Anti-9/11 mosque campaigners condemn project in wake attempted murder of Muslim cabby

Washington, Aug 27 (ANI): The campaigners against the building of a Islam community center and mosque near Ground Zero, have condemned the project, saying it is stoking tensions and even led to an attempted murder of a Muslim taxi driver.

The Telegraph quoted a former New York governor George Pataki, as saying that he was concerned about the increasingly inflamed atmosphere in New York after the "hate crime" attack.

"That's why the mosque, the cultural centre should not be built there. Those backing the project to build the Park51 Islamic centre two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks were deliberately provoking emotions," he said Thursday.

Meanwhile, Bhairavi Desai of the Taxi Drivers' Alliance, said: "The environment that all the fear-mongering and the ignorance has created, we believe, is directly responsible for this kind of violence."

The attack was condemned by the New York Neighbours for American Values, which is made up of over 40 religious and civic groups that backs plans for the mosque.

On Wednesday, 21-year-old Michael Enright got into a cab driven by Ahmed Sharif, 44-year old Bangladeshi immigrant, pulled a knife and slashed him multiple times during evening rush hour after inquiring if he was a Muslim.

Sharif, who was badly injured in the attack and is recovering in hospital, said the attack might have been the outcome of a controversy related to the proposed Islamic centre.

"I know many people are upset. I didn't support the mosque at ground zero, either. I have been driving a taxi more than 15 years. I never feel this hopeless and insecure before. Right now, the public sentiment is very serious and all drivers should be more careful," he added. (ANI)

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