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. WMesser58

    All I see is the intolerance the peaceful muslim on TV have for our Flag and way of life. It was and has always been wrong for the war in Iraq and the majority of Americans know this. The right-wing-nut-jobs will not change this history. However, when there's religious freedom in these peace loving muslim countries that deprive their own people of their freedoms. Hell I'll help build the damn mosque and I think all religions are worthless.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  2. David

    Where will the funding come from ?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  3. Emmie

    Let us build an INTERFAITH CENTER in that space, not only a Mosque. Remove all religious buildings from Ground Zero and make space for an Interfaith Dialogue Center there. Not separate buildings which encourages separatism and competition, but ONE building. God loves us all, It is we who have caused separations in thought and tradition. If there is worship space for all religions in one building, one can easily see the similarities between traditions. ONE GOD, many traditions.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  4. Laurier Ocean

    A great solution to the devastating blow to America, and to every religion, would be to build a COMPLEX at ground zero, which would be INCLUSIVE to every religion. In reality, it's to honor those that INNOCENTLY died. THEY were of every religion. Let's set the ego aside, and think of the greater good.
    I raised my children in a spiritual environment, with roman catholic tradition, in a Judea elementary school, a Christian fundamentalist high school, and a Jesuit college. When my friends asked, are you crazy, that's confusing, I explained that it brought great conversation to the dinner table. It has only strengthened their core beliefs and heightened their level of tolerance. My son has travelled the world, in service to those from all faiths.
    The biggest universal problem is war, with religion at the root of it. My intention was to raise children that would be sensitive to the beliefs of others. My desire was that they would be passionate, educated negotiators with the hope that one day, hatred will be overcome by understanding and resolution.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  5. rajkumar chaudhary

    Mr. Imam do you agree or not that this topic (building Mosque NEAR ground zero) is a controversial topic and need debate(think about the word NEAR and then answer). and what are yours plans to deal with this controversy to satisfy those who lost their love one in 9/11 attack ? thanks in advance .

    September 8, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  6. Fred

    Past all the hateful comments on both sides and anything else. Why here and why now? Why if you seek peace do you ignore the outcry of the people whom you claim to want peace with? The answer, quite simply is that you do not appear to want peace on any terms but your own. This is a stark illustration of the rigidity of many who follow Islam.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • Skye

      Well said!

      September 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  7. Gaylord

    We need leaders that have more Backbone........... instead of being a jellyfish..... LETS KEEP AMERICA AS OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED........ MAYBE POLITICAL PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE PAID..... THEN IT ISN'T JUST A JOB........ LETS CLEAN OUT ALL OF THE GARBAGE AND START OVER.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • DB

      Oooh, I like that! You are absolutely correct! We need leaders with more backbone. A President that will tear up that dusty old Constitution – old piece of scrap paper, anyway. Oh...wait...isn't that the way the Founding Fathers wanted it? With rights, and all that garbagey kinda stuff...?

      September 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  8. Gaylord

    What is your explanation for the Cordoba funding. Does everyone understand the facts surrounding the CORDOBA PROJECT.
    You must check back in history to 700ad in Spain. Cordoba was overtaken by Muslims,which they considered a Victory.....
    does anyone see where this is going?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:37 am |
    • Skye

      It's too bad that the powers that be don't realize we are politically-correcting ourselves right into the ground.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  9. sununu

    Islam is the violent religion. It teaches non-tolerance to other religions and terrorism. Every mosque is a training ground for the terrorists. We should eradicate this religion.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:36 am |
    • DB

      And the Catholics, who created the IRA. And the Protestants, who created the torture and appartied that led the Catholics to band together. And Judiasm who created Irgun, the "terrorist" group that were termed "freedom fighters", and who massacred Arabs, very similarly to what the PLO and Black September did – only they were termed "terrorists" by the media and not "freedom fighters". Let's not stop there; let's outlaw all of the Bosnians that tried to execute "ethnic cleansing", while killing, torturing and raping thousands of Moslems. Those stinking Moslems: They get all the good stuff!

      September 8, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Smite_Me

      Yes, DB, and most, if not all, of the dissension stems from: "My mythical, magical super-hero in the sky is better than yours."

