Religion

Eugene Volokh on the Ground Zero Mosque: "The legal issue is open and shut."

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UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh explains why government officials cannot legally block the Ground Zero mosque:

The Free Exercise Clause means that the government may not discriminate against an entity because of its religious denomination. The Free Speech Clause means that the government generally may not discriminate an entity because of what it says or teaches (and that applies to discrimination against religious speakers as much as to discrimination against secular speakers). There are some exceptions to the latter principle, but none apply here.

This means that the government may not refuse a zoning permit to a group because it's Muslim, or Tea Party, or Socialist, or anti-gay-rights. It may not try to use landmarking law to bar the group from reconstructing a building, if the law is being used because of the group's message….

These are basic principles of American free speech law, and of American religious freedom law. They help protect all of us, liberal or conservative, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist. Carving out exceptions from them will jeopardize all of us. We shouldn't sacrifice these basic American principles — principles that help make America free and great, and distinguish it from most other countries — for the sake of symbolism.

Read the whole thing here. Click below to watch Volokh talk free speech and guns with Reason.tv:

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  1. Buh-buh-but SYMBOLISM!

    PERCEPTION!

    SENSITIVITY!

    1. GROUND ZERO!

      9/11!

      SHARIA!!!

      1. We’re here, we have funny head gear.
        Get used to it!

        1. Its okay to strip Muslims of their religious freedom because Islam isn’t really a religion, its just a political system with no religious aspects whatsoever.

          Yep.

    2. So if it is legal, it is automatically a good idea?

      I think people ought to be more upset about honor killings that are happening than this. But I understand why they are pissed off.

      1. Tulpa’s Thread Commandment I:

        An opinion that does not advocate coercion is still subject to criticism.

        1. I think your commandment sucks. Who are you to tell us what to do?

          1. Were it not for my overbearing mercy, I would smite you where you stand. Or sit, or whatever. There would be a great deal of pain, regardless.

        2. Harder! Harder!

      2. It is a good idea to defend their right to use private property to spread any message they choose to spread — and to allow others to protest that message if they disagree with it.

        What I posted at rebirthofreason.com:

        “My initial take on this mosque was that it shouldn’t be built at Ground Zero on public land, but I have since found out that it is being proposed to be built on private property adjacent to the Ground Zero site.

        After talking it over with people and reading different views, I’ve come to the conclusion that my initial take was wrong. If any religious group wants to build any religious structure next to Ground Zero on private property, they should have the unfettered right to do so, even if they want to build a radical Islamic madrassa that celebrates the destruction of the Twin Towers and preaches hate.

        Freedom of speech and of religion means not just allowing but vehemently defending the right of people to say things you find abhorrent and wrong. There isn’t any NEED to defend popular speech. You have to defend the rights of people you hate and despise if you want to uphold the freedom Ayn Rand sought to spread — otherwise, your own rights are up for auction the instant the politicians you favor are out of power.”

        1. 1. My understanding is it isn’t adjacent to Ground Zero; it’s two blocks away.

          2. I don’t seek to uphold the freedom Ayn Rand sought to spread. I seek to uphold freedom, period.

        2. Did you really, at any time, think that this was about a mosque actually being built in the WTC site? Because, if so, that undermines your credibility to the point of rendering it utterly nil.

          There is such a disconnect here.

          Yes, you fight for the right of everyone to have free speech, and religious tolerance, and all the happy things we have in the West. Otherwise, there is no point.

          But, in this, you have to realise that you must fight the people who want to take that away.

          Islam, based solely on it’s own writings and actions, wants to take that away…

          See? In this case, defending the rights of people you hate and despise, means defending the free speech of all the people who think letting Islam proselytise against the very people they’re defending–because those people want to take away the free speech rights of the people defending them.

          1. Az,

            NYC has already dealt with this issue in the past.

            If the ACLU could go for it before, I’m all for letting the mosque go up here.

          2. uh yeah, they can try to convert people the same way any other religion in this country does.

            But I can see how christians who don’t want their ability to force people to live by christian law to be usurped by Muslims who want people to live under Sharia law. But this is America, and at the end of the day secular law wins. That’s the beauty about seperation of church and state.

            1. Actually, many muslims don’t adhere to Sharia law.

              1. I’d venture to say that’s much more true among American Muslims. They often joke about it.

            2. Why do you keep saying ‘christians’? This is not about christians. It is about Americans.

          3. Islam, like most abstract concepts, lacks agency. It doesn’t want to do anything. Individual muslims, may want to do things, but that doesn’t make all muslims a threat to my freedom.

            1. OOh, semantic games, how impressive.

              Islam is a threat to your freedom.

              Individual muslims may not be.

        3. Build it, condemn it, tear it down, and put up a building that generates more tax revenue. Teach them to fucking trust the U.S. Constitution.

    3. If 3,000 Red Sox fans died in a terrorist attack executed by Derek Jeter and Bronx Bombers fans decided to build a Yankees memorabilia shop on the site of the attack…..

      1. Are the Yankees team blue or team red?

      2. Pinstripe, I believe.

        1. Great answer.

      3. Nobody outside of the northern half of the eastern seaboard would give a rat’s ass, but don’t tell that to ESPN.

    4. Fluffy’s position is that if it is legal to build the mosque, then it is morally wrong for anyone to say they are offended by it.

      He/she gets around the hypocrisy of applying the first amendment to only half of the people by calling mosque opponents “fuckers” and saying “Period.” after making various assertions. I must admit I find this proof convincing.

