Ground Zero Mosque Opponents, Supporters Turn Out to Demonstrate

One of the supporters carried a sign that said, "Defend Muslims, stop the hate."

Rabbi Joy Levitt, executive director of the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, said on "This Week" that she hopes the dispute can be settled.

"What this whole controversy has unleashed is a tremendous amount of misinformation, a lack of knowledge about Islam that we need to address," she said.

Khan's husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is on a 15-day Mideast tour funded by the U.S. State Department, where he said today he hopes to draw attention to the common challenges to battle radical religious beliefs.

'Ground Zero Mosque': Organizer Says No Backing Out Now

Speaking in Manama, Bahrain, Rauf said that all the controversy aroused by the planned community center

"The fact that we're getting this kind of attention is a sign of success," he said. "With god's help ... we will pass through these stormy times."

The imam is a Sufi Muslim, a mystical branch of Islam whose adherents have been attacked by Muslim extremists overseas.

Oz Sultan, a spokesman for the planned center in New York, said the groups behind Park51 had recently been in touch with New York Gov. David Paterson's office to discuss the governor's reported proposal to move the center to a parcel of land owned by the state. Earlier in the week, the groups said they were unaware of any discussions about a new site with Paterson.

"There's been an initial contact and I know a conversation is ongoing," Sultan said, declining to discuss the details.

Paterson's office did not return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has called for an investigation into funding, not for the center, but for the conservative effort to oppose it.

"There is no question that there's a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some," Pelosi told San Francisco radio station KCBS. "I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded."

ABC News' Aaron Katersky, Dean Schabner, Ned Potter, Russell Goldman and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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