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. tim osman

    What does Islam have to do with 911? We know it was an inside job.
    We should be attacking Israhell.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  2. Randy

    It seems that the Muslims of the world are asking for all the religious sensitivity to flow in one direction: from Christians to Muslims. When will Muslims be expected to make a grand gesture of sensitivity to Christians? It seems that the Christian are being asked to show all the tolerance and sensitivity and that nothing is expected of Muslims or their governments.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • tkdchick

      well said!

      September 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Randy Willen

      There are churches all over the Muslim world. Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia and other places. Selective geography only shows ignorance. By the way, were we in Iraq to plant flowers ? About 100,000 Iraqis perished.

      September 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  3. joe99

    The hatred in the USA is rampade and most of it is based off of unjustied fears and reverse logic. It doesn't feel right for this mosque to be built so close to ground zero, so I do not understand the insistance on the location. This whole thing should be decided by those who lost the most, the families of the victims. I am wondering though, why no one is outraged that Prez Bush aapproved a Muslum pray center at the pentagon? Is there a difference? But, what many people do not want to realize, is the truth about the attacks on 9/11 will never be told, for the pain would be far too unsettling and reprehensible. I live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, I fear no terrorist or some made up boogieman who lives in a cave. As a free people we should start practicing what we preach. But I am worried that America may be gone.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  4. Ben from Boston

    Perhaps the Community Center could be separated from the Mosque. If the Community Center were expanded to include all faiths in equal or perhaps geographicaly proportional measure and built on the proposed location without a Mosque but as a Community Center and if the sponsorship could be similarly expanded, it might serve the Imam's healing goals better than the Mosque combined with Community Center. The Mosque might then be built on a site further away from Ground Zero perhaps on land provided by the state.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  5. Hector

    CNN – Look at the comments and number of them. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND YET, WE ARE THE PEOPLE

    September 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  6. neoritter

    I hope someone asks what has he done or what does he plan to do to get people of other faiths to use the facility besides just muslims.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  7. ldsmom02

    I would like to know how building the center will help create a better dialogue with those in the US who might have reservations.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  8. krisswati

    Please read about Indian history and understand what Muslims have done to India over centuries. The very notion Mughols ruled majority Hindus for 300years do tell something. Even when British arrived India, they had to filght the Muslims instead of Hindus, that tells something. They have screwed up India throughotu centuries. Indian govt even subsidizes their Huz. See how much influence they have created in other socieities. But in Muslim countries they don't allow any non-Muslim religion or live in fear in those Muslim countries.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  9. Ster

    CNN will NEVER ask a tough question... like these:
    1. Why can you not condemn Hamas?
    2. Who is funing your operation... and do ANY of them have ANY ties to terrorist-linked groups?

    September 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  10. Kathy

    Everyone take a deep breath..... Imam ..... it has been recognized that our Constitution, the Constitution of the United States, as well as a great many of her citizens, guarantees your right to religious freedom and the building of your mosque close to the site of the WTC. However, I think in this case the "right" thing to do would be to "decline" the offer in the spirit of peace. Neither side will be seen as having to win or lose; it's a matter of being respectful to each other. Islam will always know that the United States guaranteed its religious freedom and the world will know that Islam showed great dignity. This would be the greatest symbol of tolerance. Sometimes you don't just do something because you can, you do something for the greater good.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  11. Rebecca

    Why have we not heard any muslim say publicly, that the 9/11 incident was a bad thing?

    September 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  12. Hector

    Obviously from the amount of response this is clearly a hot topic. I am a non practicing Catholic, gave up on my Church when I realized that they were as bad as Politicians, one group is filled with crooks and the other with pedophiles both protected by their entities.

    To me religion is becoming the root of all evil and specially the muslims, they submit their children to brainwashing their woman treated like house pets and they propogate violence in the name of Allah.

    Yesterday they had a multi faith reunion and the muslim hipocrates have a white anglo woman as their spoksperson, why did they not show the true face of islam why did that thing they call an imam show is face instead they are a bunch of hipocrates that have an hidden adjenda.

    They want to settle this riff, 1. cancel the NY Mosque, 2. Denounce Sharia law, 3. Give woman equal rights. Come on folks, these people have been at war for thousands of years with everybody that is not muslim, WAKE UP.

