Here is my reply: no, I do not support the mosque proposal.
I actually think it is ill-conceived and in poor taste, at best.
Frankly, I am rather more than a little offended at the idea.
My earlier remarks (which may be found here and here) apparently gave the impression that I am in favor of the construction.
The unfortunate phrase was, "Let [Muslims] come to lower Manhattan and prove [they can be good citizens] (- and yes, this is something all of us have to prove in America, in each generation)."
His scriptis, I do not find Rauf's idea offensive as such - offensive is the idea of executing the project in such proximity to Ground Zero, and on such a scale.
I am at pains to clarify that, despite my doubts about Islam's compatibility with Western civilization, I cannot as a Catholic (whose ancestors faced and overcame similar and comparably virulent public conviction of their religion's basic, irreducible and insuperable incompatibility with the American way of life) begrudge Muslims in America the chance to prove me wrong.
There are also several questions outstanding, such as:
- Is Rauf, a Sufi, really representative of mainstream Muslim thinking?
- Is Rauf, a Sufi, an effective dialogoue partner within the Muslim world, itself?
There are several dozen others where those came from.