The Anti-Defamation League has announced its opposition to the building of an Islamic community center (or mosque, as CNN and others put it) in Manhattan, near ground zero. It accepts that the builders have every right to do so, but believes that they should not because its presence there will cause offense and pain.
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain –unnecessarily — and that is not right.
Perhaps the Anti-Defamation League could produce some helpful maps to delineate the areas in our cities where Muslims may live, work and pray without causing more pain.