New York tightens security at Islamic centers during Ramadan

Police patrols will be beefed up at all existing religious centers and sites of future ones from August 11 to September 9, the department said in a statement, referring to controversial plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

"During Ramadan, the Department will increase foot posts around mosques, assign patrol cars to houses of worship and select areas, and deploy additional plainclothes anti-crime units to deter burglaries," the NYPD said.

The department's Hate Crimes Task Force "also will continue regular hate-crime awareness training throughout the city... (and) will visit mosques and sites where future mosques are proposed."

A New York community board in May backed plans for an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamist hijackers crashed two airliners into the Twin Towers, killing almost 3,000 people on September 11, 2001.

Opponents complain that the project is an insult to the memory of the dead, while supporters believe it will transform negative stereotypes about Islam.

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