IT HAS NOW BEEN A FEW WEEKS since the story exploded on the pages of The New York Times and in the blogosphere about the Anti-Defamation League’s position on the proposed building of an Islamic cultural center/mosque near Ground Zero, the site of the mass terror attack on New York, in 2001.The coverage of the story and how so many people reacted to what they thought we said, as opposed to what we actually said, is one of the more interesting phenomena surrounding this event. ADL was accused of anti-Muslim bigotry; denying religious freedom; abandoning the principles for which it stands; and joining with right-wing extremists.It was only after a few days of misguided attacks on us that thoughtful individuals across the ideological spectrum, from the left and the right, began to articulate a better understanding of what we had said and why we were in the right. In “The Mosque Is Not About the First Amendment,” Martin Peretz, publisher of the New Republic, wrote that “the Anti- Defamation League, which fights anti- Semitism and other forms of religious bigotry, produced an admirably balanced response to the controversy, one that respected both the constitutional and historical aspects of it. While defending Muslim religious freedom unreservedly, the ADL warned that building the mosque at Ground Zero ‘will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.’In other words, if the consortium wants to build it, it can build it. But it would be a very bad idea.