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    Mosque protests after 9/11 memorial


    by ODN


    Opponents and supporters of a plan to build a mosque near New York's Ground Zero have held rival protests.

    Demonstrators rallied in Lower Manhattan against the proposed Islamic center, which they say is insensitive to the families of the victims of the 2001 attacks.

    Hundreds of supporters of the Islamic center, which organizers say is intended to build bridges between communities, called for religious tolerance and brandished placards saying: "The attack on Islam is racism."

    The protests took place after memorial services for the 2,752 World Trade Center victims. President Barack Obama told a memorial service in Washington that those who attacked the country with hijacked planes on September 11, 2001, were trying to deprive Americans of their ideals.

    Shortly before the start of ceremonies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, Florida preacher Terry Jones confirmed he had cancelled plans to burn copies of the Koran.

    Jones said he was visiting New York with the hope of meeting Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is involved in the proposed Islamic centre.