Daisy Khan, the wife of Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, one of the key planners behind the controversial mosque planned for a site near ground zero, said moving to another site is not an option being discussed right now with New York City officials. The team behind the mosque is planning a meeting to discuss their options but they have not scheduled a meeting with New York Gov. David Paterson or any of the other groups that have vocally opposed putting the planned Islamic cultural center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, according to Fox News.
Paterson had offered to work on finding another location. Meanwhile, protesters convened Sunday in New York City to protest what has been known as the Cordoba Initiative. Opposition to the mosque and community center has focused on its location near the site of the worst act of war on American soil, not the constitutional right of Muslims to build houses of worship.
"What we're doing is we're meeting several stakeholders right now, because we understand the pain and the anguish that has been displayed throughout the country ... And we indeed want to build bridges. We don't want to create conflict. This is not where we were coming from," Khan told ABC's "This Week."
"We first want to meet with all the stakeholders who matter, who are the New Yorkers. ... We will meet and we will do what is right for everyone," she said.
But Khan added that too much is at stake so the project must go on.
"We have the Muslim community around the nation that we have to be concerned about, and we have to worry about the extremists as well, because they are seizing this moment. And so we have to be very careful and deliberate in when we make any major decision like this," she said.
In an interview with a Bahraini newspaper set to appear Monday, Rauf reportedly said that U.S. constitutional rights are more in line with Islamic principles than the limits imposed by some Muslim nations. In a copy of the article obtained by The Associated Press, he is quoted saying the freedoms enshrined by the U.S. Constitution reflect true Muslim values.
Outside Rauf's charm offensive overseas, opponents of the mosque at home have also raised concern about the financing. Former Republican Rep. Rick Lazio, who is running for governor, said he wants some clarity over the developers' refusal to reject outright any funding from Iran.
"Where's this money coming from. Let's have a full accounting, let's open the books," Lazio said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
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