Opponents of the so-called '9-11 Mosque' were exonerated today of charges of bigotry and religious intolerance - all by the stunning revelation that New Yorkers don't want anybody building anything in Manhattan, whether or not it has ties to Radical Islam.
Residents of New York City gathered together to vehemently combat anything that might 'destroy the character of their city' - even if that 'anything' involve the proposed plans to build a 67-story skyscraper just blocks from the iconic Empire State Building.
The proposed tower, to be built at 15 Penn Plaza, would bring an estimated 7,000 jobs into the city, and developer David Greenbaum has also promised to help develop Penn Station to ease congestion and overcrowding for the city's commuters and tourists.
Yet opponents of the tower were not satisfied.
"We view this as an assault on New York City and its iconography," argued Anthony Malkin, the owner of the Empire State Building (and, ironically, a shareholder in the proposed tower.) "It's the end of the image of New York City that billions of people hold dear."
"It's no good," complained the improbably-named LeeSa Snarr, 37, "because I like to look down at the streets of New York."
"I love the view of New York all the way around," Christa Huggins, a 35-year-old tourist from Utah who was under the misapprehension that anybody in the city cared about her opinion. "This tower would block it."
Most of the native New Yorkers opposed to the tower are also the sort of jackasses who reminisce about the 'good old days' of the city - back before Mayor Rudy Giuliani cleaned it up. They wistfully recall how much more 'character' the city had when taking the subway involved running a gauntlet through mingling throngs of drug dealers, rapists and gang bangers.
"Those were the days," somebody presumably said, shaking their head.
Faced with such opposition, supporters of the 15 Penn Plaza project have found it frustrating that they are unable to label their opponents 'bigots' or 'religiously-intolerant' for protesting against the construction; being forced instead to rely on the much milder label of 'd-bags.'
Yet when confronted about how his iconic tower would 'disrupt' the skyline, David Greenbaum at least had to opportunity to answer: "New York City's skyline has never stopped changing, and I certainly hope it never will."
New Yorkers with any brains will at least be buoyed by the knowledge that the 15 Penn Plaza project might actually go ahead - unlike the 9-11 mosque. This is because developers actually have the funding to pay for construction, and aren't relying on manufactured public outrage to spur a flurry of donations from Saudi Arabia.
But ultimately, whether either project goes ahead or not proves that opposition to new construction in New York doesn't necessarily have anything to do with religious intolerance, bigotry or racism - just the fact that New Yorkers don't like to see things change.