      September 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  10. FormerNYCResident

    Could the Iman give his definition of what 'Taqiyya' means, which I am told is defined in the Koran as for Muslim being able to lie to non-believers in order to advance the Muslim faith? Is that what he is doing now in relation to the Ground Zero mosque and trying to sell it to us that it would be good for all of us in the spirit of reconciliation. I live in western Europe and we are over run with Muslims trying to force their ways, and we only wish we could turn back time. In the US you still have time, but only just !!

    September 8, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  11. frederick lee


    September 8, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  12. Steve Schoner

    Ok, Imam. Let me just propose this...

    It is 1950, today, and you are Japanese... Of the Shinto faith... And you then propose to build a Shinto Shrine a thousand feet from the Pearl Harbor Memorial Site...

    Think about it...


    And now today 9/08/2010 you are Muslim... And you are proposing a Mosque 1000 feet from "Ground Zero" a Memorial Site to all Americans...


    You can just as the Japanese have done build shrines anywhere you want, but it is a matter of propriety and a sense of shame for the acts committed that prevent building on a site that is directly related to the faith in question.

    Consider it...

    But I know that you in your arrogant "in your face" faith will not.

    The 9/11 site is a memorial for all Americans... Made so in an un-provoked act of aggression in the name of Islam... Just as un-provoked as the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, in the name of their Shinto god Emperor Hirohito.

    BTW: I have read (stomached) the Koran from page one to the end... I KNOW WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT INFIDELS AND HOW THEY ARE TO BE TREATED AND ARE TREATED.


    Keep in mind... Osama Bin Laden IS FAITHFUL TO THE KORAN. He is acting just as it says.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  13. Brenda

    If a right wing conservative Christian church can build a center near Ground Zero then a moderate Islamic Center should be accepted also. People listen to what the Iman and others are saying about the center, that they want to encourage moderate views of Muslims not extremists.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  14. A Mom

    I remember seeing all these people dangling from a burning building – the fire was so hot from the jet fuel that it was impossible for people to hold on – and I watched how they fell to their death. I could not even imagine being that person – how horrifying. Who the hell are these people to disrespect the people and families who lost their life to such creatures that kill for the hell of it? Absolutely unacceptable to build a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero – its like a slap in the face and totally disrespectful. Why isn't a Catholic Church or Synagogue or any other religious group putting up a place of worship there? Because this is a slap in the face of America – Americans need to unite – respect for what our families and country suffered needs to be shown. We could not do this in any other country –

    September 8, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • MS

      Dear Mom
      Generalization is wrong. If few priest commit child molestation, can some one conclude making a church next to a day care is slap to face of the families of those kids? No because few child molesting priest does not make all of them evil.
      So same true for muslims. Muslims are not responsible fo 9/11.
      I am muslim, I hate Al-qaiada. I hated to see innocent people are killed any where from any race or faith but I like going to mosque and pray. Why this would offend you?

      September 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  15. Stan Collier

    would you approve of a catholic church next to mecca????

    September 8, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  16. Zoe

    if this "religion" honors sensitivity, compassion and understanding, then why cant a different location be selected. Also, how can I be sure my daughter and granddaughters will not have to abide by Shariah law or under any law that denies the freedom i am and was fortunate to have?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  17. Sandi Z.

    A friend in NY had her husband in one Tower and their 21 yr old only son in the other – her son called to say everything is on fire – I love you. The son did not make it out – how would you feel about us doing this to you in your country?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  18. nanapapa

    I am hearing the mosque is to improve relations. If that is the case, then why insist on building near ground zero. Everyone has a right to their belieifs. But with all the hurt & anger over this, why not move it down the road.? This seems to me that purpose is to cause more conflict, then peace. So MR President instead of saying ok. Tell Them to move it if they really want to have better relations with the American people. It's just a matter of consideration.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  19. Frank E.

    Would you support the building of a church or a sinagogue in the city of Mecca?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  20. dave m

    Whats the harm in building elsewhere? just a few blocks in any direction not in our face?

    September 8, 2010 at 11:16 am |
    • DB

      As I understand it, this proposed Mosque is actually several blocks from Ground Zero. So the question is, just how far do they need to go, in order to build it where they will not be accused of defiling an area where many Moslems were also killed?

      September 8, 2010 at 11:20 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.