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September 7th, 2010
09:41 PM ET

What would you ask the imam behind the Islamic center near ground zero?

CNN has secured an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf , the man behind the proposed Islamic center near New York's ground zero. We want you to help generate the questions we ask.

The live interview happens Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on a special edition of "Larry King Live."

Before his editorial in the New York Times was published online Tuesday night, Rauf had said virtually nothing to the news media since the controversy over his project erupted this summer - even after President Obama himself weighed in. The imam has been out of the country for the last month or so.

Now that he's finally talking, what would you ask him?

Let us know by uploading a video question via CNN iReport. At least one of the questions we receive will make it into the interview. [Note: We are only looking for VIDEO questions; feel free to comment below as always, but any questions entered in the comments section will NOT be used on air.]

Here are a couple of questions that I hope get asked:

Leaders of the proposed Islamic center in Lower Manhattan say the project is intended to improve relations between Muslims and the rest of the country. So far though, it has had the opposite effect. Has the project already failed in that regard?

You've been touring the Middle East on behalf of the State Department these last few weeks... What did you tell those Muslims abroad who say that opposition to your proposed Islamic Center is proof that the United States is at war with Islam?

OK, your turn.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • iReport • Islam • Leaders • Mosque • Muslim

soundoff (602 Responses)
  1. Boston Blackie

    Boston Blackie is right on. These people are warts on the earth and the answer is simple. CLOSE THE BORDERS OBAMA MAMA!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  2. Mark Jeffery Koch

    When you have been asked to condemn Hamas you refuse to answer and equivocate that you do not wish to get involved in politics. Hamas has sent suicide bombers into Israeli schools, restaurant, shopping malls, and on busses that have killed and maimed thousands of Israeli men, women, and children. 911 was also an attack by suicide bombers. Last week Hamas murdered four Israeli settlers, one of them a pregnant woman and the leader of Hezbollah praised their actions. Why can you not unequivocally, without any hesitation, condemn in the strongest possible terms any organization that targets innocent people for murder?

    September 8, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  3. DS

    There is nothing wrong in the mosque being built near ground zero. As the Imam puts it, it is an islamic center for understanding and harmony. The question I have is is NYC the approrpiate place for it? Should the Imam build this center in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq where they do not seem to know their own religion or at least do not practice it. It may be worthwhile for the Imam to build such a center and preach peace, harmony and tolerance. It is the muslim world that needs to learn to live with others. If you look at the world, why is it that most conflicts involve muslims on one side of the conflict. I am not suggesting that what they are fight for is right or wrong. It just seems that they resort to voilence more quickly than others. There appears to be a major issue. If the Quran preaches peace, then why is it that they are so voilent. They kill fellow muslims as well. Imam should build his center in Pakistan to counter the Madarasas that preach intolerance and hatred to the kids anduninformed youth. It will serve a better purpose. The Imam may even get additional funding from the people who currently oppose the mosque near ground zero. I would urge the Imam to kind hard about how he can best serve the world community.

    September 8, 2010 at 9:37 am |
    • fudgeduggler

      how about u helping urself to a heaping glass of ice cold cyanide and tonic water. Let me know about how u feel tomorrow!

      September 8, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  4. Daniel

    Reverse roles, How would Muslims feel if i were to Bomb a holy site, And then stick a church next to it....I am sure they would feel like we do.

    September 8, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • DB

      So...you are saying the World Trade buildings were "holy sites"? Okay, that was sarcastic, but I understand your point. Unfortunately, I believe the Islamic World feels that we have done that, with bombing Mosque, power plants and other life sustaining centers, in Iraq. We made billions of Dollars (thank you, VP Chaney,) and never rebuilt those items that would keep life going. We did that in Germany, after WWII. Why not in Bagdad, where the majority of people still have no running water. Saddam Hussein got power and water going a couple of weeks after President George B the First bombed the city!

      And what about Israel? The entire Moslem World sees the US as virtually the only reason that Israel is permitted to use its own brand of muscle in dealing with Moslems and (more generally,) Arabs. Jerusalem is a city claimed by Moslems, Christians and Jews, but the Israelis control the City, and several Mosques there have been decimated.