    If you look at their making they would be classified as cult in the US and the ATF would burn down their mosques.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  13. Try the facts

    I'm ready to see the first 'stoning' in the new cetnet

    September 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  14. DDSilks

    I am not in favor of burning Qur'-ans, Bibles, Watchtowers, or anything like that. In the beginning, I was indifferent as to whether or not a Mosque was put up on the World Trade Center site, but as I read all the comments and the controversy and the stories from both sides, I have come to the opinion that Muslims should be sensitive to the American people's feelings and wishes. The atrocities of September 11 were done in the name of Mohammed, so I believe that those who follow his teachings should have more respect and not put the Mosque on that site.
    My question is, why are they so adamant in building a Mosque there? I read several articles that said that Muslims erect Mosques where they have "conquered." If this is the reason, go home and build your Mosque there.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  15. Igor

    Dear Imam Rauf,

    Muslims have the right to build their mosque anywhere in USA, and Christians and Jews have the right to rally and put the pressure on Muslims to move it.You already agreed to build INTERFAITH center with designated space for other nominations.
    Please follow through and name it INTERFAITH instead of ISLAMIC.
    ISLAMIC center will require extended police and security presence. No one can guarantee that "a few extremists" will try to fly a plane into it.
    On the other hand,INTERFAITH center should be relatively safe.
    Please name it INTERFAITH instead of ISLAMIC.


    Igor Sherbakov

    September 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  16. Mohammad

    Why this Imam has to build a mosque near the 9/11 twin tower site. You can build little bit farther, and that way you do not creat any controversial issues with the people New York or with the family members of the innocent people who lost their lives at the hand of some orthodox – criminal who call themselves Muslims.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • MS

      moving it away is accepting Islam is responsible for 9/11 which is not.
      if some toyota cars have malfunctioning brake is it fare to say:
      Making any toyota car is an insult to families of all victims of car crash?

      September 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  17. Bernard Harris

    If its truly about peace and unity why not build on large facility that serves as mult cultural and multi denominational center. Large enough to house a mosque, synogue and church. Services can be held on schedules in acccordance with the denomination. We have done this on military bases forever, why cant it work in New York.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • FormerNYCResident

      Nice thought, but the Muslims will never go for that, it is all about their domination. I was in Ireland a couple of weeks ago and the Muslims there are objecting to the Angelus (a religious moment of reflection that is played on TV at 6pm for 1 minute) being played and their call to prayer not being aired. This has been broadcast on Irish TV for 60 years now, and the Muslims have been there for 20 minutes, but it is all about their rights. There is no tolerance coming from there side.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  18. Faith

    A question for imam:
    Can you please explain how mohammad okeyed his marrige to a 9 year old?
    I would truley appreciate it if you do answer my questions.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • MS

      He didn't married a 9 years old.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Smite_Me

      MS: The oldest that any scholar can make Aisha is 10. Ooooh, much better, right? Mo was in his 50s.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  19. Skye

    Very simple question...why not just build it ANYWHERE but 2 blocks from Ground Zero? What's so important to you about that location, to risk the wrath of millions, simply because that's where you want to build it? I think the idea of it being a slap in the face to every American is what pushes you so hard...otherwise you should be happy to build it anywhere else in NY.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Skye

      One thing I forgot to mention for all you pacifists....have we all forgotten who flew the planes into the WTC to begin with? That's what I thought. Enough said. I don't hate Muslims. I am not a racist. I am just in support of you moving your Mosque elsewhere and building anywhere except in the immediate vicinity of Ground Zero.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
    • FormerNYCResident

      Beacuse that is where 3000 innocent Americans were murdered in the name of Islam, and if they could have murdered 30,000 or 300,000, they would have seen that as an even greater victory. They build mosques are the sites of their conquests, however barbaric they might be.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  20. AmericanByBirth

    I have but simple questions.
    1). Why must it go in this location since there is one just blocks away?
    2). Why can't it be moved?
    3). Why will you not respect the loved ones of the fallen and build else where?
    and 4). If muslims believe Jesus was a prophet and not the son of God, and prophets did not lie, why did Jesus say he was the son of God?

    Sorry, just simple questions.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • MS

      4) Muslims are not sure he said he is God's son if he has said that it is true.
      If you are sure then believe in it.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
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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.