Seven in 10 New Yorkers believe the proposed Ground Zero mosque shouldn't be located at the site of the fallen World Trade Center out of respect for 9/11 families, the New York Post reports. The same number want NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate the group's finances too.
The numbers come from a new poll conducted state-wide by the independent Qunnipiac University Poll.
According to poll director Maurice Carroll, the responses aren't politically charged: “Overwhelmingly, across party and regional lines, New Yorkers say the sponsors ought to voluntarily move the proposed mosque to another location."
Additionally, opposition isn't based on claims of unconstitutionality or racism. 54 percent agree that freedom of religion gives Muslims the legal right to build the mosque on Park Place, but 71 percent said the proposed site should be moved "voluntarily," including 85 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats. And most of those polled said they have a "generally favorable" opinion of Islam (a 45 - 31 percent margin, with 24 percent undecided).
Contrary to the poll's findings, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (the man behind the mosque) said yesterday that opposition to the mosque is fueled in part by election-year squabbles, and that the struggle is between moderates and radicals. According to Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper, "Rauf said opposition to the project was being led by a 'tiny, vociferous minority.'"
"We have radicals in the Muslim world and we have radicals in the other faith traditions as well," Rauf said. "The radicals feed off each other and need each other to sustain themselves. So we need right now to combat the radical voices."