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The Heartbreak of the Place: Space, Religion and Politics in Post-9/11 Mosque Controversies

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Abstract

In recent years, there have been a series of public controversies related to construction of Islamic worship spaces in the U.S. One of these controversies, surrounding a proposal for an Islamic community center in New York City known as Park51, dominated media coverage for several weeks in the summer of 2010 and is one of several high-profile mosque-building debates in the U.S. Another contentious debate occurred in the community of Temecula, Calif. These controversies represent the still-uncertain place Islam holds in the American public sphere. Using framing theory, this article considers the ways in which Islam is portrayed in news media content by political actors and the potential consequences of such framing.

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