      1. No, I don’t.

        My position is that anyone who is “reminded” of the 9/11 attacks by the physical presence of any Muslim is just as absurd a douchebag as someone who is “reminded” of street crime by the site of a black person, or “reminded” of the pain of slavery by any book written before 1865.

        “Please don’t remind me of hurty feelings stuff by existing, rest-of-world!” = fuckers. Yeah. Period.

        If you’re going to come around asking me to care about your wittle feelings, those feelings better be fucking-ay spotless. If one billion people hurt your feelings by reminding you of 19 people, then I suggest you get new feelings. And don’t ask me for sympathy or understanding, because I am a callous enough SOB that you’ll get neither.

        1. Sorry, that should be “sight”, of course.

  2. This is the first I’ve heard of this.

    1. I thought it was just me…

  3. Well, yeah. But they’re still a big bag of dicks for building it.

    1. But should we die in a fire?

      1. Give us some time to build the camps first.

      2. I’m sorry, are you a Saudi Arabian schoolgirl who ran out of a burning building without her headscarf? Then no, you should not die in a fire.

  4. Once again, the issue, for me anyway, isn’t about whether it’s legal; it’s whether the people who are building it are being a bunch of insensitive jackasses…

    If I were against it legally, I’d ask if the money were coming from the Saudi royal family, who seem to take some twisted delight in financing the spread of their sick Wahhabi interpretation all over the world…

    I don’t care who finances it or what their purpose is–at least not legally. I don’t think it should be illegal to build a $100 million monument to the hijackers if that’s what they wanted to do–not legally!

    But we had a thread that started last night about how some people can’t tell the difference between people complaining about asinine behavior and people wanting the government to do something about it–don’t be one of those people…

    These people are being jackholes. If they didn’t realize what they were doing would be interpreted that way–they should have. In fact, expecting me to pretend they’re so stupid that they didn’t know their actions would provoke this kind of reaction is pretty unreasonable…

    But again, just because they’re being jackholes doesn’t mean it should be illegal–but why should it be necessary to explain that to a libertarian? The other side of that equation means that just because it shouldn’t be illegal doesn’t mean we don’t have a right to complain about jackhole behavior.

    And this is jackhole behavior. Anybody who says Muslims are insensitive to American mores and hence can never be completely assimilated into American culture just got a new round of ammunition in courtesy of these jackholes. Doesn’t justify threats or violence against them, but don’t thumb your nose at the site where thousands of American civilians lost their lives to Muslim terrorism and expect people not to get upset about it.

    That’s pretty much the definition of jackholery.

    1. That’s a lot of words for such a small point.

      1. Yet, spot on.

    2. Why would Wahhabis attempt to use sufis (who they think are heretics) to spread something that sufis are philosophically opposed to at the very core of their beings?

      1. Ask them. But they are the ones who are funding it.

          1. See the link at the bottom of the page to the Ottawa paper. It says the Saudis are funding it.

            1. John, you fucking bitch, this is the closest these two authors of an opinion piece come to pinning down Saudis as the source of funding:

              There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis.

              It’s a fucking if-then statement, you disingenuous fuck. THEY DON’T KNOW EITHER.

              1. Yeah and they won’t reveal their funding why? Because it is coming from the Saudis. Where do you think they got a hundred million dollars? And if it wasn’t from the Saudis, they would reveal. They only won’t reveal because it would be embarrassing to admit it where it was coming from

                Get your fucking head out of your ass. And don’t insult my intelligence by telling me that they just want their privacy.

                1. Jesus fucking Christ. So they have to prove a fucking negative? John, you’re a liar and a shitbag.

                  1. Yeah, when you consider that the Saudis are the main source of funding for this sort of thing, yes. And it is not proving a negative. It is proving a postiive. The money came from somewhere. And they know where. They just won’t say, which means that it is in all likelihood from the Saudis. Otherwise they would put the whole thing to bed by revealing their sources.

                    1. John, you’re a fucking retard.

                    2. “John, you’re a fucking retard.”

                      Personal attacks and pyrotechnics aside (which really do make your point look dumber than it is), wouldn’t it be interesting to know where the money for all this came from?

                      $100 million isn’t exactly chump change, I’ve raised that kinda dough before (working for other people) but we had to promise a return on that investment…

                      The NOI on a mosque is probably pretty low–so enlighten us…

                      If it turned out that the Saudi Royal Family were underwriting this in an attempt to spread Islam throughout America, would that change your opinion any?

                      Yeah, I know, no proof that’s who’s behind this, but if it were the House of Saud, would that change your opinion any?

                      …on whether they were being jackholes, not whether they should be legally allowed to build. …I think just about everybody here agrees the latter’s beside the point.

                2. Where do you think they got a hundred million dollars?

                  Dude, are you kidding?

                  There are as many Moslems in the US as Mormons. Do you think Mormons would have any trouble raising $100 million to build a Temple in NYC?

                  Hell, the Boston Catholic Appeal raises more than that every year. And that’s for a dying religion in a rinky-dink second tier city.

                  1. “Do you think Mormons would have any trouble raising $100 million to build a Temple in NYC?”

                    And if you think if they did, they would have any issue with telling people that is where the money came from? Especially if they were accused of getting it from a nefarious source?

                    If these people had raised the money from such a source, they would have long since revealed that fact and shoved it in the face of the people who are accusing them of getting it from the Saudis. But they haven’t done that, which tells you that is exactly where it is coming from.

                    Come on Fluffy. What about this subjects causes you to be so stupid?

