Poll Finds Most New Yorkers Still Want Mosque Project Moved

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010  |  Updated 7:30 AM EDT
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Poll Finds Most New Yorkers Still Want Mosque Project Moved

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Pedestrians stand outside of the proposed site for the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center which would be blocks from Ground Zero.

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A poll released Tuesday found 71 percent of New Yorkers want the developers of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero to voluntarily move the project.

The Quinnipiac University poll finds the same percentage of New Yorkers want Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to investigate sources of funding for the project in lower Manhattan.

Cuomo, a Democrat running for governor, has said little about the issue. He says it's protected by the Constitution, although he will investigate if concerns are found.

The poll finds 53 percent of registered voters feel the Muslim developers shouldn't be allowed to build a couple blocks from ground zero. Yet about the same share says they have a right to.

The poll mirrors the findings of other polls, which show New Yorkers agree the Muslims have a constitutional right to build a mosque anywhere they want. But a majority of New York voters polled so far say ground zero, the site of nearly 3,000 deaths on Sept. 11, 2001, is different.

"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,'' said Quinnipiac poll Director Maurice "Mickey'' Carroll.

The poll finds 54 percent of New Yorkers agree the Constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion allows the mosque to be built near ground zero. Forty percent disagree.

But 53 percent feel that because of the "sensitivities of Sept. 11 relatives,'' Muslims shouldn't be about allowed to build a mosque near ground zero. Thirty-nine percent disagree.

Quinnipiac questioned 1,497 registered voters Aug. 23-29. The

poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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