A legal group founded by Pat Robertson, the American Center for Law and Justice, has filed a suit under Article 78 of the of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, alleging that the Landmark Preservation Commission failed to properly consider whether the Park 51 building that is slated to become an Islamic community center was worth landmarking due to the fact that it was hit by debris on the day of the September 11 attacks. The commission instead considered whether the building was worth landmarking because of its style of architecture.
Now the ACLJ has a history of fighting local land-use rules to prevent the construction of synagogues and churches, as John Cook reported a few days ago. For some reason, they've flipped on the matter of the Park 51 project, one might infer because the ACLJ doesn't think American Muslims are entitled to the same freedoms as Christians and Jews. But in an interview with Chris Moody, ACLJ attorney Brett Joshpe opened his mouth and removed all doubt.
After saying the building was “arguably one of the most significant properties in New York,” Joshpe said he would not be pursuing the case if a Christian church were being built on the same site.
“Would I be personally involved in this matter if this were a church? No,” he said. “And the reason why is because if it were a church it wouldn’t be offending and hurting the 9/11 victims’ families.”
This is a straight-up admission that this lawsuit is being filed out of anti-Muslim animus, couched in the defensive, self-implicating rhetoric of "reverse racism" -- the ACLJ claims the group behind the project is receiving "special treatment" from the Landmark Commission because they're Muslim. But in fact they're receiving "special treatment" from the ACLJ, whose commitment to religious freedom and property rights depends on which faith you belong to.
At any rate, despite the ACLJ attorney admitting frankly that the group is violating its stated principles because the religious group in this case happens to be Muslim, this is the headline the Daily Caller went with:
Never let a good story get in the way of ideology.
UPDATE: This is more like it: