BROOKLYN - President Barack Obama says he has "noregrets" over the comments he made about the right of Muslims tobuild an Islamic center near the former site of the World TradeCenter in New York.

The president inserted himself into the debate over the mosquelast week when he said Muslims have the same right to practicetheir religion as everyone else in the U.S. Critics called his remarks insensitive to the familes of 9/11 victims.

Supporters of the mosque scribbled messages in chalk on the sidewalk. Sixty-three percent of New York voters oppose the plan to build an Islamic cultural center, according to a new poll by the Sienna College Research Institute.