Giannoulias Supports Islamic Cultural Center Near Ground Zero

Democratic Illinois Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias has come out in support of the Cordoba House project near Ground Zero in New York City, the Associated Press reports.“Are we going to talk about tolerance, talk about freedom of religion or are we actually going to practice it?” Giannoulias said today at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

Giannoulias said Tuesday during a visit to the Illinois State Fair in Springfield that Americans must stand up for freedom of religion even when it’s difficult.

He says he sympathizes with those who lost loved ones in the attacks, but pointed out that includes Muslims and some emergency personnel at the disaster were Muslim.

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[TPM SLIDESHOW: Welcome To The Neighborhood? A Look At The Area Around The ‘Ground Zero Mosque’]

Giannoulias is in a close race with Republican Rep. Mark Kirk for the Senate seat once held by President Obama. The TPM Poll Average for the head-to-head match-up in the race shows Kirk barely ahead, 40.6%-40.5%.