      There is a bigger picture here. I am not saying it is all one way or another. But there is BALANCE that needs to be accommodated. Without that balance, we end up with the kind of repetitious violence we continue to see – ON ALL SIDES!

      September 8, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  5. merwins

    Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf ,Do you think you should have been magnanimous by saying "We have the right to build the mosque,but not by hurting feelings of scores of people"?
    Don't all religions teach that?

    September 8, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  6. davec41

    When built, as the constitution says it should, will Jewish women and homosexuals be allowed to swim in the pool?

    What security arrangements have been planned to protect this center from the anger you knew would be caused by your decision to build it here?

    The same constitution says that the ill advised clergy man in Florida can burn copies of the Quran. What would you say ti HIS provocation?

    September 8, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  7. Boston Blackie

    Midnight at the OASIS. Take your camel to bed. Thats about all they are good for!

    September 8, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  8. A believer

    There is a plan for one pastor to burn a copy of the Quran. Just as building the Mosque near the 9/11 attack is entirely within the Law and protected by the Constitution, is either the right decision and will it bring people together?

    September 8, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  9. Norm

    This could have been built without any media attention. Why did you feel it was important to spread this all over the news and create such a huge controversy. Is this why the original name was Cordoba which means "conquored" and then changed to Park51 once people noticed what this name implies? It seems like you really went to the extremes to make sure this was thrown in the American people's faces and now your pretense of innocence in this matter is too obvious for an enlightened American culture. You can't do a victory dance and then look around like....what?????

    September 8, 2010 at 9:25 am |
    • DB

      Norm, you raise an interesting point. I believe – I am not telling, I am really posing a question – that the media created the controversy when the proposal for a Mosque arose as part of the zoning or construction permitting process. Those processes normally require hearings as part of the beauracratic process, and it is particularly noteworthy that the families of 9/11 victims (and the media) take interest in any hearings that pertain to properties in and around Ground Zero. Again, this is my understanding, but it would be worth another look.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  10. Sam

    Imam
    did Mohammad said i will keep fighting the infidels til they start believe in GOD and me as his prophet,
    did the Quran said kill the infidels where ever you find them take them as slaves or sell them,
    so with all this said how do you want me to believe that this center not to teach Muslim how to kill the infedils

    September 8, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  11. mellaly

    we enjoy USA & inshala JANNA

    September 8, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  12. Steven Dietrich

    This isn't about freedom of religion. There are Mosques all over the city. It is about building a "Conquest Mosque" called Cordoba at the site of a Muslim conquest. Yes Muslims died at the site, innocent Muslims, who had nothing to do with extremists, however this is viewed by extremists as they died for the greater good of Islam. If Islam is so tolerent why are infidels (non-muslim) FORBIDDEN to enter Mecca?. Most Muslims are good people and shun violence. But they are being misled by the extremists. It it these extremists that mainstream Muslims must start to question!

    September 8, 2010 at 9:17 am |
    • Born in the USA

      Did you know that the "Conquest Mosque" called Cordoba is now Catedral de Córdoba? There is a Jewish center in the community where we live, no one can enter (even if you are Buddhist or Christian) unless you are Jewish.There are more Jewish here than Christians. So, why are we forbidden to go into that area?? Moderate Muslims are not being misled by these extremists. But remember the world is watching us, esp this Saturday when the pastor Terry Jones burns the Quran- the entire world will be watching!! I wonder what will the world ( French, Swiss, India, China, South America, Africans, British, Muslim countries) think of us Americans?? So, are his views, the views of the rest of the Christian community??

      September 8, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  13. James Rohacek

    I would like to ask him about history. In the past Islam or Islamic nations have built centers and Mosques in concurred cities as they moved to control the land. My thought is this will give them a chance to point to New York as a concurred peoples. Check the history of the older Islamic nations and their conquest of the middle and near east. You may find it very interesting.

