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Our Favorite Senator Backs Park51

Utah’s Hatch says owners have right to build

Marc Tracy
September 01, 2010
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).(Wikipedia)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).(Wikipedia)

Here’s man bites dog for you: A prominent, conservative Republican senator has come out strongly against blocking the planned lower Manhattan Islamic center. “If the Muslims own that property, that private property, and they want to build a mosque there, they should have the right to do so,” the senator said, adding, “there’s a huge, I think, lack of support throughout the country for Islam to build that mosque there, but that should not make a difference if they decide to do it. I’d be the first to stand up for their rights.”

Who is the senator? It’s Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), last seen in these digital pages singing about Hanukkah. In addition to his respect for private property, Muslims, the Constitution, and everything else, Hatch cited past instances in which his Mormon faith has been threatened with similar discrimination.

Because it’s been nine months since it was last in your head … here’s “Eight Days of Hanukkah”!

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.