Most New Yorkers Oppose Ground Zero Mosque: Poll

A majority of New Yorkers oppose plans to build a mosque and Muslim cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday.

Fifty-two percent of the respondents said they did not want the mosque to be built at all, 31 percent are in favor of it, and 17 percent are undecided.

"New York enjoys a reputation as one of the most tolerant places in America, but New Yorkers are opposed to a proposal to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero," said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Director Maurice Carroll in a press release.

"Is it because we're still nursing the wounds from the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center or is it more like bigotry?" he asked.

Broken down by borough, Manhattan was the most in favor of the mosque, with only 36 percent of residents against it. On the other end of the spectrum was Staten Island, where 73 percent of respondents were opposed.

"Liberal Manhattan accepts the mosque and trusts Islam," observed Carroll.  "Staten Island, where there's controversy about another proposed mosque, is more skeptical."

According to the poll, 56 percent of white voters, 45 percent of black voters, and 60 percent  of Hispanic voters oppose the mosque.  Along religious lines, 66 percent  of Jews, 66 percent of Catholics, and 46 percent of Protestants were opposed.

The poll also researched New Yorkers' opinions of Islam.  Fifty-five percent of New Yorkers believe that mainstream Islam is a "peaceful religion, while only 22 percent said Islam "encourages violence against non-Muslims."  Twenty-three percent of New Yorkers are undecided.  The full report can be found here.

Quinnipiac researchers questioned 1,183 registered New York City voters from June 21-28.  The margin of error was approximately 2.9 points.

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