The conservative blogosphere is buzzing with outrage over plans to build a 13-story mosque and Muslim cultural center just a few hundred feet from Ground Zero. As a resident of lower Manhattan, I see it differently: The center—to be known as Cordoba House and built (if it is ever built) at a cost of $100 million—might yet serve as an excellent test case for tolerance.

Muslim tolerance, that is.

That, at least, is how the concept is being advertised by Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Kuwaiti-born imam whose brainchild this is. "We see it as a major step toward the Americanization of the Muslim community," Mr. Rauf told members of the financial district's community board, which approved the project unanimously less than a week after the attempted Times Square bombing. His wife, Daisy Khan, who runs an outfit called the American Society for Muslim Advancement, adds that "it's going to be a place not only for Muslim activity, but interfaith activity of the highest order."

Read the complete original version of this item...