Muslims in Manhattan say they need a place to pray | Reuters
Critics contend the center is insensitive to the families of the nearly 3,000 people who died on September 11, 2001, when al Qaeda hijackers crashed planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
Some Muslims say they understand why people might be upset and support an attempt by Governor David Paterson to move the project to a less emotionally-charged location.
"We need mosques, but anywhere but Ground Zero. It's going to be a problem all the time," said Sheikh Hossein, 42, an immigrant from Bangladesh.
"We want to pray peacefully. I don't want to pray and fight somebody else over the location. If this mosque is built here, every time there is terrorism, they are going to blame us," he said.
Others like Madaha say relocation would be an insult. "If they move it, to me, it's a slap on religion," he said.