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Tension and Confrontation at Anti-"Ground Zero Mosque" Rally (Video)

Protesters squared off in lower Manhattan yesterday to make their feelings known about the planned Islamic cultural center two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center that has come to be known as the "Ground Zero Mosque."

And while there were plenty of striking moments at the event - check out Michelle Miller's video report here, which shows protesters opposed to the project holding signs deeming it a "victory mosque" while a smaller group counterprotested what they called bigotry - a good way to get a sense of the emotion at the scene is to check out a video posted to YouTube of a confrontation during the event. (Warning: The video contains explicit language.)

In the video, posted by "lefthandedart," members of the crowd can be heard chanting "no mosque here," partially in the direction of an African-American man walking through the crowd. The man is wearing a white Under Armour cap that appears to given some members of the crowd the impression that he is Muslim.

People participate in a rally against a proposed mosque and Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York, Sunday, August 22, 2010. AP

The man becomes frustrated, asking why the protesters are yelling at him and complaining that they don't know his opinion on the issue. Another man can be heard yelling something like "run away, coward."

"I'm not even Muslim, but I've got my beliefs about this mosque," the African-American man tells a man who seems to be trying to calm him down. At that point, a protester in a blue hardhat confronts the man; other protesters quickly step in to separate the two. The "no mosque here" chant begins again.

Later in the video, a man can be heard yelling, "he must have voted for Obama," while another appears to be complaining about media coverage. At another point, someone can also be heard yelling "Mohammed's a pig, Mohhamed's a pig" as the African-American man talks, after which a woman can be heard saying, "you don't need to say that."

The person who posted the video claims that the man is a carpenter who belongs to a union and works at Ground Zero.

A note: This video comes with little context - we don't know what happened before the camera started rolling - and one can't be sure, for example, to whom the "coward" comment was directed. We also cannot independently verify whether the man in the video is who he or the person who uploaded the video say he is. Still, the video is certainly interesting as a raw document of what took place yesterday. Check it out above.

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