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. Jeff

    “Those youths who did what they did destroyed America with their airplanes they’ve done a good deed.” He went on to say “THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF YOUTH WHO LOOK FORWARD TO DEATH LIKE THE AMERICANS LOOK FORWARD TO LIVING.”

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  2. Jeff

    It is not within your power to be perfectly equitable in your treatment with all your wives, even if you wish to be so; therefore, [in order to satisfy the dictates of Divine Law] do not lean towards one wife so as to leave the other in a state of suspense. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 381)

    September 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  3. Jeff

    If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  4. Purush

    I want to ask Imam.
    Why can't you look at forgoing building the mosque as a sign of compassion for human beings in Islam. After all compassion for human beings has to be the first preaching of any religion – Islam included.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  5. PJ in Chicago

    Oh, and by the way, please refund my tax dollars for your globe-trotting. I believe the commonly used phrase is "separation of church and state."

    September 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  6. PJ in Chicago

    Where is the tolerance in your religion. Don't you dare ask anyone to be tolerant of you when all we see is the single-minded viciousness, and wanton killing.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  7. Paul Noble

    My question is the following; With the exception of Turkey, and this appears to be changing, all countries that have a Muslim majority, Islam is part of the government in some form or fashion. No entity, a King, a Prime Minister, etc in a majority
    Muslim country could exist without Islam and State having a strong connection. The U.S. is built in part on the separation
    of Church and State. My question, what happens if the U.S. has a Muslim majority? Will you, the Muslims, want to revoke
    the Separation of Church and State and have Islam play a role in government? If you answer No, history is not on your side.
    This is to a large degree why Americans, in my opinion, do not trust Islam because in the end, unlike the other religions, it will want to govern because in their opinion, mans laws should be based on what is in the Koran? Am I wrong? For now, I am willing to put the issue of terrorism and the NY mosque aside. I wish Muslims would discuss this issue, the separation of church and state, more openly. This would help to have a more logical dialogue.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  8. Zalek Bloom

    Bill of Rights, Article III

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Even if the imam supports Osama bin Laden, even if he thinks jerqs who destroyed WTC are heroes – in the US Muslims HAVE RIGHT to build the mosque there. It is sad some Americans wants to take example from Saudi Arabia how to practice freedom of religion.


    September 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  9. yas

    I am just curious to all of you who say all these things about islam and "quote" from the Holy Quran how many of you have actaully read the Quran or studied the TRUE islam? Not just what you hear or read on tv or in a magazine. How many of you personally know muslims? I think before you say these things you should check your information. I am a BORN american and also a muslim, and we muslims DO NOT SUPPORT TERRORISM against anyone what so ever. Anyone who does commit terroristic acts "in the name of Islam or in the name of ALLAH" is not following our blessed religion the way they are supposed to and according to the Quran. And if people who actually read it you would understand that. Our beloved prophet Muhammad (saws) never fought or retaliated against anyone until his life was at stake and at the last moment, he preached peace and love and we as muslims are to follow that, and any that do not have unfortunately gone astray and will be punished by the ALMIGHTY for their sins. So please everyone out there before you say things or quote from the quran, Please get the facts straight and Be 110% positive of what you are saying.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • Jeff

      O Prophet, when you [and the believers] divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed waiting—period and count the waiting—period accurately . . . 4 And if you are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to those who have not menstruated as yet. As for pregnant women, their period ends when they have delivered their burden

      September 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • M&M

      We don't need to study the Quran. We see it in action every day. So are you saying that all these people are not adhering to the teachings of the Quran...including the ones who sit silent and don't cry out for mercy when they see their religion so viciously being hijacked by a group of radicals! Silence is consent!

      September 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
    • JS

      Last but not least I would like to conclude by the blessed sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:
      "It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them."
      "The most perfect believers are the best in conduct and best of you are those who are best to their wives."
      "Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers."

      Before any other religion or system in the world Islam gave a woman the right to inherit, the right to vote and voice her opinion, the right to trade invest and improve herself financially, the right to own – buy and sell, the right to seek knowledge and have a good education, the right to work and has even gone further to oblige the males in every stage of her life, whether it was a father, brother or husband ... It's their duty before God to take care of her, to spend on her, to provide her with the food , clothing and shelter that she needs, to provide her with a good education, to protect her from anything that can harm her and to never hesitate to put their lives in stake for her if the need calls them to do so

      Prophet Muhammad's last sermon :
      O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

