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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Change in “Ground Zero Mosque?”

September 13, 2010 - 2:16 PM | by: Eric Shawn

Could there be a change regarding the so-called Ground Zero Mosque?

Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf seemed to indicate that something is in the works regarding the planned Islamic Cultural Center, during his appearance at the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, in New York City. But he would not be specific regarding what is being planned.

He said that he and the project’s backers are exploring a solution “that will resolve this crisis, diffuse it,” and when asked if he would simply postpone or delay the project, he said that “all options are on the table.”

His wife, Daisy Khan, also seemed reluctant to address the possibility that the project could be changed, but said there are discussions about the project, though she would not detail them either. I repeatedly asked her if there are plans to move the Mosque, and she said that “we are speaking to many stakeholders and we need some time to make the right decision for everyone.”

Ms. Khan said there was no time-line for a decision.

Imam Rauf also said that “the events of the past few weeks have really saddened me to my very core. I regret that some have misunderstood our intentions. I’m deeply distressed that in this heated political season some have exploited this issue for their own agendas, and I’m deeply disappointed that so many of the arguments have been based on deliberate misinformation and harmful stereotypes.”

He also considers the site not to be the “ sacred ground” that many consider the Ground Zero area to be.
“First of all, it is absolutely disingenuous as many have said that the block is hallowed ground… with a strip joint around the corner, with betting parlors… to claim that is hallowed ground, it’s hallowed ground in one sense, but you know it doesn’t make sense…Let’s clarify that misperception.”

However, part of the landing gear of one of the planes that slammed into the World Trade Center damaged the roof  and body parts were found several hundred feet away from the building.

Even though Imam Rauf took questions from members of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he was asked one question by a reporter in the session, members of the media throng who waited for him outside were not given  access to him.  The Council pointed out late today that the media did have access to him inside, but those who waited outside were not able to ask him a question, because the Council snuck him out the back door.

Those in the audience ranged from Ted Sorensen, the speechwriter for President John F. Kennedy, to Edward Cox, the current Chairman of the New York State Republican Party who is also President Richard M. Nixon’s son-in-law.

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