. . . but should they?
I have said before that all of this is perfectly legal, and is certainly allowed under the basic concepts of freedom in the U.S.
Developers of the controversial Park51 Islamic community center and mosque located two blocks from Ground Zero earlier this month applied for roughly $5 million in federal grant money set aside for the redevelopment of lower Manhattan after the attacks of September 11th, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. - The Daily Beast 22 NOV 2010
I feel a modicum of guilt for my opposition to the construction of this Mosque. However, it is tempered by a failing hope that this Imam would reach out, acknowledge the feelings this project foments, and offer an alternate solution.
That which is allowed and that which is right are not always congruent.
With any luck, however - and I hesitate to use the word "luck" in this context - this request will not prevail. In order to obtain the grant the applicant must have sufficient capital to seed the project. For an entity wishing to construct a $100M project, Park51 has an amazing paucity of funds - a total of $20,000 on its financial statement.
John Avalon of the Daily Beast characterized it all very succinctly:
It’s a lose-lose proposition put forward by a tone-deaf organization that seems determined to alienate allies and embolden opponents.