    September 8, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  14. Paul Kasishke

    Why is it that this Muslim center is ok right in the heart of the WTC neighborhood yet everyone and their brother is upset about one Florida preacher that wnats to burn a few Koran/Quarn, their holy book? They cant even come up with one spelling for it!!!! Most Americans dont even get upset when someone from the middle east burns an American Flag or it doesnt seem that way! America, pull your head out and see what is happening, it started with Mexico and will end with the bad from the middle east.

    September 8, 2010 at 8:57 am |
    • DB

      Paul, you see, Mexico has not had a Moslem issue, and you may wan to check your geography...Mexisco is not in the Middle East...

      And the Koran is spelled differently because WE, ENGLISH speaking people do that. The Koran was written in a language that does not use our system of lettering; therefore, Mr. "Let's be proper", who spells "wants" as "wnats" in your posting, the English rendering of the word is not engraved in stone – except by the people who believe in it and learn it in the classic language.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:13 am |
    • Born in the USA

      Because the American flag is not a religious scripture!! Did they burn the Bible? Now they will !!! This pastor in Gainesville, FL that is going to burn the Quran is going to start a religious war and people abroad will be watching. This pastor is going to put OUR TROOPS in danger because of his personal views regarding Islam. Also Paul, there is a correct way to spell the Quran, it's written in Arabic- when translated it takes on different spellings. Have you heard of Romanization of Arabic? You should definitely look it up. 🙂

      September 8, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  15. Prophet Owen White

    Don't let a individual or group decieve you. A man or woman not willing to acknowledge Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior should never be trusted. God Bless those who don't understand.

    September 8, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  16. Joy

    Sorry... rephrase... Who in the hell is Imam?

    September 8, 2010 at 8:46 am |
    • Billy Cottone

      Joy,
      You are funny. I agree who the hell is this person? Does he walk on water?

      September 8, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  17. richunix

    Imam, first Islam needs to disappear forver, most American are tolerant of other beliefs, but when it comes to Islam I have to draw the line. Take your horrible evil religion back to the third world country were it came from. Please continue to abuse your women and treat your own people like dirt. Sorry President Obma is a one term president and once he's out so are you.

    September 8, 2010 at 8:36 am |
    • DB

      A I am uncertain you really know anything about Islam. You seem to know something about the fanatics. But there are fanatical Catholics, Jews...hey, let's hear it for those fun Protestants in Ireland that killed, tortured and created appartied for Catholics for hundreds of years. And how about those terrific guys in the Eastern Eurpose that have practiced mass rape, torture and murder on INNOCENT Moslems – remember how the US got involved in Bosnia to SOLVE the problem, there? You are correct! Those damned Moslems are the root of all evil and the only reason there is religous friction in the World!!!

      B. It will make no difference who the President is, unless the new guy plans to tear up the Constitution.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  18. nicole

    i don't understand when people say read the quran. please do because in quran when comes to non Muslims the peace doesn't exist actually quran says is a Muslim business to turn non Muslim to their religion and use any method necessary. i am saying it in modern language but in quran any analysis will tell you the same.
    the day that let us open church in Saudi Arabia than they can open the center. up to now 5 to 6 churches has been burned in Iraq and they are abusing Christians in Iraq that they are the oldest native people in that region going back to Mesopotamia to live the country so tell the imam focus on these issues not Islam center in NY.

    September 8, 2010 at 8:35 am |
    • MS

      There are Church in Iran, Egypt, Syria.
      Can USA be as civilized as those regarding mosques?

      September 8, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  19. Michael, Chapel Hill

    I am sure, NYC ISLAMIC CENTER IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, not for anyone else but for ISLAM. How tolerant?

    September 8, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  20. MS

    The irony is that muslims are most hurt by Al-qaiadah than any other group:
    1. they kill other moderate muslims on a daily basis in Iraq and Pakistan
    2. They have helped the stereotype of Islam is the religion of killing

    Yet muslims are being hated for what Al-qaiadah does.

    I think it is very hard to explain this to the people who earn less than 50k a year and think affordable health care is bad for them!! and giving tax cut to people earning more than a million a year is better than giving the tax cut to them !!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 8:24 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.