Moving Mosque Could Lead to Retaliation, Warns Imam

He says switching sites now would be a bad idea
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2010 6:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – The imam behind the mosque at Ground Zero says he would have changed sites earlier if he had known how controversial the location would become, but moving it now would be a bad idea. Were it to be moved, "the headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN's Larry King Live last night. He's concerned about the "danger from the radicals in the Muslim world to our national security" and says the safety of "American citizens who live and work and travel overseas will be compromised if the radicals are strengthened."

Meanwhile, the businessman who provided most of the real estate financing to gain control over the two buildings where the center is to be built says he's happy to unload the controversial site to someone else if it means making money. "I'm a businessman. This was a mere business transaction for me," Hisham Elzanaty tells AP, saying that he'd like to see one building turned into a mosque, but that if his community doesn't come forward with enough cash for him to break even, he will turn it over to someone else. "Develop it, raze it, sell it," said the Egyptian developer. "If someone wants to give me 18 or 20 million dollars today, it's all theirs."

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