Poll Finds New Yorkers Split Down the Middle Over Islamic Cultural Center

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

 Pedestrians stand outside of the proposed site for the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center which would be blocks from Ground Zero on August 18, 2010 in New York City. Pedestrians stand outside of the proposed site for the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center which would be blocks from Ground Zero on August 18, 2010 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty)

A Quinnipiac University poll finds that slightly over half, 54 percent, of New Yorkers surveyed think the Islamic cultural center organizers have the constitutional right to construct the center two blocks away from Ground Zero.

Pollster Mickey Carroll says nearly the same number, 53 percent, say they should not be permitted to build at all.

“There’s almost a tug of war," Carroll says.

But Carroll says there does seem to be a consensus about how to quell the controversy over the center, known as Park51. About 71 percent of the people polled think the mosque organizers should voluntarily move the site somewhere else.

Gov. David Paterson, speaking at an event in New York City, echoes the sentiments expressed in the poll, saying that even though he strongly believes in the right to build under the constitutional right to freedom of religion, he appeals to the Islamic organizers to “perhaps think about another area that might be suitable, just to diminish the tensions.”

Paterson, who has tried to be a mediator, compared the heated political rhetoric to Tom Wolfe’s novel “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and said earlier this week that he thinks some of the mosque opponents are simply prejudiced.

“Some are absolutely bigoted, there’s just no doubt about it,” Paterson says.

But the governor says some opponents do have legitimate worries, and he says people who live and work in that neighborhood have already been subjected to a lot of stress.

The poll also asked whether Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should investigate the finances of the mosque, and 71 percent say he should.

The organizers of the cultural center have not yet begun raising money for the project.


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Comments [3]

D.L. McNamara

Poll results, 71% say Mosque (a building to hold prayer for up to 1000 Muslims qualifies as a Mosque) should voluntarily move.
Headline - New Yorkers Split Down the Middle.
Sometimes the difference between spin and lying is so subtle it is almost invisible.

Sep. 01 2010 11:36 PM
Sam from Chelsea

Is this poll referring to New Yorkers as in people from the state of New York, or New Yorkers as in people from New York City?

I think that's a very important distinction.

Sep. 01 2010 10:53 AM

It is a huge mistake for David Paterson to get involved with the Mosque. David Paterson has no ability whatsoever to improve a situation - he only makes matters worse.

Paterson should simply realize that an offer of an alternate site for their development is a blatant violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. It seems that Paterson appears to be forgetting that his help might be a violation of basic American rights. Helping a religious group build a house of worship is exactly what the First Amendment seeks to prevent. Such a move also sets a dangerous precedent and is not an effective way to govern.

Well then again, David Paterson never had any ability to govern. "The Democratic Conference: Organizational and Operational Structure Report" is an eyewitness account of Paterson's DYSFUNCTIONAL governing nature while Senate Minority Leader.

Paterson's office was criticized for PATRONAGE, LACK OF LEADERSHIP, INDECISIVENESS and INFIGHTING. Those interviewed in the report indicated that its chief of staff the disorganized Michael Jones-Bey had no management skills, was neglectful in his duties – often boozing it up with staff and coming to the office with a hangover - and should be relieved of his position.

Amazingly, for running such a DYSFUNCTIONAL CHAOTIC office, the disorganized Michael Jones-Bey was picked by Paterson to mismanage the MWBE program at Empire State Development Corporation.

That's the Paterson way - being rewarded for your incompetence.

Sep. 01 2010 04:30 AM

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