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Poll: Majority Opposes Mosque near Ground Zero, Sees Site as `Sacred Ground’

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias
c. 2010 Religion News Service
(RNS) The outcry over the proposed Islamic community center near Ground
Zero should not be lumped together with protests against planned mosques
in other parts of the country, a new poll suggests.
Nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose building an Islamic center or
mosque two blocks from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks, but 76
percent would support one in their own communities, according to a
PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll released on Thursday (Aug. 26).
The strongest opposition to the New York project, called Park51,
came from Republicans (85 percent) and white evangelicals (75 percent
opposed the New York project, and 24 percent don’t support mosques in
their own communities), according to the poll conducted by Public
Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service.
The numbers suggest that the negative reaction to what’s been dubbed
the “Ground Zero mosque” stems more from its proximity a site that’s
considered “sacred ground” by a majority of Americans rather than the
general Islamophobia exhibited in the nationwide protests, researchers
said.
“Our findings indicate that while the vocal opposition around the
country we’ve seen covered is real, it may not represent the views of
the vast majority of Americans,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public
Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan research firm in Washington.
“People are drawing a distinction between support for a
(hypothetical) mosque in their local community and support for the
particular mosque a few blocks from the former site of the World Trade
Center.”
Among other findings from the PRRI/RNS poll:
— Fifty-six percent of Americans consider the site of the 9/11
attacks “sacred ground,” including 68 percent of Catholics, 53 percent
of white evangelicals, and 48 percent who claim no religious
affiliation. Thirty-eight percent disagreed.
— Sixty-three percent of Catholics, 58 percent of black Protestants
and 55 percent of mainline Protestants expressed opposition to the New
York Islamic center. The only group that was marginally supportive was
religiously unaffiliated Americans, of whom 43 percent supported the
project and 40 percent opposed it.
Mark Silk, professor of religion in public life at Trinity College
in Hartford, Conn., said the poll may reflect the success of Park51’s
opponents in getting their message across earlier and louder.
“You first hear `they’re building a giant mosque on the site of
9/11,’ and of course your first thought is that it’s not a good idea.
Then you hear that it’s a few blocks away … but you’ve already been
thinking that it’s not a good idea,” he said. “It’s a matter of public
relations.”
In recent weeks, Park51 organizers have tried to revamp the
project’s image, including changing its name from Cordoba House and
assembling a supportive coalition that includes interfaith leaders and
families affected by 9/11.
Park51 organizers Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife Daisy Khan
have rejected suggestions that they relocate the project, a compromise
move pushed by New York Gov. David Paterson and New York Archbishop
Timothy Dolan.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg maintained his support for
Park51 at a Ramadan Dinner at Gracie Mansion on Tuesday, calling the
project “a test of our commitment to American values.”
Relocating Park51 would not resolve the conflict, and it would send
the wrong message to Muslims at home and abroad, added Ibrahim Hooper,
spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“This is a manufactured controversy that is exploiting legitimate
emotions generated by the 9/11 attacks, by a vocal minority of
individuals with an agenda to marginalize Muslims and demonize Islam,”
he said. “I don’t think hate-mongers should be handled a victory.”
A separate study released by the Pew Research Center found that
American opinions of Islam have dropped from 41 percent favorable to 30
percent favorable since 2005. On the other hand, only 35 percent said
they believe Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage
violence, compared to 38 percent last year.
Hooper called the polls consistent with CAIR’s position that the
mosque protests across the country represent a minority, however vocal,
of public sentiment.
“We need to promote educational initiatives and outreach initiatives
in the local communities,” he said. “When people know more about Islam,
prejudice goes down. And when they interact more with Muslims, prejudice
also goes down.”
Silk found some reason for optimism in the fact that a strong
majority of Americans reject the idea of treating minority religions
with fear and suspicion, even at a time of war.
“The history of the country has not been so great on a lot of
feelings towards minorities, whether they’re blacks or Jews or
Catholics, and of course the Japanese during World War II,” he said.
“Yet three-quarters of the American people acknowledge the right of
Muslims to build religious centers in their own communities. I think
that’s not too bad, really.”
The PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll was based on telephone interviews of
1,005 U.S. adults between August 20 and 22. The poll has a margin of
error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of
this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written
permission.



