I can understand what seems to be a large body of opinion that is perturbed at the idea of a mosque being built in close proximity to Ground Zero - the space where the World Trade Centres stood until 9/11.
What I cannot understand is just why did the Muslim community select that very spot? They cannot be unaware of the place that the ground holds in the fibre of all Americans. We have seen confrontation on our streets but that is clearly identifiable as the work of lunatics and passes in a few hours. The mosque will be an eternal thorn in the side to many and the developers and their clients cannot be unaware of this. In addition to those whose lives were lost or ruined on that day, there are the service personnel killed or maimed in the Iraq campaign.
The issue has been clouded by those who see it as yet another opportunity to castigate the President. Others assert that the display of good will generated by allowing the mosque will pay off throughout the Arab world. It is intemperate of me to ask what would happen if Israel sought to build a temple just around the corner from the kaaba in Mecca.
There is just the one thought in my mind when I have sifted through the pro and con of the proposed building. I can have no respect for those who lack the sensitivity to see that they are offending so many. No - there are no laws against it. Not US law that is. We are told that Islam respects all religions: "the attitude of Islam towards other religions is that it preaches equal love for all, equal respect for all, and equal faith in all." I spent many years in Muslim countries and do not recognise the attitude of the mosque-wanters as having any connection with the Arabs I knew and respected.