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Poll: Majority opposes Ground Zero mosque

NEW YORK, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Six out of 10 New Yorkers oppose plans to build a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a poll indicates.

The results of the Siena Research Institute poll were released Thursday, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

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Plans to build a 13-story Islamic cultural center and mosque have led to controversy over its location on Park Place, two blocks from the site of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he doesn't oppose the project.

"Anybody can build a house of worship if they want to in this city, and we're going to make sure that they have that opportunity," he said.

Those opposing the $100 million project say it would be a monument to terrorists, hence a thumb in the eye to Americans, the newspaper said.

Don Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute, said most of the 622 survey participants -- including some of those who don't think the mosque should be built -- saw merit in the project.

"Over half of all New Yorkers and New York City residents either agree that the project would promote tolerance or are, at least, willing to listen," Levy said.

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The plan was given a boost when the city Landmarks Commission voted against designating an old Burlington Coat Factory building on the site as a landmark, giving developers the OK to demolish it.

The report did not include details on polling methodology.

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