Ground Zero Imam says delaying project among 'final solution' options

New York, Sept 14 (ANI): Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the prime mover behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero in New York, has said that the project is on the table and he is "exploring all options," including delaying the venture and holding more discussions to overcome the crisis situation.

On being asked about the option of relocating the mosque, he reportedly said: "Everything is on the table," and declined to comment any further.

"We are exploring all options as we speak right now, and we are working through what will be a solution, God willing, that will resolve this crisis, defuse it and not create any unforeseen or untoward circumstances that we do not want to see happen," The New York Post quoted Rauf, as saying.

Rauf, however, remained adamant that there is a need for an Islamic community center, including a mosque, to be built in lower Manhattan. He also claimed that the site is not a "hallowed ground" as it also contains a strip club and a betting parlour nearby.

"The world will be watching what we do here. Let us therefore reject those who would use this crisis ... for political gain or even for fame," he added.

Debra Burlingame, a leading opponent of the mosque and the sister of one of the pilots who died aboard a hijacked airliner on 9/11, said delaying construction of the mosque would only make matters worse.

"This will only draw out the pain and controversy," she added. (ANI)

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