There has been an argument among Objectivists on the mosque that some would like to build at Ground Zero. Leonard Peikoff opposes the mosque and holds the US government should prevent its existence. Others disagree. Amy Peikoff has two posts supporting her husband.
The argument is complicated and certainly not self-evident. It’s a matter on which good people can disagree. I see in the various comment threads people I respect on both sides.
What would be worse for the rule of law in America, our government violating property rights of those who would build a mosque or giving the enemy in a time of war an enormous morale boost by seeing a mosque built where militant Islam scored its greatest victory?
This strikes me as the kind of argument one finds in a mixed economy. Our government is bad and getting worse. It intervenes now in so many areas that it seldom does anything significant that is limited to the scope envisioned by the writers of the Constitution. Good is packaged with bad, and sorting out what is fundamental or most important can be maddening.
Speaking for no one but myself, I believe the government should prevent the building of the mosque. I will be surprised if it does. A government that can’t bring itself to use the word terrorist is unlikely to do anything so politically incorrect. Our government would rather sacrifice our men on the battlefield than fight the war properly and risk the censure of world opinion. The lives of our soldiers and Marines are less important to the current administration than the preventing the sneers of sophisticated Europeans.
We must win the war against totalitarian Islam. To those who think we could never be defeated by a ragtag bunch living in caves, I would note that the Romans thought Rome would stand forever. Alaric and the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410 a.d., shattering the confidence of the ancient world. Augustine wrote City of God in response, which you could call the constitution of the dark ages.
I know there is plenty of difference between modern America and ancient Rome. But what impact would the explosion of a nuclear device on Wall Street have on Western Civilization? It’s too depressing to consider for long.
The enemy has not struck us on American soil since 2001, but will it in five years? 10? 20?
In war it is important to convince the enemy that there is no hope of victory. Building a mosque at Ground Zero would give the enemy hope.