                    1. Releasing the names of the people who are funding the mosque is an invasion of their privacy. You have no right to know who funded the mosque, and if someone released the information, they would be assholes who deserve to have their heads blown off.

                    2. Not that it matters, but the last time I checked, Saudi Arabia was an ally.

                      Advocate the invasion of Saudi Arabia and the toppling of its government, the way you advocate for Iran, or spare me the “Evil Saudis are going to get us all!” routine.

                    3. “Not that it matters, but the last time I checked, Saudi Arabia was an ally.”

                      Just because George Bush holds hands with one of ’em like a school girl doesn’t mean they’re all our allies.

                      For goodness’ sake, just because George Bush was an idiot doesn’t mean everything we learned during that administration was idiotic.

                      Saudi Arabia is a brutal, vicious dictatorship and the Saudi aristocracy finances all sorts of terrorist evil–on purpose because they love it.

                      George Bush was an idiot–doesn’t change the facts about the Saudis.

                      Military alliances are strategic, not personal. They may be our ally in some things, but they sure as hell aren’t our allies in other ways.

                      They aren’t my ally, regardless.

                    4. Check again.

                    5. “”If these people had raised the money from such a source, they would have long since revealed that fact and shoved it in the face of the people who are accusing them of getting it from the Saudis. But they haven’t done that, which tells you that is exactly where it is coming from.””

                      Stupidity is thinking it must happen the way you think and no other way is possible. You are getting pretty close to that line. I’ll let you decide if you’ve crossed it or not.

                  2. “There are as many Moslems in the US as Mormons. Do you think Mormons would have any trouble raising $100 million to build a Temple in NYC?”

                    There are King Fahd Mosques in Edinburgh, Sarajevo, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles…

                    They do finance mosques and madrasas all over the world–no need for willful ignorance.

    3. Yup. And all it does is just create problems. This is not Europe. They are never going to be anything but a small vulnerable minority here.

      1. They are never going to be anything but a small vulnerable minority here.

        Muslims have higher birth rates than the rest of the population. Unless that trend changes, or their kids leave the faith, compounded growth means that Muslims and Mormons can become a large minority or even majority in a relatively short time from a historical time frame.

        1. They’re less than 1% of the fucking population. Stop it, 5.

          “I learned that in 20 years with the rate of the birth population, we will be overtaken by Islam, and their goal is to get people in Congress and the Supreme Court to see that Shariah is implemented.”

          I think its ironic/hilarious/fucked up that Americans are worrying about this and Israelis *aren’t*.

          1. It doesn’t take anything near a majority to exert significant political and cultural influence, though.

            Homosexuals are probably about 5% of the population. Blacks are 13%. Jews, 2-3%. All punch significantly above their weight politically and culturally.

            1. True, especially if the you are like homosexuals and Muslims and have the support of the stuff white people like crowd.

            2. You know what? You’re right. America will be enforcing Sharia Law and issuing the Jizya tax before you know it.

              Why didn’t I realize it before? How could I not see the imminent threat?

            3. Maybe if you would stop wasting your sperm and start putting it in vaginas, where God/Nature intended it to go, they wouldn’t be catching up to us red-blooded Americans in population.

            4. Blacks don’t even have much political punch (outside of rhetoric and feigned sensitivity) inside the party they vote for in 90%+ majorities, let alone in the general body politic. They are mostly against abortion and gay marriage and for school vouchers, and their party strongly advocates the opposite stance in all three instances.

          2. They’re less than 1% of the fucking population. Stop it, 5.

            A population that doubles every 20 years or so could theoretically go from 1% to the majority of the population in under 6 generations.

            Yeah, seems like a long time from now.

    4. Anybody who says Muslims are insensitive to American mores and hence can never be completely assimilated into American culture just got a new round of ammunition in courtesy of these jackholes.

      The problem is that I think you’re a dick for thinking these guys are jackholes.

      If I’m not personally a terrorist myself, do you know what “sensitivity” I owe to others on the issue of terrorism? Dick. And squat.

      To me, that’s “American mores” and that’s “American culture”.

      “I expect the innocent to hide themselves away, lest their nasty turbans remind me of the guilty” – if that’s “American mores”, then fuck America.

      1. Muslims don’t wear turbans usually. You thinking of Sihks. And you know good and well what sensitivities are. You just like being a dick. You are a total team blue cultural warrior. And grandstanding about this mosque is a good way to stick to team Red.

        You are consistent legally. I don’t think for a minute you would ever argue for the government to stop this kind of thing. But if the roles were reversed and it were Muslims who were offended and some various portions of the American rabble who were doing the offending, I have no doubt that you would freely admit it was a dickish thing to do.

        1. I find it amusing that you accuse Fluffy of Team Red/Team Blue tactics after your BBQ and strip club idea (which, by the way, I think is a fabulous idea).

          Sounds like a lot of projection going on here.

          1. What do blue team people not eat barbecue or go to strip clubs. I just chose those because they are funny examples. Choose anything you like. The point is that open sexuality is for better or worse a part of our culture. And indeed so is being a dick. It would be rather dickish of me to open such a place and shove it in their faces ever day. But no more dickish than what they are doing.

            The point is that the very same people who are screaming about these people’s right to be insensitive would have a fucking stroke if someone were that insensitive to them. The point of the example is to call out the hypocrisy of the builders of the mosque who are their own team last I looked.

