Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

'Ice Bucket Challenge' angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

#TECH 24

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Read more

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Americas

Hundreds rally to support and oppose 'Ground Zero mosque'

Video by Guillaume MEYER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-22

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Manhattan on Sunday, with some to support and others oppose a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks.

REUTERS - Supporters and opponents of a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque near the World Trade Center site staged competing rallies in downtown Manhattan on Sunday, kept apart by police and barricades.
 
The emotionally charged debate, which has gained national political significance, centers on plans to build the center two blocks from the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks by
al Qaeda, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
 
Republicans against the project are using it to attack Democratic President Barack Obama ahead of midterm elections, where his party is fighting to retain control of Congress.
 
Opponents of the center, which would include a prayer room, say its proposed location is insensitive and fear it will harbor religious extremism. Those who back it cite the right to religious freedom and a need to promote tolerance and understanding.
 
Hundreds of opponents on Sunday chanted "No Mosque," sang patriotic songs and waved photographs of violent attacks by Islamic extremists.
 
One sign read: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all the terrorists were Muslim."

Around the corner, supporters chanted: "We don't care what bigots say, religious freedom is here to stay."
 
A supporter, retired school teacher Ilene Kahn, said: "This has become a political tool to preach hatred. The peace-loving Muslims did not attack us."
 
While tempers were heated and shouting matches erupted, no violence or arrests were reported. Uniformed police and rows of barricades kept many in the crowds apart. Police officials said extra forces were deployed but would not say how many were added.
 

Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have said they support the right of Muslims to build the center near Ground Zero, while Republicans, including former vice
presidential candidate Sarah Palin, oppose it.
 
Others suggest it be moved to a less controversial spot.
 
Ali Akram, a local doctor who supports the project, said: "The people who say the mosque is too close to Ground Zero, those are the same people that protest mosques in Brooklyn and Staten Island and Tennessee and Wisconsin and California. What radius will they go for? There's no end to it."
 
Many in the crowd opposing the center were firefighters and construction workers, who carried signs reading: "This is Sacred Ground to New Yorkers."
 
One sign read: "Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Islam I Learned on 9/11."
 
Plans for the project include a 13-story building to house an auditorium, swimming pool, meeting rooms as well as the prayer space. The structure is architecturally plain and does
not include a minaret, dome or other motifs often associated with mosques.
 
Some opponents have taken legal action, seeking to void a ruling that would allow construction to proceed, while some construction workers have launched a Hard Hat Pledge, vowing not to work on the project.

Date created : 2010-08-22

  • USA

    Senior Democrat at odds with Obama over 'Ground Zero mosque'

    Read more

  • USA

    Obama backs controversial 'Ground Zero mosque'

    Read more

  • USA

    'Ground Zero mosque' raises questions of tolerance and grief

    Read more

COMMENT(S)