Muslim activist Daisy Khan, a co-leader in plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero, used a football analogy to explain her position yesterday on Sunday morning talk show “This Week” with Christiane Amanpour.

“If we have to create a counter against extremism, it’s Muslims who have to lead that, Muslims like myself and around the country,” said Khan. “We have to run an interference.”

Khan, who is married to Park51 Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, also compared moderate Muslims to Christians who criticized Florida pastor Terry Jones for plans to burn Korans.

“Terry Jones was about to burn the Koran. And who ran the interference? It was the evangelical community against their own, because they said, ‘You do not represent Christianity,’” said Khan. “This is what we Muslims want to do, but … you brand somebody like me as an extremist, and throw me into the arms of al Qaeda.”

She said they had received death threats, adding “We do not walk around with bodyguards because we love this country.”

Park51 has released new images of what the proposed 16-story mosque, community center and memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks will look like.

Major fundraising for the $100 million center will start in 30 days, say organizers, and a groundbreaking is still two to three years away.