September 7th, 2010
07:31 PM ET
12 years ago

Imam behind Islamic center near Ground Zero to break his silence

(CNN) - The Imam behind the controversial Islamic Center and mosque near Ground Zero will break his silence on Wednesday. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has been virtually silent since the controversy began, will appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET. CNN's Soledad O'Brien will conduct the interview.

In 2009, Rauf announced plans to build what he called the "Park 51" Islamic community center and mosque in downtown Manhattan, just two blocks from the Ground Zero. The project largely steered clear of controversy until the summer of 2010 when the issue exploded onto America's television and talk-radio airwaves.

Submit questions for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf via iReport.

Throughout the controversy, Rauf has maintained a virtual silence. He recently traveled throughout the Middle East as a part of a State Department funded trip designed to foster "greater understanding" between Muslims and the United States. But throughout that tour, Rauf avoided wading into the growing controversy over the Park 51 project.

President Obama waded into the issue in August by saying that Muslims "have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country ... That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances."

Obama later clarified that he was "not commenting on the wisdom"of the project, just the broader principle that the government should treat "everyone equal, regardless" of religion.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose the mosque plan, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released in August.

Filed under: Larry King Live
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Kate

    I guess I am in the thirty percent. I don't think hatemongers and bullies should be able to decide these things just by throwing tantrums.

    September 7, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  2. southern cousin

    Maybe our corrupt, slimy president will let him use his binkyprompter and the slimy, corrupt union toady speechwriters he uses to tell his lies.

    September 7, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    the Catholic church as murdered millions for not believing the way they wanted. Israel has killed thousands of non-Jews in the name of its religion but this does not mean that all Catholics or Jews are murderers.
    In that same vien, not all Muslims are haters or want to kill Americans.
    Show that Americnas are the compassionate poeple we claim to be and stop this insanity being directed at these people

    September 7, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  4. Ernie Banks

    Rauf has come out in favor of a "one state" solution for Israel – that Israel & Palestine should be combined into a singular, secular state, subject to majority rule. If you put Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza together into one state, the Palestinians would outvote the Jews, and Israel (as we know it) would be "wiped off the map".

    As a practical matter, what is the difference between the positions of Rauf and Ahmadinejad?

    September 7, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  5. jules sand-perkins

    I do not believe that Imam Rauf would answer honestly the one question I should like to ask him: "isn't your primary utility for building at that location exactly what you deny that it is, the construction of a monument to a great victory for Islamic terrorists?"

    September 7, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. JES

    If you dig a hole and put a pig in they might not build.

    September 7, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |