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Most New Yorkers against ground zero mosque: Poll

Most New Yorkers oppose a proposed Islamic centre and a mosque near the ground zero, according to a poll on the issue that has sparked a row in the country.

New York: Most New Yorkers oppose a
proposed Islamic centre and a mosque near the ground zero,
according to a poll on the issue that has sparked a row in the

A poll by the Siena Research Institute finds that 63
per cent of New Yorkers oppose the project, with 27 per cent
supporting it.
A similar poll done by Siena College, two weeks, ago
showed that 61 per cent opposed the mosque and 26 per cent
supported it.

However, 64 per cent of New Yorkers supported the
right of developers to build the mosque.

Kuwaiti-born Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the developer of
the USD 100 million Muslim Community Centre called Cordoba
House, insists that it is "a centre for all New Yorkers" and
"its purpose is to interweave America`s Muslim population into
the mainstream society."

Despite these reassurances, the past few months have
witnessed considerable opposition against the mosque, which
has received the green light on all legal and technical
"The level of opposition to building Cordoba
House remains very strong, with 63 per cent of voters opposing
it and only 27 per cent supporting it," said Siena College
pollster Steven Greenberg.

Despite the legal and constitutional backing
of the mosque, the nation remains divided due to how their own
personal feelings about the proximity between the 9/11 site
and the mosque.

"Voters, however, can clearly distinguish their
personal view on whether the community centre and mosque
should be built near Ground Zero from their opinion on whether
the developers have a Constitutional right to build the
Cordoba House there," Greenberg said.

"Even a majority of those who oppose building
the mosque agree by a margin of 51-42 per cent that they have
the right to build it," he added.

Last week, President Barack Obama came out in
support of religious freedom enshrined in the constitution,
and while hosting Iftar on Friday, he said that that Muslims
had the right to build the Islamic Centre.

"Muslims have the same right to practice their
religion as everyone else in this country," Obama said.

"This is America, and our commitment to religious
freedom must be unshakable."

Later, Obama clarified that his remarks only related
to the rights of the American-Muslims but did not address
whether the mosque should be built on disputed site.

"I was not commenting and I will not comment on
the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there," he
said, during a trip to Florida on Saturday.

A recently conducted CNN poll found that 68
per cent of Americans nationwide, both Republicans and
Democrats, were opposed to building a mosque near the Ground
Zero site.


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