New York voters overwhelmingly do not want a mosque to be built near the New York City site of the September 11, 2011 terrorist strikes, according to a new poll out Tuesday.


By a 71-21 percent margin, those surveyed by Quinnipiac University agreed that the project's backers "should voluntarily build the mosque somewhere else" to accommodate the feelings of relatives of those killed in the attacks.

And 71 percent said that New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo should investigate the financing of the project, a community center including a mosque two blocks from "Ground Zero" where the World Trade Center towers once stood.

The study, conducted August 23-29, had an error margin of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

The survey found New Yorkers agreed by a 54-40 percent margin that "Muslims have the right to build the mosque near Ground Zero" -- but also agreed by a 53-39 margin that "because of the sensitivities of 9/11 relatives, Muslims should not be allowed to build the mosque near Ground Zero."

"The heated, sometimes angry, debate over the proposal to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero has New York State voters twisted in knots, with some of them taking contradictory positions depending on how the question is asked," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The study found that New York City voters generally hold more positive views of Islam than voters elsewhere in the state.

New York City voters say by a 62-21 percent margin that Islam is a peaceful religion, against 49-28 percent among upstate voters and 51-25 percent among suburban voters, according to the poll.

A headline for this story originally said 71% in "NYC" are against the mosque. It's actually 71% in New York state.