About 120 demonstrators gathered in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to protest a proposed mosque that opponents argue will dramatically alter the quality of life in the neighborhood. The protest, organized by about 80 supporters of the mosque, was within shouting distance of a counter-protest and drew locals and nationally prominent critics of Islam.
"These people are entitled to their neighborhood!" thundered Pamela Geller, founder of Stop the Islamization of America and the leading organizer against the Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero known as Park 51. "Why put it here? There are hundreds of mosques in this city, there are thousands of mosques in this country. Why here?"
The competing, often raucous protests, were closely monitored by police. Geller was joined by her partner, JihadWatch.org blogger Robert Spencer, who responded to the mosque supporters' cries of "Shame on you!" from across the street by raising doubts about the project's backers.