            1. I don’t give a shit what they scream about. I would say fuck their sensibilities just like I say fuck your sensibilities. The point is you and all the others against the mosque have been whining about it being a provocation and a slap in the face to Americans, but you would have no problem with a building specifically designed to provoke Muslims. That’s Team Red/Team Blue tactics.

              1. What are the rules? If the rules are you can piss on each other and that is okay, then that is what we should do. If the rules are we have to respect one another, that is fine to. But the rules can’t be one side gets to piss on the other and the other can’t do anything in response.

                1. “But the rules can’t be one side gets to piss on the other and the other can’t do anything in response.”

                  Absolutely.

                  Which is exactly why I was making fun of your proposal to build a BBQ and strip club next to the mosque after being oh so offended at a the mosque being built next to Ground Zero. Did you miss that part?

            2. The point is that the very same people who are screaming about these people’s right to be insensitive would have a fucking stroke if someone were that insensitive to them.

              You’re wrong, once again. You’re overestimating your ESP powers.

              1. Bullshit. The builders of that mosque would have a fit.

                1. The builders of that mosque would have a fit.

                  That’s not what you said. You referred to those supporting the mosque in general.

                2. “”Bullshit. The builders of that mosque would have a fit.””

                  John, the mosque in my neighborhood has a place serving pig next door. They are not offended. That might be impossible for you to believe.

            3. “What do blue team people not eat barbecue or go to strip clubs”

              I can assure you, we do both.

        2. Team Red deserves to have it stuck to them, because it shows YET ONE MORE FUCKING TIME AS IF THAT WAS NECESSARY that every last word they say about small government, property rights, and the Constitution is a fucking lie.

          So don’t come around asking me to let up on Team Red. When they stop sucking moose cock, I’ll let up on them.

          And John, every after 100 threads on this subject you still don’t get it.

          To me, a necessary precondition of the thought “This is insensitive” is the belief in monolithic Islam. You can’t have the thought “These guys are jackholes” without the thought, “Any presence of any Muslims anywhere near Ground Zero is a reminder of the terrorists, so that’s insensitive”. And thinking that thought makes you a first-class asshole to me.

          Here are the thoughts it in similar to:

          “Black men standing in public flaunting their black maleness is ‘insensitive’ to the victims of black male crime.”

          “The male gaze is ‘insensitive’ to the female victims of sexual assault.”

          “Reading Huckleberry Finn in high school is ‘insensitive’ to the feelings of black Americans.”

          Having any of those thoughts would get me to say you’re an asshole.

          I don’t automatically grant “sensitivity” the magical deference everybody else gives it. Generally, when people are right on the merits, they don’t make appeals to “sensitivity”. They just argue the merits. Even bringing the word up telegraphs the fact that you’re trying to put one over on me.

          1. At least you are admitted who you are.

            Being black or being a man is not an ideology. Being Islamic is. No, it is not one monolithic ideology. But it is one ideology none the less.

            The better example would be Fort Pillow near Memphis. There, Nathan Bedford Forrest, future founder of the KKK, slaughter several hundred black POWs during the civil war. Now, was every confederate a murdering white supremacist? No. Was there a lot more to the civil war and the causes of it than hatred of black people? Of course. Forrest and his actions at Fort Pillow in no way reflects everyone who fought for the South. Just like 9-11 in no way reflects every Muslim.

            But if they built a Confederate heritage center next door to the old Fort Pillow site black people would have a right to be damned offended. And if the subject came up, your panties would be an wad so tight your balls would bust.

            1. For 100+ years, there have been statues, parks, schools, and all kinds of shit named after Mr. KKK and built near sites of horrible racial violence.

              Blacks are used to it by now. Nice try.

              1. And a lot of people do not like that. Such statues have been torn down all over the south. Look at the controversy over the Southern battle flag on the various state houses.

                1. Of course, there’s a huge difference between the government doing it and a private organization doing it.

            2. No I wouldn’t.

              When Harvard wanted to expel that chick for flying a Confederate flag in her window, I said they were being assholes.

              And “the Confederacy” is a hell of a lot more “monolithic” than Islam.

              In any event, you aren’t disputing my characterization of the thought process you’re going through before deciding it’s insensitive. You’re openly admitting it, but just arguing that it’s a legitimate way to view the situation. But since you admit it, that should clear up for you any confusion about why I think the people complaining are dicks.

          2. I think you’re conflating a lot of things with Ground Zero that don’t belong there…

            People from all over the world volunteered for military service because of what happened at Ground Zero. Some of them were from Red States and some of them were from Australia and Canada and the UK.

            Some of those people died fighting Muslim terrorism…

            It’s wrong to conflate that with whatever tragedy you happen to pull off the top of your head. The site of the World Trade Center tragedy inspired some really big emotions in a lot of people, and it’s unreasonable to expect people from all over this country not to have an emotional reaction to something like this.

            It sure as hell doesn’t have anything to do with Huckleberry Finn.

            1. …and some of those people died protecting moderate Muslims from the nihilistic extremist Muslims who want them dead.

            2. Sure it does.

              The key elements of your claim that it’s “insensitive” are:

              1. People were harmed.

              2. People feel badly when they are reminded of the thing that harmed them.

              3. It’s mean to make people feel badly and you should avoid doing so if you can.

              4. If you don’t avoid it, you’re “insensitive”.

              The problem is that your argument relies on the premises that all Muslims are reminders of the terrorists [in #2] and that the Muslim community should therefore slink away and hide itself [to avoid #3].

              And if you can think that, there’s no reason to not think any of my other examples too.

