Aug 312010
Authors: By Michael Muskal, McClatchy-Tribune

LOS ANGELES — More than seven out of 10 New Yorkers want the developers of a proposed Islamic community center, which contains a prayer room, near the scene of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center to move the project, according to a poll released Tuesday.

According to the Quinnipiac University poll, New Yorkers by 71 percent to 21 percent said that a Muslim group should move its planned center somewhere away from near the site of the former World Trade Center, which, along with the Pentagon, was attacked by airplanes hijacked by
Islamic fundamentalists on Sept. 11, 2001.

The poll found that by 54 percent to 40 percent, surveyed New Yorkers agreed that the Islamic group has a right to build the mosque, but by 53 percent to 39 percent, those surveyed said that the mosque should not be at the site “because of the sensitivities of 9/11 relatives.”

“The heated, sometimes angry, debate over the proposal to build a mosque two blocks from ground zero has New York State voters twisted in knots, with some of them taking contradictory positions depending on how the question is asked,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Overwhelmingly, across all party and regional lines, New Yorkers say the sponsors ought to voluntarily move the proposed mosque to another location,” Carroll said.

Quinnipiac questioned 1,497 registered voters from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29. The poll, which is similar to other recent polls, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

The mosque issue has politically divided Americans, with the overwhelming majority seeing the construction as near the World Trade Center as a poor choice.

Conservatives and Republicans have been especially vocal in their opposition while President
Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are supporting the construction.

By 71 percent to 22 percent, New York voters said that the state attorney general should investigate the financing of the mosque project, according to the poll.

The poll also found that New Yorkers approve of Obama’s performance as president by 51 percent to 41 percent, his lowest score ever in the state.

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