Imam Regrets the Whole Near-Ground-Zero Idea

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Photo: World Economic Forum

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said this morning that the announced project for an Islamic cultural center near ground zero had caused more anti-Muslim outrage in America than the actual attacks on the World Trade Center, and if he had a choice to do it all over again, he'd build it elswhere

“I would never have done it,” he told Christiane Amanpour in an interview on This Week. “I'm a man of peace. I mean the whole objective of peace work is not to do something that would provoke controversy.”

He added that he was "extremely sensitive" to the concerns of relatives of 9/11, but also said that the discourse, using a word that the Post naturally used as its headline, had been "hijacked" by radicals. "The radicals on both sides, the radicals in the United States and the radicals in the Muslim world, feed off each other," he said.

Despite his misgivings, there are no current plans to relocate the project. He believes that a change of plan could have its own bad effects. "My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be 'Islam is under attack in America,'" he said.

Ground zero imam: the debate has been "hijacked" by radicals [NYP]
Imam Rauf: Mosque Discourse "Hijacked by Radicals" [This Week/ABC via Mediaite]