Why don't people get behind a peaceful protest movement in which Muslims pray at ground zero, everyday, until hysteria boils over and then evaporates? A protest like this would expose the irrationality at the core of setting arbitrary geographical limits on where the faithful should worship without fear of persecution or harassment.
It would, judging from recent events, manifest some ugliness on which the media would feast, but perhaps a visible distillation of the emotions driving Cordoba opposition would end up being corrective. Muslims could simultaneously exercise their right to peaceably assemble and their right to worship, as protest for being made to shoulder the collective guilt for actions taken by terrorists. Just a thought.
I'm no friend to religion. And when it comes to tolerance and human rights, Islam has certain structural, or doctrinal, challenges that have not been ameliorated by any significant reformation. As well, Imam Rauf may have said things that rub me the wrong way, though he's hardly an extremist maniac (our State Department employs him as an emissary). None of these factors, however, should prompt us to behave in a way that fuels the Jihadist argument that America is fighting a war against Islam, while also convincing moderates that they 'offend our sensibilities'. A tolerant America that embraces religious freedom, not just technically but truly, embodies precisely those values which Islamic Jihadis despise with every one of their few and pathetic fibers. That it would anger Islamists, alone, is not reason enough to support any position. Though, in this case, the position in question has the added quality of being in keeping with important American values.