New York mosque organizers deny deal with Florida pastor

NEW YORK- Organizers behind controversial plans for an Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center on Thursday denied a claim by a radical Florida pastor that they had decided to move the project elsewhere.
"We don't know anything about it", Daisy Khan, one of the main promoters of the proposed cultural center and mosque and also the wife of the imam behind the project, told AFP.

New York mosque organizers deny deal with Florida pastor
She spoke after a Florida pastor who has threatened to publicly burn copies of the Koran said he had secured a deal for the proposed mosque to be moved further away from Ground Zero in New York than currently planned.
Asked about the possibility of agreeing not to build the center at the current location, two blocks from the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Khan said there was no immediate plan for a change.
"What the imam said yesterday is our position", she said.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on Wednesday said he was sorry about the controversy and said he would not have pressed the project if he'd known in advance how much "pain" would occur.
However, he stressed that the center's construction should go ahead as planned.
"If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse", said Abdul Rauf, who has been an imam in New York for more than 25 years and is known for attempts to bridge the divide between Western and Islamic societies.

Friday, September 10th 2010

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