Election Season to Blame for Mosque Uproar: Imam

Feisal Abdul Rauf wants peace
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2010 3:51 PM CDT
Election Season to Blame for Mosque Uproar: Imam
In this Aug. 22, 2010 file photo, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf addresses guests at an iftar dinner hosted by the US Embassy's deputy chief of mission Stephanie Williams.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

Why all this controversy over the so-called Ground Zero mosque? The imam behind it thinks he knows. "There is no doubt that the election season has had a major impact upon the nature of the discourse," he tells an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper. Numerous conservative candidates are indeed opposing the mosque, the AP reports, and even some Democrats—like Harry Reid, who's facing a tough re-election—have come forward to say the Islamic center should be built farther from Ground Zero.

"The issue of radicalism is a threat to all of us," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf continues. "We have radicals in the Muslim world and we have radicals in the other faith traditions as well," and these extremists "feed off each other and need each other to sustain themselves. So we need right now to combat the radical voices. That's the only way we can win this struggle, and establish a peaceful world order, which is what everybody wants and everybody needs."
(More imam stories.)

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