In recent weeks, opponents and proponents have come out voicing their opinions and choosing sides in regards to the Cordoba Initiatives’s mosque at Ground Zero.
The Anti-Defamation League has taken a surprising stance in the lines drawn concerning the development of Park51, and has issued a statement today on their official site.
Their statement reads:
New York, NY, July 28, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement regarding the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero inÂ Manhattan:
We regard freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the American democracy, and that freedom must include the right of all Americans â€“ Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths â€“ to build community centers and houses of worship.
We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry.
However, there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding theÂ WorldÂ TradeÂ CenterÂ site.Â We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel â€“ and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.
The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process.Â Â Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City ofÂ New YorkÂ would be better served if an alternative location could be found.
In recommending that a different location be found for the Islamic Center, we are mindful that some legitimate questions have been raised about who is providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values.Â These questions deserve a response, and we hope those backing the project will be transparent and forthcoming.Â Â But regardless of how they respond, the issue at stake is a broader one.
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam.Â Â The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong.Â Â But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.Â Â In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of theÂ WorldÂ TradeÂ CenterÂ will cause some victims more pain â€“ unnecessarily â€“ and that is not right.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
What are your thoughts on the ADL’s stance, are their views surprising to you — or expected?