  • nnmns

    Ok so it’s sacred ground, meaning no house of worship should be built there. Now just how big is this sacred ground? And does the sacredness suddenly stop some certain distance from ground zero or does it fade away, so e.g. New Jersey is a little sacred?
    I’d like some Evangelicals/Republicans to respond to that. Also just how close can a strip club be sited? A Republican Party office? A hazardous waste collection site?

  • Gwyddion9

    So were there any Muslims who also died when the plan crashed? not those on the plane but rather those who were there working. What about them and their faith? Shouldn’t it be recognized too?
    I think there’s too much religious hoop-la in all of this, predicated on one specific religion.

  • Rob the Rev

    You’ve hit the nail on the head, Gwyddion9! The right-wing haters have drummed up predjudice and bigotry against yet another group, this thime the Muslims. The sowing of hate will only reap violence and already has.

  • pagansister

    Being an infant during WWII, but of course having been taught history at school, this hatred of Muslims must be what it was like then, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. That hatred was just as unjust to the American Japanese as this current wave of hatred for American Muslims. The American Japanese had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor anymore than the American Muslims had with 9/11! As for the community center, (apparently really won’t be a Mosque) and it’s site…as has been sited previously, how far is far enough from Ground Zero???? The whole fuss over this is totally ridiculous. Apparently freedom of religion is only for those religions that a group of people approve of? Not in this country, folks.

  • nomosque

    I cannot believe there is even an argument about this.
    Here’s the deal, the Muslims are testing America. Do you not realize this is a sign of them CONQUERING!? This gives them the message that America is weak, and ready to submit to Islam.
    The event of 9/11 would not have happened if it weren’t for the teachings of Jihad. It’s not a matter of “well, most of them aren’t radicals.” Guess what, over 130 million are radicals! That’s comforting.
    The money will come from Saudi Arabia, the home of 11 of the 19 suicide bombers.
    It’s only 600 feet away from the graves of 2,750 people. That’s 2,750 families that have been hurting over their loved ones. And hm, it just so happens that it’s set to be dedicated on the 10th anniversary of 9/11? What a coincidence!

  • nnmns

    130 million. That’s a big number. Whee did you get it and exactly what does it represent?

  • nomosque

    Only 10% of Muslims are radicals. Hm, sounds good.
    So only 130 million want to cut the head off of unbelievers. Doesn’t sound so good anymore, huh?
    This video brings up every point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAv51syGCdc

  • nnmns

    Worse than 10% of Christians are fundamentalists and what they’d if they took power beggars the imagination. But we don’t ban Christian churches. Even fundy ones.

  • cknuck

    given the event that took place there sensitivity should be considered, obviously it is a provocative action.

  • nomosque

    Yes, cknuck. Exactly.
    nnmns, really? What exactly would they do? You’re missing the point. We aren’t talking about Christians. Christians don’t make up the largest religion in the world, and they are not the fastest growing. And they are not the ones who crashed planes into the World Trade Center.

  • nnmns

    Muslims aren’t the ones who crashed those planes either. A very few fundamentalist Muslims were.
    And according to the first list I found by Google Christians do make up the largest religion. Here’s a bit of it:
    Christianity: 2.1 billion
    Islam: 1.5 billion
    Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion [yay!!]
    Hinduism: 900 million
    Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
    Buddhism: 376 million
    I don’t know about growth rates but if they are outgrowing you you might want to jigger your product a little. And if they really get close to taking over the world or US I promise I’ll join you in opposing them.
    Some fundamentalists want to use the rules in the Bible for our laws, just like Sharia law and about as dismal. I could go into it more but it’s too late now.
    As for a “provocative action” it wasn’t one till Fox noise scared enough cowardly people for it to become one.

  • Nomosque

    Haha, excuse me? They weren’t Muslims? Get real. I don’t care if they were radicals or not, there would not have been a 9/11 attack if it weren’t for the teachings of the Quran and jihad.
    Also, statistics can be misleading. Most sites include Catholics with the “Christian” category. Muslims stand at 17%, the largest religion, where as Christians are at 12 or 13%. Watch the Muslim demographics video on YouTube. Then reply.

  • nnmns

    Nomosque I see you are pretty selective about whom you call a “Christian”. And my source did include Mormons.
    Now as to your 9/11 “logic”, by that there wouldn’t have been the Holocaust without the teachings of the Bible (a far greater loss of life) or either World War without Christians. Or the Oklahoma City bombing.
    I agree there are some vile things in the Quran, as there are in the Bible. If we’re going to ban the adherents of one faulty holy book we should finish the job and ban them all, right?

  • cknuck

    nnmns I support your freedom of speech and your right to argue but when you start calling people cowardly and blaming the bible for the holocaust you lose any credibility and become just another name caller.

  • nnmns

    The Bible teaches that Jews were involved in Christ’s death and twisted Catholic and Lutheran and ?? clergy preached that Jews were “Christ killers” so there were plenty of Germans ready to participate in the Holocaust.
    And it is a lack of courage that leads people to swallow the bigoted hate for Muslims they get from Fox noise and Rush and such.

  • pagansister

    Interesting that those who have been discriminated against are willing to be prejudiced against others. There is no contest between who is the most violent religion. Plenty of wars fought over whose GOD is the best or the right one. It’s the “My God is better than your God” syndrome. Problem is that the radical idiots are the ones that give their particular religion a really bad name. The 9/11 terrorists have condemned the Muslims who are peaceful to being hated by those that can’t discriminate between idiot fanatics and non-violent Muslims. No different than the fanatic/radical Christians that have decided to try and run an entire country because they think their God is superior and the country is Christian.

  • nomosque

    nnmns- You seem to think that Jews and Christians are the same thing. Well, they’re not. If I recall correctly, the Jews were the ones BEING persecuted in the Holocaust. It didn’t even matter whether they were converted to another religion, it was their heritage.
    pagansister- Interesting that you automatically assume the religions of others.
    Think about this…I have not ONCE said that I am a Christian. Yet everyone comments saying “Well what if Christians did this…” “fanatic/radical Christians that have decided to try and run an entire country because they think their God is superior and the country is Christian.” Where did that come from? People automatically go on a “hating-Christian” rampage for no reason. It is ironic that Jesus Christ said “You will be persecuted for my name’s sake.” Just something to think about.
    This talk is about the ridiculous Mosque being built 600 feet from the gravesite of almost 3,000 Americans. Not hypothetically speaking about what would happen if Christians did this or that.
    People divert the attention from the issue here.
    I know a general contractor who does the biggest work in New York City. He and everybody that works for his company would rather sit home and make nothing than step one foot on that project. They know it is wrong.

  • cknuck

    pagan the problem is not so much with radical idiots but with idiots that do nothing but side with that flies in the face of Christian Americans for the sake of their own prejudices, hate and ignorance.
    nnmns cowards are those who have big mouths on keyboards but won’t make a courageous move in real life, other than to cry against others electronically.

  • nnmns

    Whoa, new definition of “coward”. Guess they’ll have to change the dictionaries. No, wait, that’s just another attempt to change the subject.
    nomo I’ve no idea why you’d think I confused Jews and Christians unless you just didn’t read what I wrote. I know very well the Jews were “persecuted” (actually murdered in very large numbers) in the Holocaust; I was pointing out it was Christians, misled by evil clergy (probably including those at the top) who provided the management and labor for that evil enterprise.
    The issue here is a little muddled. Apparently there wasn’t noticeable concern in Manhattan about the project till Fox Noise and Rush started bleating and of course the Republicans sense a chance to divide the country for power again.
    They are hurting America’s image with the Muslim world, including Afghanistan where our troops are battling for hearts and minds. But the conservatives and Republicans don’t care how much they hurt the country and our troops as long as they get power out of it.

  • pagansister

    nomosque: What the Heck are you talking about? I “assumed” the religion of others?? Did I point you out as a Christian? Where?
    I mentioned that there are no or very few religions that don’t have somewhere in their history some pretty nasty events done to or done by them. Also there are zealots in all religions that don’t reflect well on the calm, faithful. I really don’t care what religion you or anyone else follows, or if they choose to follow no religion for that matter.
    And yes, the talk is about a Mosque/community center that some want to build 2 BLOCKS (600 feet??) from the site of 9/11. From what I understand the site can’t even be SEEN from the proposed center and that Muslims have been praying in that area for a very long time. Now if it was a Buddhist Temple, would that be OK? It’s the “not in my back yard” thing, or if it is a religion that the collective “we” like, then it is OK. This country stands for freedom of religion. The stupid arguments against this prove that not all Americans seem to want to follow that. Muslims died too, but many choose to forget that apparently.

  • nomosque

    It was not Christians who provided management and labor for that evil enterprise.
    “Interesting that those who have been discriminated against are willing to be prejudiced against others.” What’s that supposed to mean?
    Yes, the mosque is to be built 600 FEET away from the site of 9/11. And the view from the windows WILL be where the Twin Towers stood.
    This is the question, why can’t the Muslims choose one of 100 other mosques in New York City? There is no logical answer except that those aren’t built over/near an area they “conquered.” I’m fine with them having freedom for religion. I’m not fine with them building the mosque right there. It is blatantly spitting in the face of the American people.
    Yeah, Muslims died. What’s your point? So we should build a church, a buddhist temple, a mosque, and other religious buildings around the area to represent all the other religions? No! Don’t be foolish.

  • nnmns

    “There is no logical answer except that those aren’t built over/near an area they “conquered.”
    There certainly are other reasons but that’s the only one that fits into your fears nomo.
    And why not build a community center that will serve as a platform for multi-faith dialogue and will strive to promote inter-community peace, tolerance and understanding locally in New York City, nationally in America and globally? Oh, wait, that’s the avowed purpose of the Park51 project. You should read what they say.
    Did you know the second largest shareholder in News Corporation is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia? Perhaps that’s why Fox’s coverage is working for Osama Bin-Laden and against the US and its troops. As are you, nomo. You and your ilk are making it a lot easier to recruit terrorists by convincing people the US is at war against Muslims. Even George Bush knew better than to give that impression. But you don’t, nomo.

  • nomosque

    haha I’m not continuing in this conversation anymore. I don’t have time to argue with stupid.

  • pagansister

    nomosque, you and the others who have the “not in my back yard” problem (while claiming to believe in freedom of religion as long as it is where YOU want it) provide great fodder for future attacks on this country. How hard will it be to recruit young men and women using the uproar over a building! None at all, it will be easy using this turmoil as an excuse. Feeds into just what they want. Enjoy. The outrageous fire in Tenn. is a great help also. The zealous Muslims don’t need much excuse to hate us, so keep feeding them, man, keep it up. BUT don’t cry foul when the next attack happens. Your fodder will have helped it.
    My point about Muslims who died? Aren’t they human beings too, or perhaps they don’t count. They mourn their dead also. Over an area they “conquered?” Feeds your stance, huh? as nnmns mentioned. Oh, just a question for you. How do you explain that some of the mothers who lost sons as they fought the fire etc. are FOR the mosque. How do you explain their lack of hatred? Expect you can’t because you have already condemned peaceful Muslims with good intentions already.
    Why can’t they build some where else? Why should they? FREEDOM OF RELIGION perhaps? Oh! that’s right. Only for the proper folks, whoever they are.
    Have a great night.

