New imam quits embattled Islamic community center
The site of the prosed islamic center near Ground Zero in a file photo.
February 4th, 2011
04:06 PM ET

New imam quits embattled Islamic community center

By Allan Chernoff, CNN

A Park51 imam announced his resignation Friday, just three weeks after being appointed to his post at the embattled Islamic community center in New York, according to a written statement Friday.

"I wish the project leaders well," said Imam Adhami, saying he needed more time to complete a book meant to assist English readers in understanding the Quran.

His resignation comes on the heels of a controversial post on his website, sakeenah.org, in which he claimed that "an enormously overwhelming percentage of people struggle with homosexual feeling because of some form of violent emotional or sexual abuse at some point in their life."

Park51 officials later attempted to distance the community center from Adhami's comments, tweeting that "Adhami's personal statements do not reflect the position of p51."

The community center - located two blocks from the ground zero location in Manhattan - describes itself as an inclusive community center open to anyone, with the goal of integrating Muslim-Americans into U.S. society.

"We have been humbled by Imam Adhami's contributions to this project over the past few months," said Park51 President Sharif El-Gamal. "We look forward to him, God willing, leading prayers informally for Park51 in the near future."

His departure is the latest in a string of setbacks after former Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, was given a reduced role in the center.

Rauf remains on the board of the community center.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • United States

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