      September 8, 2010 at 3:38 am |
  10. christina

    Bloody hell, 9/11 was an inside job. Yeah I know, truth hurts but s*** happens. Get used to it. And this is to the ppl who keep saying 'why don't we build churches in saudia arabia or other muslim countries'?, funny part is you ppl are stuck in america and i suggest you guys should do more traveling. UAE has plenty of churches, Qatar does, Kuwait too, Egypt too and many more , find out urself. Yes I didnt mention saudia arabia because the truth is there are no churches, fair enough. But the question is are there any christians living in saudia arabia? NO, NONE, ZERO! Its fine with them but its not like they will build it for 'YOU', c'mon. Secondly why do we want churches in saudia arabia for god sake? To be honest its a boring country. Thirdly, who gives a damn if they want to build a mosque few blocks away from ground zero? and By the way i lived in the dubai for 10 years and women wear what they want, alcohol here and there (btw they have some amazing clubs 😛 ), women drive, every one is living peacefully. kuwait the same thing as well as bahrain. YOU PPL NEED TO LEAVE THE STATES FOR A MONTH ATLEAST AND START TRAVELING AND EDUCATING YOURSELVES INSTEAD OF WATCHING THE T.V 24/7.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  11. Philly

    I want to ask the Imam if it is okay to beat my wife, lightly, and then more severely if she remains disobedient and unsubmissive.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  12. whatahit

    This may have already been asked, but what made you choose this one particular parcel of land to build the Islamic center? Were there other properties that were considered? I heard that the goal of the Islamic center is the "build bridges" between Muslims and other faiths in America. Given this fact, why are you not moving the center to another less controversial area?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  13. Shaheem W. Ali

    How do you do a Video Question on this site? Thanks.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  14. Nick

    Dear (Imam),

    I'm not sure of the appropriate form of address.

    What would you say to a young Muslim who believed it was his duty to wage Jihad against the West? What if he was determined to use violence in that goal? If the man was serious in his desire which authorities would you notify?


    September 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • Shariq

      The Imam (it's appropriate) is a Sufi pacifist. What do you think his answer will be?

      September 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  15. blind poet

    Islam is not a religion of love... it is not a religion of tolarance... and if you think it is you are wrong... it is based on the destrcution of non believers!

    every thing i need to know about Islam was learned on 9/11

    September 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Think about it

      I guess all Catholics are child abusers, White Americans hate Blacks and the US wants the Mexicans to go home. I know everything about America too.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • Dawn

      Do you know everything you need to know about the Japanese based on Pearl Harbor, the Germans because of the Holocaust, Russians because of the Cold War?

      What DO you know about America?

      Slavery, Genocide (Natives), unleashing two atomic bombs, school shootings, immense national debt (that NO ONE, not even the lately beloved republicans can figure out) inciting and/or creating war after war, the highest murder rate of ALL developed countries...

      Tell me, does the world know all they need to know about Americans based on these horrific events?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
    • JS

      For the Benefit of my American brothers – Allah means " The God" in Arabic .. Even Jesus Christ used to refer to God As Alah (in his language Armaic .. he did not speak English 🙂

      “Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good
      1) To parents,
      2) Kinsfolk,
      3) Orphans,
      4) Al-Masakin (the poor),
      5) The neighbor who is near of kin,
      6) The neighbor who is a stranger,
      7) The companion by your side,
      8) The wayfarer (you meet),
      9) And those whom your right hands possess.
      Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.”
      The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 4, Verse 36

      September 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  16. B

    I have many friends with diverse religious backgrounds,but I think this move by the Imam is just too soon. I think that the wound from 9/11 is still very much fresh ,and needs more time for people to lose their fears of the Islamic religion and its followers. Legally they may do what ever they want but I caution them against this move because many people have strong feelings against Islam... Not saying i do lol but I just know there are people out there.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  17. Mustafa

    In 1400 years, nothing has changed. We are still at each other throat because of some bad apples. It is bred from ignorance.

    Keep in mind, there 1.5 BN Muslims and there are 2.1 BN Christians and 14 Million Jews- so keep on fighting and kill each other.
    Sad all three religion are peaceful religion....

    September 7, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  18. Jimbo1

    No Russ, Home of the aware!!! Get a clue and stop this from happening in NY!!!

    September 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  19. Narasimhan

    How many wives does the Imam have? Has he ever beaten his wife as mentioned in Quran?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Think about it

      4.8 Million Women in America are victims of domestic abuse every year.
      There must be A LOT OF MUSLIM MEN IN AMERICA.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • alvi

      did u know that ur lord krishna had 16000 wives, do some reality check before u go ahead and post something like this. also indian married women were burnt alive not too many years ago in india when their husbands died on the same woods the husbands were burnt.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • alvi

      in india the number of female foeticide is in millions because the hindus don't want baby girls because of the dowry problem. so don't claim ur self to be women rights champion mr or ms Narasimhan

      September 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
    • Born in the USA

      Do you know why the Prophet Mohammed had 40 wives? It's only because many of the men were killed and many of the women became widows with children, who did not have food or shelter. There were more women than men after the war. He married them to protect them. Also, these days a Muslim man only has one wife, rarely will you see more than one. And I would research before posting on the wall. It makes you look feeble-minded.

      September 8, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  20. Narasimhan

    Mecca should be given back to Hindus. It is a holy shiva temple. The culture of perambulating is from Hindus. Please give back the holy shiva temple.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • Born in the USA

      Are you serious????? Are you an educated Hindu??? I have many Hindu friends-should I believe they think like you? They don't and THANK GOD for that!!!!!

      September 8, 2010 at 9:04 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.