M. D. Harmon has found the courage to come out in opposition to the so-called “Ground-Zero mosque,” leaping to catch the shameful bandwagon of prejudice and fear-mongering before it pulls away without him (“Halting work as sign of compromise and good will,” Aug. 20).

Brother Harmon, whose tinymindedness this newspaper makes a matter of public record every week, allows that while Muslim worshippers should and do have the right to build where they may in this free country, it would be insensitive, tacky, of them to do so near hallowed ground.

Brother Harmon has never, to my recollection, uttered a single original thought on these pages, choosing instead to cadge the positions of actual pundits in the right-wing media and, now, the wingnut blogosphere.

That’s true of this last effort as well, but the column does bear the odor of Harmonesque illogic and soullessness.

Ours is a “government of laws and not of men,” he intones soberly, and then proceeds to join the torch-and-pitchfork set, arguing that those laws be put aside so that the “men” who oppose the mosque might be placated.

With men like these we have no need of bigots and fools. What will the terrorists think, Brother Harmon asks, if we build a mosque near Ground Zero? Won’t they gloat? — the implication being that we should set our course according to what terrorists think.

Better to ask, what will we think of ourselves if we don’t build it?

If we truly mean to hallow Ground Zero, we should follow the best of this country’s principles and embrace it with a neighborhood that celebrates the full array of identities that go into making our American identity.

Let Brother Harmon get used to that pitchfork. The rest of us should grab hardhats.

We’ve got a mosque to build.


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