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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. CoolGayDad

    As a Gay American I would like for any Muslim or Imam to explain to me why I should not fear Islam? I would also like to know how they justify the continuing torture and executions that Gay human beings at the hands of their religion? I would also like to know why they think I should accept one of their mosques anywhere given Islam's track record with human rights?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • ZarGoth

      Thank you– well put

      September 8, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • FormerNYCResident

      You should fear Muslims, they just hate gays. In Amsterdam gay bashing is rampant due to the large Muslim population there.

      In the UK they now have issues with Muslim taxi and bus drivers not accepting blind people with guide dogs as in Islam they consider dogs to be unclean. Is this backward religion really something that want gaining rights in the US?

      September 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • Kate

      @FormerNYCResident

      And in the US we have pharmacists refusing to provide morning-after pills to rap3 victims because it offends their religious sensibilities, we have on-demand bus-drivers who refuse to take women to planned parenthood clinics on the assumption they could only be going there for one reason when the real reason is something entirely different.

      Oh, let's not forget the people on sidewalks outside clinics, or that nice gentleman who went and executed a doctor in his own church, or the guy who bombed the olympics, or the Hutaree.

      Yep, the US already has one backward religion that's gained a foothold in the US. No room for another, right?

      Just observin'

      September 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  2. I love America

    Sure, it's their legal right to build this, it's protected by the freedom to practice whatever religion you want. However, is this the right thing to do to develop Muslim and non-Muslim relationships? Absolutley not. Do they plan to unveil this new building for the 10 year anniversary? Why there, why now? While it is the right of Muslim leaders to build this center, don't expect it to improve relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  3. Paul Waggoner

    Where was Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf when the young girl was being stoned to death by the Muslim community???

    September 8, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  4. Mary - Santee CA

    If he and his fellow Muslims really want to build bridges why is he so insistant on building this Mosque near Ground Zero? Would he really accomplish bridge building by moving this Mosque?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  5. fudgeduggler

    if anyone can't see through this devil's lack of a soul behind those black eyes in that photo of this charlatan, then they are as dumb as a box of ROCKS!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  6. matt

    Would they let us build a Christian church in Mecca?

    Are there no other areas in New York that would need a community center? why must you build it where so many innocent people died at the hands of Muslims.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • A Different John

      Would Catholics let a mosque be built in Vatican City?

      September 8, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  7. Elvis Presley

    My question is this............Do you smell as bad as you look like you smell????????????

    September 8, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  8. Ana

    Why do you think Americans are so angry about this mosque? What can the muslim religion teach us about hatred, forgiveness, and unity? Why do you think the muslim terrorist groups ignore these muslim teachings when they attacked America on 9/11?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  9. fudgeduggler

    CNN are backers to the Muslim cause and curse. They promote the infidel prez. Obozo and want everyone else following their advise.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  10. John D

    Shame to see, a handful of fanatic, illiterate hate mongering racists still fanning hate in the name of liberty !

    "if we did a statistical study on how much damage Muslims or Christians or others have done to planet earth in all of history, Who do you think would be leading the pack?" Lets find out;

    – Crusades: Millions dead over a period of 200 years. For those who believes CRUSADE to be of the past, Wasn't it Allenby who said after occupying Jerusalem "Crusade has just ended !" Wasn't it the Bush who declared "It's a crusade !"

    -Inquisition: Millions killed, burnt alive. Even the grave yards were NOT spared.

    -Slavery: Millions enslaved, killed and shipped to Americas.20%(out of roughly 20 million shipped to North America alone) of them died during voyage and were thrown to the sea!

    -Genocide: Entire population of Native Americans(by conservative estimate over 50 million) & Austarlian Aboroginals wiped out.

    Over a million Algerians were killed by the French !

    Millions of Chechens/Tatars killed by Russians !

    Thousands of Bosnians/Albanians killed by serbs !

    Millions killed by the Brits/French & others in South Asia, East Asia,South America & Africa !

    -Aparthield, Segregation: Millions treated as sub-humans and terrorized because of the color of their skin.

    -Colonialism: BILLIONS enslaved in their own land. Millions massacred, their lands looted and occupied because they opted for FREEDOM

    -WW1 & 2 alone: Roughly 70 Million DEAD

    -Neo Nazis/KKK, skinheads: killled, lynched, raped thousands while reading scriptures in front of burning CROSSES. Still terrorizing millions

    -IRA,ETA,FARC and countless others terrorist organizations : Still carrying out acts of terror in the world

    Which faith gave birth to the greatest criminals in human history, Hitler, Mussolini were Christian. Stalin, Lenin, Milesovich ? .........list goes on

    Which faith that committed the biggest act of terror by dropping A- Bomb on civilians?

    Which faith that killed, maimed millions in Korea, Vietnam, Central America ? …list goes on !!

    Which faith that preaches WAR,GENOCIDE (Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo ……….list goes on),slaughtered over a million Iraqis & Afghans & PREACHES openly the genocide of 2 billion of humanity in the name world domination for ETERNITY ?

    Thus, Can one conclude all Christians in the world are either Fascist-Nazi, or a Communist or a terrorist or a combination of the three ?

    Does it mean we should celebrate "Burn a bible day " Christians should not build any Church anywhere ?

    We are fighting a WAR overseas against extremism, yet at home we practice such bigotry,hate, racism & extremism. If this is not hypocrisy, I am not sure what is !

    September 8, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  11. cretaceous1

    so tell me senor Rauf...is the land that you are wanting to build on near the WTC drop zone just cheaper for you to buy rather than checking out some real estate up the street a couple of blocks up north where folks would accept that you build on in a better note? Or are you and your backers just cheapskates and can get the spot near the WTC footprint for a lower price. I'd like to know the answer to this one!

