'Ground Zero mosque' debate hits the streets of New York
The debate over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” hit the streets of New York Sunday. The controversy has led to increasing talk of moving the site of the proposed center.
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At the same time, Khan pointed out, “We have the Muslim community around the nation that we have to be concerned about, and we have to worry about the extremists as well, because they are seizing this moment. And so we have to be very careful and deliberate in when we make any major decision like this.”Skip to next paragraph
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New York Governor David Paterson has offered to help find an alternative site.
To many observers, the “Ground Zero mosque” issue has become an excuse for more widespread opposition to Islam – including the persistent and growing belief among Americans that President Obama is a Muslim.
A Time magazine survey this past week “revealed that many Americans harbor lingering animosity toward Muslims.”
“Twenty-eight percent of voters do not believe Muslims should be eligible to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court,” reports Time. “Nearly one-third of the country thinks adherents of Islam should be barred from running for President — a slightly higher percentage than the 24 percent who mistakenly believe the current occupant of the Oval Office is himself a Muslim.” (That’s higher than the recent Pew Research Center survey showing that 18 percent think Obama is a Muslim.) Just 55 percent said they think most Muslims are “loyal Americans.”
Local battles over mosques are raging in several places around the country, none of which has any direct connection to the events (or victims) of 9/11.
"The people who say the mosque is too close to Ground Zero, those are the same people that protest mosques in Brooklyn and Staten Island and Tennessee and Wisconsin and California,” Ali Akram, a local doctor who supports the project, told Reuters. “What radius will they go for? There's no end to it."