August 18th, 2010
10:47 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: New Yorkers oppose mosque, recognize constitutionality

ALT TEXT This building in New York used to house a Burlington Coat Factory and is slated to house Cordoba House, a planned Islamic community center and mosque. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

(CNN) – New York voters oppose by a nearly 2-to-1 margin plans to build an Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan, according to a new Siena Research Institute poll released Wednesday.

The same voters, however, overwhelmingly say the center's developers have a constitutional right to build it.

When asked if they "support or oppose the proposal to build the Cordoba House," New Yorkers said they oppose the facility, which is expected to cost $100 million, by a 63-27 percent margin. At the same time, by a 64-to-28 percent margin, New Yorkers say Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has the constitutional right to build it.

"A majority of every demographic group – by party, region, age, gender, political philosophy – agrees that there is a Constitutional right to proceed," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. "Even a majority of those who oppose building the mosque agree by a margin of 51-42 percent that they have the right to build it."

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released August 11 marked nationwide opposition to the proposed facility at 68 percent.

The Siena poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. It was conducted by phone with 788 New York State voters from August 9-16.


Filed under: issues • Polls • Religion
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. NoMoreGOP

    I keep hearing how building a mosque near the 911 site is insensitive to the families of the victims. What about the familes of the 911 victims who are muslim? Are their rights suddenly trumped by some moral majority?

    August 18, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. chelle

    What is wrong with Americans? So how far away from Ground Zero can a mosque be built? Two blocks isn't far enough apparently...so what is? Ten? Twenty? The facts are that if this was a Christian or Buddhist facility not one word would have been said. The terrorists that flew the planes were Muslim yes – just like Irish terrorists have been both Catholic and Protestant – shall we ban all things Irish???

    August 18, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Deborah/Kansas City

    It would be an easy place to monitor and observe for the FBI and NYC police. Maybe they would catch more plotters?

    August 18, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Colorado

    I fully support thier RIGHT to build a mosque. I question thier chioce of location. I also would like to see the Imam standup in public and denonce al quada, the taliban, extreme Islam and do it soon. He needs to show the city and the country that he is not on the side of extremist and that he fully stands for peace. I also would like to hear from him on why that location and why it couldn't be somewhere else for the sake of the families that lost loved ones on 9-11.

    August 18, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. MIke in NJ

    I wish unscrupulous "News" organizations would make this clear... as much as I love New York and New Yorkers (born and raised in SI, NY), this sounds like outright prejudice borne out of fear of the unknown.

    August 18, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. MacTooley

    I realize that trying to convince those that support for this community center/mosque is like taking a leak facing a fan but just think how positive an influence it could have to place this elsewhere On the other hand should it be built the entire area will turn into a freakshow of bad politicians, community activist/presidents, Youtube submissions galore and the whole kitchen sink of angry people for and against There is a great chance for everyone to heal a lot of the intolorence toward the muslim faith however if its built we will unfortunatly see endless examples of all our shortcomings

    August 18, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    And this is all the President has said, but the media has made it seem as though he backed down or softened his support.
    His comment form the beginning was they had the right to build.

    August 18, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Pa Santigie

    The media is promoting hate here. It is a very simple matter. The last time I looked, these United State of America were free. Freedom of worship and assembly. These rights are subject to polls or a majority vote. Today it is Islam in NYC, last time it was Hispanics in AZ, next time it may be Africans, and then the Orientals or Indians, where will it end. This hate must stop. It is morally imperative on the media to quell this type of vile instead of lending legs to it.
    America is too beautiful a nation to be made ugly by this hate. Reporting news is different form reporting hate.

    August 18, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Pa Santigie

    The media is promoting hate here. It is a very simple matter. The last time I looked, these United States of America were free. Freedom of worship and assembly. These rights are not subject to polls or a majority vote. Today it is Islam in NYC, last time it was Hispanics in AZ, next time it may be Africans, and then the Orientals or Indians, where will it end. This hate must stop. It is morally imperative on the media to quell this type of vile instead of lending legs to it.
    America is too beautiful a nation to be made ugly by this hate. Reporting news is different form reporting hate.

    August 18, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Dennis

    I'm sure the will of the majority has no rlevance here.

    August 18, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    To all you using such tortured and twisted logic to blast the Islamic religion, here is a question.

    Should you now start complaining if a Catholic church is built with 3 blocks of an all boys school?

    If you answered yes, then by all mean, keep blasting the mosque, if you answered no, then shut your bigoted and hypocritical pie hole!

    August 18, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. ron terry

    it would more offensive if they built a new temple for skull and bones, an ultra secret cia office, or a cabal of ultra rich , ultra rich, new world order, club house.

    August 18, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Greg

    I my humble opinion islam is not a religion and should not have the same considerations of the constitution

    August 18, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    I would love to see the experts' take on why we Americans have such a great need to hate. This center has been in lower Manhattan since before the World Trade Center was even built. Now it's an issue? This is just the GOP fueling fear and hate, their apparent answer to everything these days. This makes me sad for us.

    August 18, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Rob

    It's one thing to be opposed to the building of such a community center. What's stunning here is that over a quarter of respondents don't even think it's constitutional! Looks like it's about time we dust off those old civics textbooks, huh?

    August 18, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. The Truth Will Set All FREE

    And the local voices have been heard; and the locals are right. Therefore, let the locals work it out. Case closed!

    August 18, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Perry

    Opposing the mosque is blaming American Muslims for 9/11.

    Personally, I think we are blowing a world wide publicity coup and opportunity to refute what Al Qaeda tells the worlds Muslims about us. But whatever.

    Don't make America's millions of Muslims the enemy. Some of them are, like you, not smart enough to see through the rhetoric, weigh the consequences of the available options, and make a wise decision. And some of them are, like you, totally motivated by fear.

    Either we are what we claim we are or we are not. Either the great platitudes we espouse are true or they aren't. Whatever the truth, let us not deceive ourselves as self-deception is the first step toward being truly mentally lost. Then the light is going to go out.

    August 18, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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