            3. Some of the people that died were Muslims. Some of the people that volunteered were Muslims. Most of our allies that we fight with in Afghanistan and Iraq are Muslim. How is it not disrespectful to American Muslims in our military and our allies to say, “Well, if it was a church or a synagogue, it’d be cool. But your house of worship offends me, so no dice.”

          3. “Black men standing in public flaunting their black maleness is ‘insensitive’ to the victims of black male crime.”

            They most certainly are.

            1. Is that you, Dr. Paul?

              1. Hey cock bite, when a piece of shit Rolling 30’s blood flashes gang signs at me, his primary intention is to intimidate. That it gives me an opportunity to flash back an ear-to-ear grin is just making lemonade outta lemons.

              2. Teleport Tulpa back to the L. A. Riots and see if he can out run those that happen to be fleet of foot.

        3. BTW, I find it insensitive is allowed to post on this comment board. What with the Texas GOP advocating the criminalization of homosexuality, allowing any Red Team members to post here is just an unnecessary provocation to homosexual Reason readers.

      2. “I expect the innocent to hide themselves away, lest their nasty turbans remind me of the guilty” – if that’s “American mores”, then fuck America.”

        It really is great that there’s a place like this where I can send my Christian friends to show them what kind of treatment they can expect from my fellow libertarians…

        ’cause a lot of them think we’re hostile to their free exercise rights, and I have to admit, it is nice to see so many libertarians going on the record in defense of free exercise rights…

        And heck, the idea that Christians can’t even be called jackholes for being insensitive to, say, gay people–that goes farther than I could have ever hoped!

        Actually, I reserve the right whim to call Christians “jackholes” despite their rights and freedoms–especially if they’re acting like jackholes. I’m sure I can count on you practicing what you’re preaching too–am I right?

    5. “But again, just because they’re being jackholes doesn’t mean it should be illegal–but why should it be necessary to explain that to a libertarian?”

      I’m more interested in why it’s necessary to explain to libertarians that the sins of our brothers are not our own.

      1. Sin is transitive, isn’t it? If you touch your brother after he’s sinned, then you have sinned. Right? Just like Muslims have to wash the dog off their hands before they go into the mosque because dogs are (ritually and practically) unclean?

        I admit, my understanding of theology in general and Islam in specific is somewhat shaky, so I may be wrong.

        1. They have to wash their hands (and feet) regardless of dog handling before they go into mosque. Hell, it’s part of the necessary ablutions performed before every one of the 5 daily prayers wherever they happen to be.

          1. Which is why Muslim foot baths were installed in a public school:

            In Minneapolis, a proposal to install foot baths for Muslim students has provoked a national debate. The Minneapolis Community and Technical College is considering whether to install the fixtures after a Muslim student slipped and hit her head. She was trying to wash her feet in a bathroom sink as part of her religious practice. After a column about the proposal appeared in a local paper, the item sparked a so-called action alert by at least one conservative group. College president Phillip Davis says he’s been inundated with e-mail and phone calls.

            Islam = Cancer

            1. It appears to be a proposal.

              1. Some U.S. universities install foot baths for Muslim students

                DEARBORN, Michigan ? When pools of water began accumulating on the floors in some bathrooms at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the sinks began pulling away from the walls, the problem was easy to pinpoint.
                On this campus, more than 10 percent of the students are Muslims, and as part of the ritual ablutions required before their five-times-a-day prayers, some were washing their feet in the sinks.
                The solution seemed straightforward. After discussions with the Muslim Students’ Association, the university announced that it would install $25,000 foot-washing stations in several bathrooms.
                But as a legal and political matter, that solution has not been quite so simple. When word of the plan got out this spring, it created instant controversy, with bloggers going on about the Islamification of the university, students divided on the use of their building-maintenance fees, and tricky legal questions about whether the plan was a legitimate accommodation of students’ right to practice their religion or unconstitutional government.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08…..22566.html

                1. How is this different from schools offering kosher and vegetarian meals to accommodate the non-majority belief systems of their other students. If there’s enough demand, why shouldn’t a university make life easier on their students.

                  1. {citation needed]

                    1. Really? You don’t believe that some schools provide kosher or vegetarian meals?

                      http://yeahthatskosher.com/201…..niversity/

                      http://yeahthatskosher.com/200…..n-college/

                      Cornell is partially state funded. Brooklyn College is 100% public. And keeping a separate kosher kitchen ain’t cheap, you need completely separate eating utensils, plates and cooking utensils. It’s easy to maintain a kosher kitchen if everyone is kosher, but if some don’t the costs go up.

            2. Bigot = Asshole

              1. There are some who say the white man seeks to steal our land. I say those who say such things are bigots.

          2. Wait, Muslims are supposed to wash their feet before praying 5 times a day?

            Islam just sounds like a pain in the ass religion in terms of daily requirements.

            1. Seems like it to me, but then again, I don’t really care.

              1. Yes, because it interferes with your desire to give good Muslim feet a tender tongue bath.

                1. Snark fail.

        2. Sins may have been a poor choice of words, perhaps I should have said crime. Regardless, the point is the same.

    6. Yes, damn those foolish Muslims for not buying a building THREE blocks away.

      Then everything would’ve been cool.

    7. Tulpa’s Thread Commandment I:

      An opinion that does not advocate coercion is still subject to criticism.

      1. Why died and made yoiu king?

        1. Carrot Top.

    8. Well, actually, flying two planes into the place is an even better definition of jackholery. Why would anyone expect them to say, “Oh, right, sorry, we’re being really darn inconsiderate by building a mosque there where we killed a couple of thousand people, aren’t we?”?

