Monday, August 02, 2010

Score A Victory For The Constitution Down By The WTC

Defenders of religious freedom and tolerance won a solid victory this week from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The highly controversial debate over whether to allow a mosque to be built on Park Row (two blocks from the World Trade Center site) has been going on for weeks now, and the Commission decided to ignore the bigots who group the terrible attacks of September 11th with the entirety of Islam.

From The NY Daily News:

Board members at the Landmarks Preservation Commission intend to vote unanimously against granting protected status to the 152-year-old building that would be knocked down to make way for the project, the Daily News has learned.

The Italianate building on Park Place, two blocks north of Ground Zero, simply does not meet architectural criteria for protection from the city, sources with knowledge of the issue said.

"The building is not worthy," a source said. "It does not rise to the level of an individual landmark."

The more intolerant among us decided to latch on to the issue of landmarking an old Lower Manhattan building to stop the construction of a mosque....not actually caring for the architectural makeup of an old Park Row facade. People such as Sarah Palin and sadly, the Anti-Defamation League (not so anti and much more defamatory these days, at least in this instance) spoke out against religious tolerance, using ignorance and fear to try and blunt one of the core ideas that our Founding Father fought for.

Good on the Commission for letting this go forward, and voting to keep New York City as a beacon of freedom, not a bulwark against it.