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'Ground Zero mosque' debate hits the streets of New York

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On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, Daisy Khan, wife of the proposed Islamic Center’s leader Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, did not rule out the possibility of selecting a less controversial site away from 9/11’s ground zero.

“We're meeting several stakeholders right now, because we understand the pain and the anguish that has been displayed throughout the country,” said Ms. Khan. “And we indeed want to build bridges. We don't want to create conflict. This is not where we were coming from. So, this is an opportunity for us to really turn this around and make this into something very, very positive. So we will meet and we will do what is right for everyone.”

At the same time, Khan pointed out, “We have the Muslim community around the nation that we have to be concerned about, and we have to worry about the extremists as well, because they are seizing this moment. And so we have to be very careful and deliberate in when we make any major decision like this.”

New York Governor David Paterson has offered to help find an alternative site.

To many observers, the “Ground Zero mosque” issue has become an excuse for more widespread opposition to Islam – including the persistent and growing belief among Americans that President Obama is a Muslim.

A Time magazine survey this past week “revealed that many Americans harbor lingering animosity toward Muslims.”

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