File photo of Gov. David A. Paterson. (March 5, 2010)

File photo of Gov. David A. Paterson. (March 5, 2010) Credit: AP

New York Gov. David A. Paterson says the mood and memorials surrounding the weekend’s tributes to those who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks proves there’s an “overall anxiety” that contributed to the conflict surrounding the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, not just bigotry.

Paterson says Monday that the imam proposing the Islamic Center that would include a mosque was “gracious” to acknowledge Americans’ concerns.

On the “Imus in the Morning” radio show, Paterson defended the imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who says moving the mosque could ignite violence. Paterson says that’s not a threat, but a legitimate fear.

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