NRI candidates face flak over Ground Zero mosque issue | world | Hindustan Times
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NRI candidates face flak over Ground Zero mosque issue

world Updated: Sep 15, 2010 00:47 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

Even as the status of the Ground Zero Mosque appears uncertain, that issue along with a suspicion of Islam appears to have cast a long shadow over even Indian-American candidates who are running for the US Congress in November.

Among those who have been targeted is Manan Trivedi, running for a seat in the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Incumbent Jim Gerlach’s campaign recently released a statement accusing Trivedi of not taking a stand on the Ground Zero Mosque issue.

Trivedi has described the location of the proposed Park51 project, the official name of the Islamic center, as “insensitive”.

Given the anti-Muslim sentiment that’s on the rise in the US, observers felt that that was an issue opponents of Indian-American candidates have attempted to leverage for political benefit. Recently, an Indian-American candidate Ami Bera from California, had to return a $250 donation from Basim Elkarra, of the Council on American Islamic Relations or CAIR after the California Republican Party issued a statement stating that CAIR had links to the terror outfit Hamas.

Rushdie backs mosque

Author Salman Rushdie has voiced his support for the Ground Zero mosque project. “It’s ridiculous to say you can’t have a mosque,” he said. While Rushdie said he was “not much in favour of mosques” overall, he said it was “absurd” to argue against this project.