New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might consider checking out the polls. He's under the impression 100 percent of 9/11 families support building the Ground Zero Mosque at the current planned location.
“The family members, they do care,” Bloomberg told “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart Aug. 26. “And the family members that I've talked to – and I'm chairman of the board of the World Trade Center Memorial – 100 percent in favor of saying, 'These people, if they want to build a mosque, can build a mosque. The lives of our loved ones were taken because the right to build a mosque or say what you want to say was so threatening to people.”
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Even Stewart, who takes Bloomberg's side in supporting the mosque and has mocked opponents in several episodes of the hit comedy news program, couldn't let Bloomberg's exaggeration go unchecked.
“I think the difficulty always is, unfortunately, I'm sure there are veterans who fought over there who feel we shouldn't,” Stewart said. “I'm sure there are family members, maybe you haven't heard of them, who feel we shouldn't.”
In fact there are many 9/11 family members speaking out against building a mosque so close to Ground Zero, including Neda Bolourchi, a Muslim woman whose mother died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Bolourchi is one of the numerous Muslim voices opposing the mosque, a demographic the media are mostly ignoring.
Bloomberg said opposition to the mosque is based on politics, and suggested most opponents don't actually care about the issue.
“There's nothing new here,” he said, referring to the fact the project has been in the works for over a year. “The difference is we're in an election season and this whole issue, I think, will go away right after the next election. This is, plain and simple, people trying to stir up things to get publicity and trying to polarize people so that they can get some votes, and I don't think that most of the people who are yelling and screaming really care one way or another.”
A recent CBS News poll found that 71 percent of respondents believe it is “not appropriate” to build the mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero, including a majority (57 percent) of Democrats. A Time poll found that 68 percent are following the issue “somewhat closely” or “very closely.”