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The project also has drawn opposition from former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, among others.

Mr. Lazio attended Tuesday’s hearing, saying he still had questions about funding sources and saying the national debate over the mosque had nothing to do with religion.

He said: “It’s about this particular mosque called the Cordoba Mosque. It’s about being at ground zero. It’s about being spearheaded by an imam who has associated himself with radical Islamic causes and has made comments that should chill every single American, frankly.”

The imam, Faisel Abdul Rauf, had refused to call the radical Palestinian group Hamas a terrorist organization, Lazio has said. Mr. Rauf also had said in a “60 Minutes” interview televised shortly after 9/11 that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”