Firm Ground

Imam: Mosque Move Threatens National Security

In a Sunday appearance on ABC News’ This Week, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man who spearheaded the controversial mosque near ground zero, claimed that moving the mosque from its proposed location would help fuel terrorism abroad. “My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be 'Islam is under attack in America,'” Rauf told Christiane Amanpour. “This will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment, this will put our people—our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens—under attack in the Muslim world and we [would] have expanded and fueled terrorism.” The Imam also denied speaking with Florida pastor Terry Jones and refuted a reported deal between the two in which he would move the mosque in exchange for the pastor not burning copies of the Quran. Rauf released a statement to ABC News: “I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qurans. However, I have not spoken with Pastor Jones or Imam Musri. I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we here to barter. We are here to extend our hand to build peace and harmony.”