The Museum of Tolerance opened in Manhattan this week, on a mission to help the world transcend discrimination and prejudice. Great timing, because there's been a lot of that lately, with angry opponents to the proposed Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero deriding the project as a "house of evil" where terrorists will "worship their monkey-god." Thankfully, the Museum of Tolerance is here to advocate for acceptance join the opposition. Looks like tolerance really does belong in a museum, eh eh?

The museum is funded by The Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization. Rabbi Meyer May, the Wiesenthal Center's executive director, tells Crain's the proposed location is "insensitive" to the families of 9/11 victims, adding that "religious freedom does not mean being insensitive...or an idiot. Religion is supposed to be beautiful [experience]. Why create pain in the name of religion?"

Rabbi May's criticism echoes the Anti-Defamation League, which last week issued a statement saying that "building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain—unnecessarily—and that is not right." Yesterday, another group of Jewish activists voiced their support for the mosque outside the location where it will be built on Park Place. "Whenever there has been bloodshed allegedly in the name of one tradition or another, it’s necessary to say, ’That’s not what that tradition is about,'"Rabbie Arthur Waskow, 76, tells the Post. "The Cordoba Initiative will keep saying that is not what Islam is about. I was really surprised that the Anti-Defamation League opened the door to that kind of hatred."

And this morning Mayor Bloomberg again defended the principles of religious freedom and private property, telling radio host John Gambling, "People say, 'Well, do they have the money, can they raise the money, where is it coming from?' I don’t know. Do you really want every time they pass the basket in your church and you throw a buck in they run over and say, 'O.K., where did you come from, who are your parents, where did you get this money?'"

Bloomberg also dismissed the mosque opponents as "a handful of people who ought to be ashamed of themselves," and said that he received an email from the president of a company whose workers had died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The email said, "I was really saddened that you had to make this speech. I was very glad you did. It’s a shame we even have to talk about this."