En måling utført av New York Times viser et klart flertall mot at det bygges et muslimsk senter i nærheten av Ground Zero.

New York er USAs mest liberale by. Selv om mange erkjenner at eierne formelt har rett til å bygge, mener de det vil være uklokt og et uttrykk for insensitivitet.

Selv blant de som er for senteret, viser det seg at 38 prosent gjerne så at det ble bygget et annet sted. Det sier noe om potensialet for vedvarende konflikt.

Som NYTimes selv skriver: fra å ha vært et spørsmål om soneregulering er senteret blitt et kulturelt stridstema som engasjerer hele nasjonen.

Interessant nok: blant folk med inntekt over 100.000 dollar er det flertall for senteret.
Blant protestanter er det half and half, mens det er flertall mot blant katolikker og jøder.

Forkjemperne for senteret har forsøkt å fremstille motstanderne som en liten, men høylytt gruppe. Meningsmålingen slår fast at det langt fra er tilfelle. Motstanderne er i klart flertall.

Two-thirds of New York City residents want a planned Muslim community center and mosque to be relocated to a less controversial site farther away from ground zero in Lower Manhattan, including many who describe themselves as supporters of the project, according to a New York Times poll.

The poll indicates that support for the 13-story complex, which organizers said would promote moderate Islam and interfaith dialogue, is tepid in its hometown.

Nearly nine years after the Sept. 11 attacks ignited a wave of anxiety about Muslims, many in the country’s biggest and arguably most cosmopolitan city still have an uneasy relationship with Islam. One-fifth of New Yorkers acknowledged animosity toward Muslims. Thirty-three percent said that compared with other American citizens, Muslims were more sympathetic to terrorists. And nearly 60 percent said people they know had negative feelings toward Muslims because of 9/11.

Over all, 50 percent of those surveyed oppose building the project two blocks north of the World Trade Center site, even though a majority believe that the developers have the right to do so. Thirty-five percent favor it.

More than half — 53 percent — of city residents with incomes over $100,000 back the center; only 31 percent of those with incomes under $50,000 agree. Protestants are evenly divided, while most Catholic and Jewish New Yorkers oppose the center.

Age also plays a role. Those under 45 are evenly divided (42 percent for, 43 percent against); among those over 45, nearly 60 percent are opposed.

The center’s developers, and its defenders, have sought to portray opponents as a small but vocal group.

The poll, however, reveals a more complicated portrait of the opposition in New York: 67 percent said that while Muslims had a right to construct the center near ground zero, they should find a different site.

Most strikingly, 38 percent of those who expressed support for the plan to build it in Lower Manhattan said later in a follow-up question that they would prefer it be moved farther away, suggesting that even those who defend the plan question the wisdom of the location.

En eiendomsmekler sier:

“Freedom of religion is one of the guarantees we give in this country, so they are free to worship where they chose,” Mr. Merton said. “I just think it’s very bad manners on their part to be so insensitive as to put a mosque in that area.”

“Give them an inch, they’ll take a yard,” said Maria Misetzis, 30, of the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. “They want to build a mosque wherever they can. And once they start praying there, it is considered hallowed ground and can’t be taken away. Ever. That’s why we’re having this tug of war between New Yorkers and the Islamic people.”

New Yorkers Want Islamic Center Moved, Poll Finds