Imam says proposed center site not 'hallowed' ground

THE BRONX - The imam leading the effort to build an Islamiccenter near Ground Zero says he wants to clarify a "misperception" that the proposed site is on sacred ground.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said today that the location where thecenter would be built, two blocks from the World Trade Center, hasa strip club and betting parlors nearby.

A new Quinnipiac University poll says 70percent of American voters believe Muslims have the right to build the mosque, but 63percent say doing so would be wrong.

The poll released today also says only 38 percent of registeredvoters surveyed said they have a favorable opinion of Islam, while40 percent have an unfavorable opinion.

Half of those surveyed say mainstream Islam is a peacefulreligion, not one that encourages violence against non-Muslims.

AP wire services contributed to this report

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