBERTARIAN REPUBLICAN and should be read by all, in it entirety. I am discussion this very same topic over at THE WORLD ACCORDING TO KIMBA, a misguided friend. He feels that to try and stop this Mosque is an affront to our history, not wanting to make subject/object distinctions, but instead tear at false arguments and ideas behind the opposition. Between this and the linked post of a friends site, one can piece together a pretty tight argument as to why this Mosques shouldn’t be built. Article will follow video. (Take note that Pamela had rushed from the top video to the Hannity show here — that’s why she is in the same suit.)
As one of America’s leading Libertarian thinkers, perhaps I’m always expected to give the “Libertarian answer” to every issue. But sometimes one has to speak not as a Libertarian, Republican or Democrat, but rather as an American- preferably a common sense American. The issue of allowing a mosque to be built in the shadow of the 9/11 terrorist tragedy is one of those times.
The answer is simple for a common sense American- I support religious freedom, as all Americans should. But this is not a case of religious freedom. Yes, Muslims can build their mosque virtually anywhere in America- despite 9/11…despite the Times Square bomber…despite plots by Islamic extremists to blow up the New York subway system…despite everything happening in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. That’s what makes our country great. We do in fact support religious freedom. You can build a mosque virtually anywhere in America.
However, there are also the rights and sensibilities of others to consider in a free society.
Does “religious freedom” mean hate groups should build statues to Hitler in front of Jewish temples in America? Should Americans raise money to build Jewish temples and Christian churches at Mecca? Should Japan build a statue to the bravery of their pilots at Pearl Harbor? Should the U.S. build a statue to the bravery of our pilots at the site of Hiroshima? Aren’t those examples all about “freedom of expression,” “religious freedom” and property rights? Perhaps, but is it too much to ask for a little consideration and respect toward others?
Privately funded or backed by Foreign Governments?
Yes, private individuals and organizations have the right to build houses of worship with their own funds. But one has to wonder where the money is coming from to build a 15-story building on some of the most expensive real estate in the country. We Americans believe in the separation of Church and State. If it turns out that this project is sponsored by a foreign government — either directly or through a state-sponsored organization that engages in terrorism — than the idea of this being an issue of religious freedom is a sham and an argument can be made that our Constitution would actually prohibit this mosque from being built.
However, if this is privately funded by parties with no ties to a foreign government, I have to believe that we have enough people in this country who are offended by the prospect of a mosque at Ground Zero, that the money can be raised to buy this land at a fair price from the owners. I know I’d be the first to contribute to a foundation to keep this sacred land from ever being desecrated by a symbol of the very groups that attacked America on 9/11.
We can also put public pressure on the property owners to sell to this new patriotic foundation funded by Americans. We can organize massive protests, filling the streets surrounding this property with patriotic Americans concerned that the hallowed ground of 9/11 never be used as a political tool to taunt or embarrass the United States, or as a place to preach intolerance towards Americans. I, for one, am ready to fly 3000 miles to New York to join the protest.
These are the only rational answers for common sense patriotic Americans who still believe in a free society. In situations like this, none of us can afford to be Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, or politicians of any stripe. We are all proud Americans.
Editor’s Note – Wayne Root was the 2008 Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate. He is currently an At-Large Member of the Libertarian National Committee, and Chair of the Libertarian Committee for Congressional candidates.