Nancy Pelosi Questions Funding of NYC Mosque Criticism

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., answers questions during a Netroots Nation convention in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 24, 2010.
Louie Traub

Updated 5:44 p.m. Eastern Time

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is raising questions about who is funding criticism of the so-called "Ground Zero mosque."

Pelosi told KCBS is San Francisco yesterday that she joins "those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded." She added: "How is this being ginned up?"

In a follow-up statement today on the project - an Islamic cultural center that includes a mosque called the Cordoba House that would be built two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks - Pelosi said the location of the project is a "local decision," though "the freedom of religion is a Constitutional right."

She said that she agrees with the Interfaith Alliance and Anti-Defamation League that the funding for the project should be transparent, as well as this portion of a statement from those groups: "At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center."

Yet unlike the actual project being debated, criticism of its construction doesn't need much in the way of funding - it's coming largely from Republicans who appear to see political advantagein staking out opposition to construction of the building.

In addition, there are those on Pelosi's side of the aisle who have said the project should move elsewhere - including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

There is, it should be noted, at least some direct funding of the opposition -- a New Hampshire-based group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative is running ads opposing the project on New York City buses.

*correction: This post originally suggested Pelosi had stated "we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center." It has been corrected to reflect the fact that she merely said she agreed with that statement. 

More Coverage of the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy

Obama has "No Regrets" Over Weighing in on "Ground Zero Mosque"
N.Y. Gov. David Paterson Plans to Meet With "Ground Zero Mosque" Backers
Pat Buchanan Says Gingrich "Political Opportunist," Went "Too Far"
Mosque Opponents Leaving Ground Zero Shops AloneReid: Ground Zero Mosque Should be Somewhere ElseGOP to Hammer Obama, Dems on Ground Zero Mosque
Obama Defends Ground Zero Mosque

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