Reflections on The Park 51 Controversy

October 19, 2010

Religion and law scholars Peter Danchin, University of Maryland Law, and Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, SUNY-Buffalo Law, discuss the controversy over the proposed mosque/community center (the Cordoba House) to be built near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York City in the context of U.S. and international law about religious freedom. Peter Danchin analyzes the similarities and differences between the Cordoba House and the Danish cartoon controversies, focusing on differential understandings and mobilizations of the notions of “offense” to secure claims for/against religious liberty. By situating the current Cordoba House controversy within the historical context of legal disputes over religious land use in the U.S., Winnifred Sullivan shows how this history helps us rethink conventional understandings of the First Amendment.

This event was moderated by Professor Saba Mahmood, Anthropology Department at the University of California, Berkeley and was sponsored by Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Critical Theory Program, Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law.

Comments are closed.