Also, CKM, the point of the article (I think) was not to equate Auschwitz with 9/11. They are awful for very different reasons. It was (in my opinion) to demonstrate that a religious group with motives it considers benign may still offend others through its actions, and that as a result, there may be an alternative that would avoid doing so (i.e., moving the convent or mosque). That's the heart of the issue. As I said earlier, the builders of the mosque have a right under the law to be there. And, the landmarks commission decided (rightly) the narrow issue before it. But given this row, should the builders still proceed?

In my opinion, it's not enough to say that the presence of the mosque shouldn't bother folks. The facts show that it does, at least for some. A blithe dismissal of that position (a la Mayor Bloomberg - feh) as racist -- that is what drives me up a wall.

Even if opposition may not be vocal, it is there.

See, e.g., http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/61-new-yorkers-oppose-ground-zero-mosque

CKM, also, to your point above: "My fellow citizens want to put up a cultural center, and their fellow residents of the community seem fine with it, and that’s good enough for me."

My question is, which fellow residents? Many of them aren't fine with it.

Sorry that the comparison with the Carmelite nuns offended you, CKM. For the record, I live in NYC, was here on 9/11, and am a Jew. My intention was not to offend. We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Fuster, you have to be kidding when you say there is no intense reaction in New York.