The religious leader behind the proposed mosque near Ground Zero promised yesterday to allow the US government to sign off on anyone who donates to the $100 million project.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told "60 Minutes" that to reduce fears that terror organizations would contribute to the project, he'll ask US officials to approve the sources of funding.
Rauf added that the mosque and Islamic cultural center will have a board of directors that will include Muslims, Christians and Jews.
The olive branch from Rauf came as another proposed mosque in the city -- this one in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn -- became embroiled in controversy yesterday with dozens of protesters waving anti-Islamic signs at the site.
"We are not racist. We are not bigots. We are not Islamophobic," insisted Gennady Kalman, president of the Bay People Association, as he led the rally at the mosque site on Voorhies Avenue.
"We are people concerned about our community. Anyone who supports Hamas is not allowed in our community," he said.
The 50 protesters carried signs proclaiming, "Sidewalks are for walking, not praying," and "I already own an alarm clock. Do not wake me with a call to prayer."
Supporters of the mosque, a project of the Muslim American Society, complained that many of the protesters were from outside the neighborhood.
"Most of them don't even live here," one supporter said. "I recognize more locals in the crowd of people here in favor of the mosque."
Debbie Almontaser, who was fired from her post as principal of an Arabic-themed school in Brooklyn amid a controversy over "intifada" T-shirts, was on hand.
"I'm here today because religious freedom is for each and every person in the community," she said.
Things were more peaceful at the city's annual Muslim Day Parade in Manhattan, which was held yesterday on Madison Avenue.
Participants said the turnout -- about 1,200 people -- was slightly higher than last year, possibly because of the controversy surrounding the Ground Zero mosque.