Mark Helprin, writing in the Wall Street Journal about the 15-story mosque and swimming pool planned for near ground zero, says:
the opposition to what they propose is no more anti-Islamic or intolerant than to protest a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor or Nanjing would be anti-Shinto or even anti-Japanese. How about a statue of Wagner at Auschwitz, a Russian war memorial in the Katyn Forest, or a monument to British and American air power at Dresden? The indecency of such things would be neither camouflaged nor burned away by the freedoms of expression and religion. And that is what the controversy is about, decency and indecency, not the freedom to worship, which no one denies.
It's amazing how even hard-headed folks like Mr. Helprin and his editors at the Wall Street Journal can slip into this kind of moral equivalence. You can agree or disagree with the Allied bombing of Dresden, but it's not in the same category as Auschwitz, the Katyn massacre, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, or the rape of Nanjing. Maybe my failure to see it that way is because I am an American, and maybe if I were a German I would see it differently, but something about that sentence rings not quite right.