Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dear NYC,

Bandah Acehs Grand Mosque, Indonesia, by Wikimedia user Plugwash, public domain.

I've heard that some giant troll is attempting to build a 15-story mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center. It is true that the 1st Amendment protects the right of Muslims to worship. It is also true that the 5th Amendment specifies that "private property taken for public use" must include just compensation, and that court cases like "Kelo v. New London" have held that there really aren't too many limiations on a municipalities right to take your land for, whatever is held to be, "public use."

Now consider the potential of a 21st Century Railroad Station to replace Penn in a strategic, easily reachable portion of lower Mannhattan. The Subway Service is great, and there's tons of pedestrian traffic! It could be a major economic boon to the area, and since the land is currently being used for a wholly non-economic activity, it is totally in the public interest to take said property instead of something that actually creates jobs and commerce! It could also be outfitted with advanced rail platforms that can support Acela, and other high speed trains. It's even more just then taking the land for private development.

See, it's sort of like when someones car has broken down by the side of the road and you refuse to give them your carjack. Sure, it is your right to not give them a carjack - you do own the carjack - but frankly, if you don't, and you don't have a good reason not to give them the carjack, you're probably a big jerk. Rights are not ethics or morals, they are simply what society is not allowed to do to you. This is to protect all individuals from the exact kind of bullying that this mosque constitutes, albeit from people with far more power to harm you then these Imams.

We must consider this great economic opportunity and the huge potential it has created for the people of New York. I sincerely hope that you consider giving that Islamic bully the slap in the face he deserves for using his constitutional rights in such a horrible way, while getting a wonderful little train station out of it and giving those folks the money to build themselves a mosque somewhere else. So let us wait until they are done building the mosque, and then condemn it to build a new train station, giving them "just compensation" of course.

Your southernly cousin,

Jeremy Janson

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