Many Religious Leaders (Except for Franklin Graham) Support Mosque

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From left: Getty Images; Seth Wenig / AP; Corbis

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6. David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee
The American Jewish Committee has a history of working for interfaith religious tolerance. It filed a court brief in Oregon as far back as 1925 to support the rights of parents to send their children to Catholic schools. Harris hopes the mosque would deliver its promise to enrich American life and religious tolerance but suspends unconditional support until its funding and political agenda have been fully disclosed.

• "Our support [for the mosque] is conditional support. It doesn't say it doesn't matter who the funders are, and it doesn't matter what the founders believe. It says in a positive way, We want to support it. Our instinct is to want to support it. Our hesitation is that we feel the need for clarification on two important issues, [who the funders are and what the founders' political and religious agendas are]."

• "There's a lot riding on what happens."

• "How offensive, how appalling it would be if funds were coming from people who support a radical vision of Islam that would defend of justify or rationalize the behavior of [9/11]. How hypocritical it would be to build a center in the shadow of the World Trade Center reportedly as a site for community for dialogue for openness with money from people who reject community and dialogue and openness."

• "They should be crystal-clear, unambiguous in repudiating any form of terrorism against the backdrop of what happened on 9/11. There is no room for verbal games."

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