September 8th, 2010
10:41 PM ET

Imam says religion, Islamic center should not be 'politicized'

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the religious leader behind plans to erect an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York's ground zero, said Wednesday night that moving it to another location would embolden Islamic radicals and help them incite violence against Americans.

"If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse," Rauf told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Larry King Live."

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Filed under: Islam • New York • Religion • U.S.
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Phoflex

    Soledad asked the same question several times of the imam this evening. This leads me to believe that she does not understand the language of peace. We must learn to respect and befriend muslims. When did Americans become so fearful of so much.

    September 9, 2010 at 4:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. J. James "Skippy"

    My heart goes out to the grieving friends and families of the 9/11 tragedy, but if they and other Americans realized that the Saudis who caused this tragedy were not true Muslims, but were radical terrorist extremists, and that many Muslims also died in the Twin Towers, they might see things differently. After all, folks, we're talking about a MOSQUE (a church!) as well as our embracing the religious tolerance this country was founded on. Anti-Semitism and the KKK should be our country's past shame, as should hate mongering regarding the peaceful, American Muslims in this country.

    As for the CNN interview, I was deeply moved by the articulate, intelligent, diplomatic and thoughtful interview that the Imam attempted to offer Soledad O'Brien. I was distressed and outraged as she baited him, talked over his points and – like a high-school journalist – never listened to nor reflected on what he was trying to say. It's shoddy journalism when one's agenda and personal bias overwhelms the interview. Shame on Soladad! Shame on CNN for showing the tape! It could have been healing and informational regarding Islam for millions who just don't understand.

    QUESTION: since Timothy McVeigh was a devout Christian, would Christians be upset if someone wanted to build a Christian church next to where the bombed buildings stood in Oklahoma? Just wondering.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. J. James "Skippy"

    To Roy: to answer one of your questions, the reason that burning the Muslim's holy book (the Qur'an) is so dangerous and serious is that it reflects American arrogance and disrespect. When you have a culture that believes so fervently in the hereafter that so many of its followers would rather die than disgrace their religion, you will find fanatics who would welcome the scene of burning their holy book because it makes an effective, powerful recruitment tool for crazies. If you care for Americans first, as you say, you should know that the Muslims across this country ARE Americans. Do you have ancestors from any other country like most of us do? Well, "Muslim" defines their religion, not necessarily their country of origin. Some nutty, attention-seeking so-called pastor of a church of 50, by burning the Qur'an for television cameras, could be whipping up another nut case who happens to be in Afghanistan, and who holds a rifle on one of those Americans you care about, then pulls the trigger. What set him off? The image of America disrespecting one more thing he loves and believes in. But of course, the Florida pastor said in an interview he doesn't care if anyone dies because of his media-seeking nonsense. (I hope YOU do!)

    September 9, 2010 at 6:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. David

    All I got to say is 9/11 ????????????

    September 9, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jason

    read my comments above...ignore the pressure and build the mosque

    September 9, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. rhoda

    Did he not know how much controversary this would cause? Why hasn't anyone asked him this? I sure would like to hear the answer! If he didn't know....he is the only one!

    September 9, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rider

    Is it asking too much to expect Soledad to prepare enough for the interview that she can say her guest's name? I'm sure he was impressed that she repeatedly addressed him as "Faisool" which means "Bean" in Arabic. Or was that supposed to be a schoolyard taunt.

    Soledad is writing a book on what it means to be a Muslim in America. That "interview" must have been for the chapter called, "Ambushed: Being Set-Up By Hostile Media."

    Should have given the interview to Fareed Zakaria. What a disgrace.

    September 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Rider

    A house of worship is holy ground too. Are you telling me that the two strip joints on that block didn't offend you but God's house does? Did you carry on with your hysterical emotional arguments when the two strip joints went in there? If the location of God's house is offensive to you, maybe you are the one who needs to relocate. If you lostt a loved one on 9-11 we mourn your loss, but that does not make your prejudice against Muslims acceptable. No one has any business telling a community where they can build a house of worship or how. We are not going to stop being the United States of America just because we were attacked on 9-11. United we stand.

    September 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fukobama

    People here a all muslims,you bring up a good point, since building a mosque is protected by usa law so is burning qurans,shut up and follow american laws or get out.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. fukobama

    I love cnn censorship

    September 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. fukobama

    Cant write nothing about faisal censorship

    September 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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