  • cknuck

    Muslim extremist are supported by not so extreme Muslims, they have terrorized people in Africa to the point of genocide, (but let’s just forget that) they have terrorized people in Mumbai to the point of pure terror, Iraq the same mass graves, mass murder, Iran is just scary. In Afghanistan terror is commonplace people live with Muslims that kill without mercy, even in Sweden, France, and in America and Great Britain the phase “home grown terrorist” was coined but the frequent activity of those who have one desire for us, death. So nnmns and pagan tell me again how silly it is to be concerned, upset, or alarmed.

  • nnmns

    cknuck I also hate and am concerned about those things. But I do not believe the vast majority of Muslims are like that any more than the vast majority of Christians are like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols or are like the much larger numbers of protestant and Catholic terrorists in far-too-recent Northern Ireland.
    I think Christianity as currently practiced is more tolerant and tolerable than Islam as currently practiced, on average. Part, but surely not all of their problem is the Wahabi fundamentalists financed indirectly by us at the gas pump.
    But since I’m convinced most Muslims are not like that I think they deserve the same religious freedom (and property rights) other religions have in the US. I also think that by denying those rights we advertise to Muslims around the world that the US is against Islam and thus make it a lot easier for Osama and his ilk to recruit their terrorists. Even George Bush understood that.
    I am deeply worried about religious fundamentalists of any stripe because they (too many of them) fervently desire power to subject us all to their rabid beliefs and rule. You should be, too. Some of them are convinced blacks are inferior.

  • Your Name

    Christian extremists are supported by not so extreme Christians, they have terrorized gay people in America to the point of murder, (but let’s just forget that) they have terrorized gay people in America to the point of pure terror, Wyoming the same simple grave, multiple murder, America is just scary. In America, terror is commonplace people live with Americans that kill without mercy, even in America, and Great Britain the phase “religious bigot” was coined but the ck, tell me again how silly it is to be concerned, upset, or alarmed.
    Gawd you’re dense.

  • Your Name

    I wonder why nomo and ck hate religious freedom so very, very much?
    Why is it only for people of your religion?

  • cknuck

    YN you are just the kind of person I am bringing my concerns to, one that compares homosexual activity to terrorism? Nice tactic but you prove the stupidity of those who give quarter to folk like you because of the imagery you try to blend argument for the difference of sexuality. People like you have not trouble demeaning the memories of those struck down on 9/11 or those who live in African under the constant threat of folk like the Janjaweed militia,or victims of suicide bombers, mass murders in Iraq comparing these to the argument to maintain one man one woman marriage shows your willingness to demean meaning to provide homosexual marriage. Nice YN you should be ashame of yourself but of course you are not.

  • cknuck

    nnmns you bring up the old case of McVeigh an isolated case to justify your argument it does not compare with the worldwide terrorism of Islam that is still escalating and with the sacrifice of literally thousands of American soldiers and world citizen not only have we not made a dent in the threat it yet grows. I have no problem with your statement the most Muslim are not involved and are just work-a-day persons like myself but that does not remove the pain and misery of the tremendous lost as a direct result of radical Islam that has touched the lives of so many American and world families. That you cannot minimize nor do you get to say get over it nor do you get to say what this Mosque’s placement means to those who have felt the lost. On another note I wonder about folk like you and pagan who have taking every opportunity to make the word Christianity a bad word to the American public yet you make a stand for this effort which is painful for many American not all Christian.

  • pagansister

    I’m making Christianity a “bad” word? Did I say in this discussion that Christian’s are the only ones doing the protesting? In Tenn. I think it is the conservative Christians who are responsible for burning the site a Mosque. Bible belt country. Scary. That is only referring to facts, so if the shoe fits about “bad” in that case, so be it. This is a discussion on the FREEDOM of a faith to build a community center, 2 blocks from a horrific event. I’m relatively sure that there might be other religions that are against freedom of religion as it applies to Muslims. I’m for upholding the rights of this country. Simple really.

