On July 20, Jewish Journal columnist Dennis Prager conducted a lengthy interview on his radio show with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, author of “What’s Right With America,” who is best known for his plans to build an Islamic community center, including a mosque, near the World Trade Center in New York. What follows is the transcribed text of that interview.
When the planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, I was living in Seattle, on the other side of America. My brother and his wife were visiting me. We did not leave the house for two days because we were worried that Americans angry at Muslims would attack my sister-in-law, who wore a hijab.
I have been trying hard to find an explanation for the intense controversy surrounding the Cordoba Initiative, whereby 71 percent of Americans oppose the construction of an Islamic Center and a Mosque next to Ground Zero. I cannot agree with the theory that such broad resistance represents Islamophobic sentiments, nor that it is a product of a recent “right wing” blitz against one Imam or another.
The head of the Manhattan JCC is advising the effort to build an Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero.
Over the last few months, I have had a front-row seat to history.
Nancy Pelosi agreed with an ADL call on a group planning a mosque near Ground Zero to reveal its funders, but said the mosque's opponents should do the same.