PEJ New Media Index: Islamic Issues Ignite the Blogosphere

  • August 19, 2010

For the second week in a row, the debate over a planned mosque near the World Trade Center site raged in the blogosphere. But this time, a different set of voices dominated that conversation.

From August 16-20, 14% of the news links on blogs were about the mosque controversy, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

One week earlier, the same topic was the second biggest story in the blogosphere (18% of the links), and in that case, the commentary was dominated by anti-mosque voices.

But last week, bloggers in support of the planned mosque rose up. Most responded to a column by Charles Krauthammer who argued that the center should be located elsewhere for "reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred." These bloggers disagreed and felt cultural sensitivity is trumped by the legal right of Muslims.

"Rights are not symbolic abstractions," wrote Maha on Mahablog. "A right that cannot be exercised is not a right. Krauthammer and others on the Right keep saying they don't dispute the right to build the Islamic Center on private property, but are saying the Center shouldn't be built."

Read the full report, Islamic Issues Ignite the Blogosphere on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.