  • hello

    Your Name- Gawd you’re dense. Christian extremists are NOT supported by not so extreme Christians. Not all Christians hate gays, and not all Christians are even opposed to gays. Why don’t you educate yourself before opening your big mouth?
    Let’s just forget that this conversation is not about Christians. I love how all the pro-mosque people bring up other things to distract from the real issue here.

  • cknuck

    pagan its not about freedom of religion (I don’t expect you to get it) but it is about a painful memory being provoked.

  • pagansister

    Totally understand, cknuck. Still feel freedom of religion is priority. That is one of the things that makes this country what it is. How many folks are going to walk by this place and automatically think of 9/11? The memory is there no matter where in NYC one walks. I’m sure there are Mosques in other places in NYC, so do they have to be closed/shuttered/hidden because a person might walk by and think of 9/11?
    What is the excuse for the Tenn. burning? Is that OK because some nutcases might think of 9/11 when the Mosque is built?

  • nnmns

    cknuck if you think all those protesting people, left to themselves, were in “pain and misery of the tremendous lost as a direct result of radical Islam that has touched the lives of so many American and world families” I’ve got a bridge I’ll sell you. People for the most part aren’t in “pain and misery”, those people are in fear and bigotry. Generated by Fox Noise and Rush and such.
    One might think you, as one who probably has experienced bigotry and whose parents surely did, would recognize it. But you have no talent at recognizing bigotry at all. Or possibly you just enjoy engaging in it.

  • cknuck

    nnmns you remind me of a person who tells a vet with wounds from the war to suck it up and fetch themselves up by their bootstraps and get on with life. After you cut yourself once with a knife while preparing a salad and bled something awful but you got over it. So forget about the time when he lost all of his squad when their were hit by a roadside bomb and he was found with parts missing and his friend’s blood and body parts all over him, he should get over it after all when you cut your finger you got over it. You haven’t a clue and the bad part is you could care less.

  • nnmns

    cknuck you are obsessing. This is not profitable and I’m leaving.

  • Grumpy Old Person

    All this ‘right’-wing blather about the ‘location’ being too “sensitive” is horsepuckey (aka a buncha lies). NOWHERE is also too close …
    “Fire at site of future Tenn. mosque troubles city”
    MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — A suspicious fire that damaged construction equipment at the site of a future mosque in Tennessee has some local Muslims worried that their project has been dragged into the national debate surrounding Manhattan’s ground zero.
    More at: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g5uMD_g6Rij3AU0eZRK2bhi6Z7zwD9HU32RG0

  • Grumpy Old Person

    “Christian extremists are NOT supported by not so extreme Christians.”
    And, likewise, Muslim extremists are also NOT supported by not so extreme Muslims. Do you have a point?
    “Not all Christians hate gays”
    Probably true, but in America these days, it is the “Christian” haters that out-yell the not-so-extreme Christians.
    “and not all Christians are even opposed to gays.”
    To our mere being, you mean? Or to our being treated equally before the law?
    “Let’s just forget that this conversation is not about Christians.”
    Actually, it IS, in a way. It is mostly “Christians” who are protesting the building of (apparently ALL) mosques, not just the proposed one in Manhattan. (See above post.)
    But, what this thread IS about is freedom of religion. Why are you so against it?

  • cknuck

    Grump when you have a valid and true point post it. Don’t just Christian hate.

  • sayno

    i have a problem with Muslims wanting to build one when there are over 100 others they can attend in NYC. it’s a fact that they build when they “conquer.” Ground Zero is not a place of victory for anyone. period.

  • the quiet one

    please dont respond to this im just mearly making a statement im only reading these for a project. but do you all relize: YA’LL ARE MEAN!!! i mean gosh, do you have to be mean just to get your point across?!

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