  5. OK that makes a lot of sense dude.

    Lou
    http://www.privacy.shop.tc

  6. OK tha mkes a lot of sene

    http://www.privacy.shop.tc

  7. Oh, that’s a strawman. No-one’s arguing that the Gov’t should seize the land using eminent domain or anything.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLLrd79aOqI

    Whoops.

    And its not like anyone is saying that Muslims can’t build Mosques anywhere else.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08…..1&_r=1

    Whoops.

    1. Well, its not like anyone is seriously arguing that Muslims aren’t entitled to protection under the 1st Amendment.

      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/11e4…..abdc0.html

      http://sultanknish.blogspot.co…..s-for.html

      Whoops.

  8. Could we get one more mosque article?

    1. Only if you promise to be good.

    2. Hey, they generate a lot of page hits for reason and drive up their advertising revenue, much like anything about Weigel. So…yes.

      1. Don’t have a Mosque cow, man.

  9. This means that the government may not refuse a zoning permit to a group because it’s Muslim, or Tea Party, or Socialist, or anti-gay-rights.

    Except when they’re going to allow smoking or the use of salt. Those are real threats to people, says so our Big Nanny Bloomberg.

    1. They’re only brave and “truly moderate” because they agree with you on this very small point.

      1. They’re brave because they are speaking the truth from within.

        By merely writing this article, these guys have put their own lives at risk, something a craven dhimmi scum like you would never even think of doing.

        1. Hi, fucker! You’ve finally reached the point where your main argument is “dhimmi!”.

          1. It is no sin to name the dhimmi for what it is. You are dhimmi, Timon. I would say something like ‘just accept it’, but you have made it abundantly clear that you not only accept it, you celebrate it.

            Why not take that final step? Submit.

            Then you can praise the joys of being a Muslim.

            1. You’re a cockface. I don’t recall having ever paid jizya or living for any period of time in an Islamic state (visited for business, yes).

              1. Ah, but you are dhimmi in your heart of hearts, Timon, ever to lick the crumbs from the floor around your masters table, ever to praise them and defend them secure in the knowledge that they would sooner spit on you than return the favor

                1. I don’t recall having made my views on Islam itself known.

      2. Yo! Fuck a bunch of Timon!

    2. How do we know that Raheel and Tarek aren’t secretly pushing for Sharia Law to supersede the Constitution?

      Because we know that Islam is divided into 2 camps: those who wish to quickly conquer the West via violent jihad, and those who wish to slowly conquer the West by pretending to be nice whilst pursuing stealth jihad.

      Muslims only pretend to be moderate as part of a larger jihad strategy. Don’t forget that.

      1. Because they’re Canadian.

        1. Canada is next after Islam is done conquering America.

          Canadian Bacon is in peril.

    3. So do all Muslims possess this magic ability to read the mind of every other Muslim on earth, or did they only develop those superpowers on the fateful day they became “Truly Moderate Muslim Man”?

      1. Westerners love to speculate about these things, but in reality most of us know basically nothing about Islamic culture. So here’s a question for you, smart guy. Why the heck would any Muslim, anywhere in the world, ever write an article like this saying that the proposed mosque is a deliberate provocation if they didn’t know for a fact that it was true?

        It would be far easier for these guys to just be quiet and not say anything at all. They have nothing at all to gain for themselves by doing this, and potentially very much to lose. Like their heads, for example.

        1. What does Western ignorance have to do with it?

          Why the heck would any Muslim, anywhere in the world, ever write an article like this saying that the proposed mosque is a deliberate provocation if they didn’t know for a fact that it was true?

          Because Muslims aren’t a monolith? Because “any Muslim, anywhere in the world” really isn’t tapped into the massive hive mind of Islam? Why would any Jews support a two-state solution in Palestine?

          Goddamn, you’re an idiot.

        2. They have nothing at all to gain for themselves by doing this

          Accept for the appearance fees for going on various Republican outlets and telling them that all their crazy conspiracy theories are completely true.

          1. Right, because appearing on TV is worth becoming a target to be killed by extremists.

            No, I think the real common sense answer is that these writers know what they’re talking about and you don’t, and that you’re another cowardly dhimmi worm.

            1. Extremists probably don’t give two shits about this whole story.

              You say they know what they’re talking about because it fits neatly into your arguments, such as they are.

              Keep believing in that hive mind, fuckstick.

  10. These are basic principles of American free speech law, and of American religious freedom law. They help protect all of us, liberal or conservative, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist.

    Color me unpersuaded. Laws throughout Manhattan happily ignore property and privacy rights through ridiculous rent control and rent stabilization schemes, closed shops and minimum wage laws, and the desire to tell you what and where you can eat and drink and smoke. Why should this group be given actual Constitutional consideration?

    1. Which of the laws you speak of violates the Constitution? (Keep in mind they are not federal laws, so commerce clause limitations don’t apply)

      1. Which of the laws you speak of violates the Constitution? (Keep in mind they are not federal laws, so commerce clause limitations don’t apply).

        I believe we’ve done incorporation and privileges or immunities to death so let’s just take that as read. For starters I am talking about New York laws telling you there is a maximum price you can rent your property for. If you have no concern for the Fifth Amendment, takings clause or property rights let’s not waste each other’s time.

        1. Like it or not, the Supreme Court does not consider rent controls a taking. An economic constraint on property is only a Fifth Amendment taking if it deprives the owner of all feasible economic use of the land. So, take up your concerns about takings with the Supremes.

