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August 22, 2010
NYC mosque protests
NEW YORK (AP) -- The proposed mosque near ground zero drew hundreds of fever-pitch demonstrators Sunday, with opponents carrying signs associating Islam with blood, supporters shouting, "Say no to racist fear!" and American flags waving on both sides. The two leaders of the construction project, meanwhile, defended their plans, though one suggested that organizers might eventually be willing to discuss an alternative site. The other, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, said during a Middle East trip that the attention generated by the project is actually positive and that he hopes it will bring greater understanding. Around the corner from the cordoned-off old building that is to become a 13-story Islamic community center and mosque, police separated the two groups of demonstrators. There were no reports of physical clashes but there were some nose-to-nose confrontations, including a man and a woman screaming at each other across a barricade under a steady rain. (28 images)

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Protesters of opposing views for the Islamic center near ground zero exchange harsh words in downtown New York, Aug. 22, 2010. New York Times / Ed Ou


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Jacob Bledsoe, 9, of West Virginia, exchanges words of with a supporter of the Islamic center near ground zero in downtown New York, Aug. 22, 2010. New York Times / Ed Ou



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Police separate demonstrators, both against, left, and for the construction of an Islamic Center, August 22, 2010 near the World Trade Center in New York. The rally was held to oppose the construction of an Islamic Center and mosque near Ground Zero. AFP/Getty Images / Don Emmert



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Opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan gather during a demonstration on August 22, 2010 in New York, New York. Activists both for and against the proposed Park51 project two blocks from Ground Zero rallied supporters near the proposed building site as the controversy continued. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Protesters with the NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia, rally near the proposed Islamic Center August 22, 2010 in New York. AFP/Getty Images / Don Emmert



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People participate in a rally against a proposed mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero in New York, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010. AP / Seth Wenig



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A policeman stands near a mannequin dressed in an Arab-style head scarf and perched atop a model of a missle, a display built by opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned near Ground Zero on August 22, 2010 in New York City. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Protesters opposing the Islamic center near ground zero rally in downtown New York, Aug. 22, 2010. New York Times / Ed Ou



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Supporters of the mosque near ground zero protest near the proposed site for the center in New York, Aug. 22, 2010. New York Times / Ed Ou



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Demonstrators arrive on motorcycles to attend a rally with the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero August 22, 2010 in New York. AFP/Getty Images / Don Emmert



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Supporters of a Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan chant slogans on August 22, 2010 in New York City. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Demonstrators arrive on motorcycles to attend a rally with the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero August 22, 2010 in New York. AFP/Getty Images / Don Emmert



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A defender of the proposed Islamic Center shows her feelings August 22, 2010 in New York. AFP/Getty Images / Don Emmert



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People participate in a rally against a proposed mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero in New York, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010. AP / Seth Wenig



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Protesters with the NYC Coalition to Stop Islamophobia, rally near the proposed Islamic Center August 22, 2010 in New York. AFP/Getty Images / Don Emmert



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Demonstrators attend a rally with the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero August 22, 2010 in New York. The rally was held to oppose the construction of an Islamic Center and mosque near Ground Zero. AFP/Getty Images / Don Emmert



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NEW YORK - AUGUST 22: Gloria Richardson (L) and Melody Blanchard (R), both of Brooklyn, New York, clasp hands in support of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan August 22, 2010 in New York City. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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An opponent of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan holds a sign during a demonstration on August 22, 2010 in New York, New York. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Supporters of a Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan chant slogans and carry signs during a demonstration on August 22, 2010 in New York, New York. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan stand with signs at the intersection of Park Place and West Broadway near the site and Ground Zero on August 22, 2010 in New York, New York. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Two supporters hold hands in support of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan clasp hands on August 22, 2010 in New York City. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan cheer a speaker during a demonstration on August 22, 2010 in New York City. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Demonstrators in favor of the proposed Islamic center near ground zero make their feelings about the emotionally charged subject known on Church Avenue in lower Manhattan, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010. AP / Swoan Parker



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People participate in a rally against a proposed mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero in New York, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010. AP / Seth Wenig



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A demonstrator in favor of the proposed Islamic center near ground zero makes his feelings known on Church Avenue, in lower Manhattan, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010. AP / Swoan Parker



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Opponents of an Islamic cultural center and mosque planned to be built near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan gather during a demonstration on August 22, 2010 in New York, New York. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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Barth Silberstein (2nd L) and Comrade Shahid (R) Supporters in favor of an Islamic cultural center and mosque clasp hands on August 22, 2010 in New York City. Getty Images / Chris Hondros



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A sign opposing the Islamic center near ground zero is left behind after a rally in New York, Aug. 22, 2010. New York Times / Ed Ou



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