This is not about Islam, it is about the extent that religious rights extend. Maybe I'm wrong, after all I am not a constitutional scholar (unlike Barry, after teaching a class, but not as a professor). My take on religious rights in this country is that we have the right to believe and worship whatever we wish, or nothing if we wish that. Where does this include real estate? Seems to me that a local government can decide whatever it wants regarding the use of property, and your religious rights or my religious rights don't have a thing to do with it. What does imminent domain mean? The government can claim property from private ownership for whatever purpose it deems worthy. I don't think religious rights trump that... So what the heck does religious freedom have to do with how this piece of property is used? Governments decide all the time that some activity is inappropriate for a particular place. Might be because of traffic, noise, inconsistent with other land use.... sorry it's not that you can't do that, you just can't do that there. Sorry.
I like this soundbite: The right to do something doesn't make it right to do. By the same token, the right to one thing (religious rights) don't have to extend to some other right (property). I think the whole argument is a strawman. I don't hear anyone discussing this piece, they are just all wrapped around the axle about how they feel. Meh.
Of course, New York doesn't have a monopoly on bad taste, distasteful policy and poor use of resources. Seems the State Dept. has decided that this Imam is just the person so send on a diplomatic mission to the mid-east. Yeah, he seems like just the person to hold a discussion about religious tolerance and respect. Right.
I really don't like stepping into this mess but since I haven't heard anyone discuss the difference between one right and another instead of subsuming one right to another, I had to toss the idea out there and see what comes of it.
Oh, my comment on constitutional law qualifications? Barry wasn't a constitutional law professor. He wasn't a professor at all. He was a part time lecturer, and while he was hired to discuss constitutional law, that isn't what he "taught" at all. Why do we keep perpetuating this resume embellishment? It isn't OK to embellish a military career. But how is it fair to skewer one person for that while another person parades around as an academic when they weren't even close?
conservative blog take on it
second hand testimony