    September 8, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • A Different John

      How far is far enough? 2 blocks? 5 blocks? 10 blocks? The same city? The same state? And can you get *everybody* opposed to this mosque to agree on a set distance? There's a mosque in Tennessee right now that is trying to build an expansion and it's being opposed by Good Patriotic Americans®. Is it too close to Ground Zero?

      How close is close enough for religious freedoms and First Amendment rights?

      September 8, 2010 at 11:12 am |
    • CoolGayDad

      A Different John, Hong Kong is not far enough away from me and my family. Islam believes homosexuals should be put to death. So which is more important to you? The civil and human rights of a whole segment of the population or a religion's choice to violate those rights?

      September 8, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  12. Joseph Bianco

    Building a shrine to an intolerant religion is the wrong thing to do.
    This one, in particular, will become a place of pilgrimmage for jihadist tourists wishing to see the place of victory of their 19 sainted martyrs - and because they will be peaceful, and peacefully lay a wreath at the site of this islamist crime, there will be nothing anyone can do to stop it. There will even be apologists who will defend their right of self-expression.
    How much longer will politicians and the left jam down our throats the notion that Islam is a peaceful religion?
    It's peaceful only as long as you agree with them and do what they tell you.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  13. garc

    What can Americans do to help further peaceful relationships between Christians and Muslims? I'm not a religious person, but I understand that not "all" of any group is bad, or good, for that matter; we're all just human. I'm worried that much of the Muslim world thinks all Americans are as awful as that pastor burning the Quran, the same way many Christian Americans fear all Muslims are terrorists.

    September 8, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • fudgeduggler

      Git RID of Muslims...kill em all!!! Rid the earth of this scourge of locusts!

      September 8, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  14. Liz

    To DB-As with so many things one must be careful to have all the facts-I assumed because there was a controversy of this proportion in the media, that the site was at the least on the perimeter.Investigation because of your comment finds that it is several blocks away.Then the question must be asked -if the center is so far -why is there a controversy.I wonder if the opinions that are so strongly against this and provoke such anger are informed as to the true location.And why is this a headline and controversy at all if it is truly as it appears to be- blocks away. It angers me that there are misleading and inflammatory headlines regarding this issue.Your comment has reminded me to always investigate and seek out the truth for myself.

    September 8, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  15. Denver Morgan

    I believe in freedom of religion but not freedom to kill anybody who dares say anything against Mohamad
    you muslims try to make everybody afraid to say anything against mohamad you sit back and say nothing
    when your crazy extremist carry out an attack so in my mind you are just as guilty because you have the
    power to help stop the killing i say no to this center if you really were interested in peace you would
    move it to another place instead of rubbing salt in the wounds of Americans

    September 8, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  16. Liz

    I have read the Qur'an-I have read the Old and New Testament-I have read the Torah.I have read the teachings of many religions.I feel I cannot give an opinion unless I have. There is much to compare the Old Testament with the Qur'an.Both were inspired but strongly reflected the culture of the time.I feel that where both radical Christians and radical Muslims go wrong is not being able to seperate what was a CULTURAL norm at the time with the MESSAGE.To be able to seperate the Message of all religions from the restrictions of the times they were written in is true inspiration.To move a people the Message must be given in language and situations they can understand and is acceptable to them and their evolution as a culture at the time.It is the responsibility of all instructors of all faiths to make no mistake in seperating the two. And no I do not think it appropriate for an Islamic Center to be built on ground near World Trade Center-anymore than I would agree with a Nazi center built near the gates of Auschwitz.I believe it to be a mass grave where nothing should be built.

    September 8, 2010 at 9:59 am |
    • DB

      Great comments! I only differ with one issue, and that is the fact that the Mosque would not be build ON Ground Zero. In fact, it is close to, but I do not believe it even lies directly on the perimeter of Ground Zero. If that is correct, the question then becomes, how close must a Mosque be, in order to be considered "far enough"?

      September 8, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • Smite_Me

      It's just a puzzle to me how these warlike Middle East myth-based religions have bamboozled so many.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  17. Larry L

    Improve Islamic relations?? How about a Synagogue in Saudi first? Why is America always forced to conceed?

    September 8, 2010 at 9:56 am |
    • DB

      It's called The Constitution.

      September 8, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  18. Jan

    Building a Mosque is like Ariel Sharon going to Mount Temple, it is infammatory and signals to me a deliberate throwing salt on a wound. I do respect different religions and also the right to build, but I think some sensitivity on where it is build would serve Muslims better. Back away from it and show that sensitivity and then show us what the Koran is really about by the way you live.

    September 8, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  19. Carlton

    Make a global request on TV tonight that Christians should have the same freedoms you are asking for here in all Muslim nations. I don't believe you will make that request!!! And you call Americans intoloerant? You really must think people are stupid and ignorant!!! Why are you asking for something you are not willing to give? Why dont' you come clean on TV tonight and let the whole world know that the Islamic goal is to take over the world!!! America does not want this so why do you?

    September 8, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  20. Pastor Evans

    I don't have a question but suggested comments. Over 70% (majority) of the people of this country do not want this but you and the committed few still see this in your own way, that this is right, why? I don't agree with your beliefs as a spirit-filled believer because you worship a false god but you like want people to believe and think like you in the name of Islam. It is very obvious and apparent that this like other things is trying to be rammed down the American people's throats. But I will tell you that before GOD Almiighty Himself that I nor the majority of Americans are going to just sit down and stand back and let you achieve your agenda, and that is to take over the world!!! I take spiritual authority over Islam in the name of Jesus Christ and this false belief will not prevail!!! Amen!!!

    September 8, 2010 at 9:40 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.