Abe Foxman, head of the ADL, came out in opposition to the building of the Islamic Center near Ground Zero yesterday. I think Foxman's decision is a mistake.
Some of the worst elements of classic American fear-mongering, represented by Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich and many others, have turned a New York City issue, where the Center has the support of the local community board and Mayor Bloomberg, into an anti-Muslim rallying cry and I believe that is morally and politically wrong. Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams opposes it too, calling it a place where Muslims can worship their "monkey-god."
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is nearly universally regarded as a moderate leader and interfaith bridge builder with strong relationships in the Jewish and Christian communities.
Rather than "destroy our civilization" as Gingrich argues, the Islamic Center has enormous potential to educate and help heal the horrible disaster of 9-11.
It's no surprise that certain forces of hysteria are attempting to nationalize opposition to this project for their own electoral benefit; but it's a major disappointment that a leading Jewish organization has come out on the wrong side of a debate.
You can read the somewhat conflicting press release on the ADL site and judge for yourself what you make of Abe Foxman's reasoning.