Jack On Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One of the United States most discernible Muslim-Americans has taken sides in the debate on whether to build a 13-story community center and mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center in New York City. Lebanese-born, New York-raised Miss USA Rima Fakih said she is beside the plan.
Following President Obama’s remark in favor of the proposed mosque project last week, Fakih was asked her opinion on the hot national debate by a reporter for “Inside Edition.
“I totally agree with President Obama with the declaration on constitutional rights of freedom of religion,” Fakih, 24, said from Las Vegas, where she is listed to represent the USA at the Miss Universe pageant tonight.
However, she added: “I also agree that it shouldn’t be so close to the World Trade Center. We should be more worried with the tragedy than religion.”
In New York City, sides have been divided — with tempers infrequently flaring — over the future mosque and community center, which would be located just two blocks north of the site of the worst domestic horror attack in the nation’s history.
While New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and a selection of religious organizations have backed the mosque plan, President Obama weighing in on the issue has stirred the debate nationally.
A recent Time magazine poll showed 61 percent of those polled were against a mosque being erected near ground zero. The poll also in particular had 24 percent of respondents believing the president himself is Muslim.
While Miss USA Fakih disagrees with the president on the issue, she’s made it clear she is however a big Obama fan. She showed off a gold lame costume depicting the golden eagle on the presidential fasten that she plans to wear at the Miss Universe competition tonight.
“The imagery of this costume is a tribute to your work to bring peace to the world,” Fakih said in a promotional video for the Miss Universe pageant.
Fakih is believed to be the first Muslim to be crowned Miss USA after winning the pageant in May. She was born in Lebanon and migrated with her family to New York City when she was 8. When she twisted 18, the family relocated to the large Arab-American community in Dearborn, Mich.
Within days of winning Miss USA, Fakih lit a argument of her own when footage showing her claiming first place at a “Stripper 101” pole dancing contest in a Michigan nightclub in 2007 surface. Pageant officials took no corrective action against Fakih, however, and she continues to represent the U.S. as Miss USA.


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