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Common Sense Conservatism Re: The Cordoba House



Two sizable chunks from Josh Borro's (via The Agenda at NRO) latest column, re: the Park51 project. Well worth your time:
What I find bizarre about some of the conservative response to Cordoba House is not just the objection to the construction of the mosque, but the conviction that it should be stopped by any means necessary—even if that means violating conservative principles about property rights, rule of law, and federalism.

Part of supporting limited government is understanding that sometimes, things you don’t like will happen, and the government (especially the federal government) won’t do anything about it. Getting to do what you want comes at the price of other people getting to do what they want—including build mosques where you’d prefer they didn’t.

As an aside, I think that some of the concern over this mosque, especially among people who do not live in New York City, is based on a misunderstanding of the geography of Lower Manhattan. This is an area that had significant high-rise development before New York imposed setback requirements and floor-area ratio maximums (limits on how many square feet of building you can put on a lot). As a result, the area is denser and more canyon-like than Midtown.

This means you can be two blocks away from something without any sense that you’re near it. City Hall is four blocks from Ground Zero, but you’d never stand there and think “I’m right near Ground Zero.” There is even a strip club three blocks south of Ground Zero, but nobody seems to have noticed that it is sullying the memory of the place.

In most cities, including Washington, 13 stories constitute a very tall building. But in the environment of Lower Manhattan, Cordoba House will be just another structure—which is not exactly consistent with the view that it is a Towering Monument to Jihad. In short, people are overestimating the extent to which this building will interact with, or be noticeable from, the World Trade Center site.
... and ...
So much of the complaint about the mosque has centered around the idea that, because hijackers acting in the name of Islam attacked the towers, Muslims should maintain a respectful distance. But the developers of Cordoba House (why do I even need to say this?) are not terrorists and did not attack the towers. Placing a burden on all Muslims to keep their institutions out of the Financial District is unfair.

Furthermore, since Islam has 1.2 billion adherents and is not going away, it is important to set reasonable guidelines that promote harmony with Western society—such as, it’s okay to build a mosque in the Financial District, and it’s not okay to blow up buildings in the Financial District. A general policy of exclusion is unworkable.
Read the rest of it here. Do it. Do it now.

Now understand this: any person who opposes the Cordoba House/Park51 project is no conservative, regardless of what they tell you. Period.

One cannot be a believer in individual liberties and, well, the friggin' Constitution -- and oppose the "mosque" being built at 51st and Park (ps: it's a community center, can we stop calling it a "mosque" yet?).

Oh sure, you can dislike the fact that someone is building something indirectly related to the terrorists that ran planes into buildings somewhat nearby, but there is no legal reason that the project should be stopped. Hell, there is no ethical reason that the project should be stopped.

Look, I get it; people are still very upset (understandably so) about the attacks on September 11th, 2001. There's no reason that Americans shouldn't be.

However, to cast aside the Constitutional rights of other Americans, just because you dislike something that they are planning/doing is, well, fundamentally unAmerican.