          Given that the rest of us grudgingly accept rule of law, even when we disagree with the ruling propounded, your argument is unpersuasive. The relevance of something that is established to be constitutional (rent controls) to something that is unambiguously unconstitutional (religiously motivated discrimination) is nil.

          we don’t conflate

          1. your argument is unpersuasive.

            [Rent control] represents a rational attempt to accommodate the conflicting interests of protecting tenants from burdensome rent increases while at the same time ensuring that landlords are guaranteed a fair return on their investment.

            Chief Justice Rehnquist in Pennell v. San Jose

            Do you actually find that persuasive? I see the part in the Constitution that talks about protecting the rights of property owners (landlords) but I could not find anything about a Constitutional protection from burdensome rent increases nor do I find the redistribution of wealth remotely “rational”.

            It took the SCOTUS a while to undo Dred Scott and property rights will probably never be fully respected. But the same Constitution that prevents the government from interfering with the free exercise of religion was supposed to keep the government from interfering with your property rights.

    2. Smoking bans are retarded, but dissing religious freedom is on another level.

  11. Hey, this means we’ll finally get to see “separation of church and state” applied in its original meaning: to protect religion from the state, not the other way around.

  12. http://jalopnik.com/5606884/to…..ue&s=i

    In other news they are making a Top Gear America. I am skeptical. But at least they were smart enough to not let Adam Carolla anywhere near it.

    1. An affront the families of car crash victims.

      No, I’m not trying to be substantive. Just being a dick, here.

  13. There are those who still embrace Che. He too, was a man of peace who loved New Yorkers.

    If the missiles had remained, we would have fired them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims.

    ? Che Guevara, November 1962.

  14. Don’t concern yourselves with a mosque at ground zero. It will eventually be accidentally blown up by Islamic terrorists making bombs in the basement.

    1. Mulsims are very concerned about the public backlash to next month’s bombing.

      1. You are truly a disgusting creature.

        1. Project much?

        2. Tulpa, you really are turning into a total douche bag, lately. Has something unfortunate happened in your life?

          1. Yes. A blog I frequent has become filled with faux-libertarian bigots.

            1. What is unlibertarian about pointing out that it is in bad taste and provocative to build a mosque at ground zero at this point in time?

              Are Libertarians all a bunch of insensitive dolts, clearly some are, but must all of them be? Must one be a diagnosed sociopath to be libertarian?

              1. Must one be a diagnosed sociopath to be libertarian?

                No, but sociopathy is one of the favored pathologies for H&R commenters.

              2. What is unlibertarian about pointing out that it is in bad taste and provocative to build a mosque at ground zero at this point in time?

                It’s only in bad taste and provocative if you’re a bigot who believes all Muslims are responsible for 9/11. It’s the modern equivalent of railing about how the Jews killed Christ.

            2. A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. The correct use of the term requires the elements of intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.

              Take a look in the mirror.

    2. I approve of this comment.

  15. In other news they are making a Top Gear America. I am skeptical.

    The BBC version is great because they are not beholden to any car company, so they can do and say what they want.

    The American version will suck because they will be under the thumb of their car company advertisers. This is supposed to be on the History Channel, I believe? They take advertising (dunno how much car company advertising, of course), so I have my doubts.

    The other great thing about Top Gear is they are defiantly anti-green and anti-nanny. And they can get away with it at the BBC because they are the BBC’s single most popular show. I doubt the same will obtain at the History Channel.

    1. No, it will suck because it won’t be funny. Or imaginative. Or original. Or stimulating. At all. it will be like all American versions of decent UK shows: devoid of any of the magic that made it worth watching. (Note that Torchwood and Doctor Who already suck craptacularly and the rule doesn’t apply here.)

      No Jezza, no Hamster, no Cap’n Slow, don’t bother.

    2. “We’ll be doing star in a car, we’ll be doing the power tests, car reviews, action films, and the studio element. It’s a format that’s the jewel in the crown of the BBC so we’ll be doing it exactly like the British version. It’s exactly the same format.”

      So, why the fuck are you doing it then? Because the hicks in ‘Bama have trouble with ‘dem thick Anglish axscents? It’s not dumbed down enough for the NASCAR crowd? “What? He turned right?!”

      1. Because they think they can make money. What makes Top Gear work is the personalities of the presenters. Hammond, Clarkson and May are a perfect combination. You can’t just recreate that kind of chemistry. It is like saying you are going to do a British version of the Marx Brothers.

        And the fact that anyone associated with the show thought having Adam Carolla as a host tells you that it is going to suck.

        There is a German version of Top Gear which is supposed to be pretty good. But it has Sabine Schmitz. And anything with Sabine Schmitz has to be good. But sadly America doesn’t have a Sabine.

        1. Mmmmmm….Sabine on toast….

          She really does make all other women on the planet look bad. I watched the episode with her very entertaining run around the N?rburgring in a van this morning. She’s probably nuts as hell, but that’s OK.

  16. Um, as I’ve said elsewhere… if building religious buildings near the site of massacres by that religion is in bad taste, its going to be awfully hard to build Christian churches in any part of the U.S. Name a place East of the Mississippi where Christians weren’t at the heart of the massacre and destruction of Indians. Boom, no Christian buildings.

    1. Apparently, when they had that debate, when those churches were built, the Indians were too busy getting killed to complain much.

      That’s what happens when you can’t or don’t defend what is yours.

