The imam behind plans for an Islamic community center near ground zero writes in a newspaper editorial that the facility will include "separate prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and men and women of other faiths."
The national debate over the center has focused on plans to include a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (rah-OOF') writes that the attention surrounding the project "reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate."
His comments came in an editorial published Tuesday on The New York Times' website.
Opponents say the mosque should be moved farther away from where Islamic extremists destroyed the World Trade Center and killed nearly 2,800 people. Supporters say religious freedom should be protected.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.