      Is that a place we really want to go?

      1. ^^This^^

      2. So now you’re the real owner of that land?

        1. Everything is mine that I feel interested enough in to take and hold and it will remain mine until I release it or someone has the strength to take it from me.

          Yes, Stormy Dragon, I am the owner of the land.

    2. Your definition of “massacre” seems a bit too broad. Given that most of the Indians were wiped out by disease, not Christians, I’d say there’s plenty of places to build.

  17. I have never seen more posts about nothing at H & R than the posts on this stupid mosque. I haven’t personally screened all umpteen jillion posts, but. . . .

    (1) Does anyone think the mosque should be blocked by minions of the state?

    (2) Does anyone think this mosque is actually a good idea?

    I suspect we are all in agreement on these two questions. So, WTF is going on?

    1. Liberaltarians think it is an affront to liberty for individuals to band together to try to convince the builders of the mosque to reconsider.

      1. Azathoth thinks it is an affront to liberty for individuals to criticize individuals who try to convince the builders of the mosque to reconsider.

        It’s turtles all the way down, man.

        If the chain of arguments here was:

        STRIP CLUB OWNER: I want to open a strip club in that empty building.

        FEMINISTS: There is a rape crisis center on that block! Those paternalist pornographers are being insensitive to the victims of sex crime!

        FLUFFY: Those stupid bitches. Tough luck!

        – what would the problem be?

        1. Well….no.

          Azathoth does NOT think it is an affront to liberty to try to make your point.

          Azathoth KNOWS that Islam IS, by it’s own definitions, and affront to liberty.

          Argue away.

          Oh, and there’s just the one turtle…..and the elephants.

          1. “”Azathoth KNOWS that Islam IS, by it’s own definitions, and affront to liberty.””

            What religion isn’t affront to liberty?

    2. So, WTF is going on?

      Culture wars are very entertaining for the participants. You can call others bigots and assholes and feel totally self-righteous.

    3. RC, agreed.

      1. The Imam has every right to build his mosque at ground zero.

      2. He shouldn’t do it.

    4. “””(1) Does anyone think the mosque should be blocked by minions of the state?

      (2) Does anyone think this mosque is actually a good idea?””

      (1). No
      (2). I acknowledge my opinion is like an asshole. I’m not some asshole who thinks my opinion means more than just my opinion. If it did count, they would be rebuilding the twin towers, and not the memorial as it is.

    5. I’m not a Muslim, so it’s not possible for me to think that a mosque is a good idea any more than I’d think a synagogue or a gay bar is a good idea since I have no interest in such structures either.

      But you and your comrades are going further than disagreeing with the statement, “it is a good idea.” Your pals are saying it’s offensive and disrespectful and insensitive and reveals provocative intent and such, and that’s where most of us are disagreeing with you.

      1. Your pals are saying it’s offensive and disrespectful and insensitive and reveals provocative intent and such, and that’s where most of us are disagreeing with you.

        It is all of those things.

      2. See Mike M’s 2:13 post. At least some Muslims are saying the same things that many here are saying.

  18. Listen, I could care less if people protest and band together to try to convince them not to build there.

    The problem is if that banding involves official uses of force at the government level.

    A secondary problem arises from the points in my earlier post: To be consistent, you have to stop building Christrian churches near the sites of Christian massacres of Native Americans.

    Good luck.

    1. How about this. Let the Imam wait 150 years before he builds the mosque at ground zero? Then your analogy would be apt.

    2. Idiot, the dispossesion of the aboriginals that inhabited this continent before Europeans took it was not done because Jesus said go and convert or kill everything that is not Christian.

      While there were overbearing Christian sects here, many of them fled overbearing Christian sects in Europe.

      This is not a Christians vs Muslims thing.

  19. Where do you think they got a hundred million dollars?

    Borrowed it from China, duh. How else?

  20. If it’s being built by terrorist money, when we find out we will confiscate the property.

    1. Are you sure the law allows that? It’s giving money to terrorists that’s illegal, not the other way around.

      For instance, if I’m running a restaurant that is frequented by drug dealers, can the state legally demand that I turn over all the money spent by drug dealers?

      1. If they are supporters of terrorism, I’m pretty sure the government can. If this place is taking money from terrorist, I’m sure our government will be happy to make the case that they are getting terrorist money for the purpose of promoting terrorism.

        1. The government would have to prove that they are actually promoting terrorism in that case. Merely showing that money came from terrorists is not going to cut it.

          And yes, I know there are a ton of procedural tricks and other power abuses that the govt can use to circumvent that requirement. I’m more than a bit surprised to see libertarians advocating them, though.

  21. So we should have allowed Nazi allied Wotanists to run around in WW2? Of course not. We knew how to deal with sedition and treason.

    This isn’t a mosque. It is about the a Muslim Brotherhood project.
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/t…..epage=true

    The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood is “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Brotherhood
    Al Qaeda is the outgrowth of Maktab al-Khadamat,
    which was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood theologian Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. Egyptian Islamic Jihad was formed by Muslim brotherhood members and merged with Al Qaeda.
    The First Amendment does not protect sedition or treason and the Cordoba Initiative is both.

    1. And I thought it was only lefties who were screeching about sedition these days.

    2. Rauf’s father, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf (1917-2004) ? an Egyptian contemporary of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna

      Wait, being born in a particular country around a particular date now constitutes ties to terrorism? That’s like saying I have ties to the Oklahoma City bombing because I’m “an American contemporary of Timothy McVeigh”.

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