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. Philly

    BURAQ GOOGLE IT. IM NOT sure if my comments are showing up

    September 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  2. M&M

    I hope when they build the mosque at ground zero that the ghosts rise up and torment them day and night to the point where they have to run from the building.

    September 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  3. edan

    We will NEVER forget that many of the terrorist hyjackers of 9/11 also claimed to live "in peace" with and around us for years as they plotted their strike against innocents! To say you are for peace, buys you nothing. I have a right to be skeptical given the hisotry of lthis faith, and ithe long practice of misrepresenting true intentions to gain advantage adn hide in plain sight. To continue with this project shows you stand for open provocation and disrespect, not for peace and building bridges..

    September 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
    • Think about it

      Lets re-write American history then. So we look like a "good" race. Lets start with the American Indians, Slavery and now we want to close the border to Mexico. World History, the Holocaust. I guess we should teach a made up history that glorifies Americans.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
  4. Daveak47

    A huge number of Muslims are offended by the idea of burning Koran JUST AS a huge number of Americans are offended by building a mosque near ground zero. BOTH ARE CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RIGHTS.

    So as an American citizen, would you support burning Koran as much as building mosque near ground zero?

    September 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
  5. M&M

    I have no question for this guy. I have a statement though: "just because you can doesn't mean you should." If you want to teach tolerance, then start by practicing it and not be so adamant about being politically correct. Sometimes, for the sake of peace, one should just walk away and watch how others will come after you seeking to know more about you and your tolerance.

    September 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  6. Old Farmboy

    This is a farce. All this man wants to do is make the point that it's okay for the muslim (intentionally not capitalized) faith to put themselves in a holier than thow position. Your people are a joke they way you try to prove your point. The ground of your mosk (intentionally misspelled) is damned by the souls of those your faith killed. I'm really getting sick and tired of our freedom being our downfall and people like you trying to suck it up. You traveled, at my expense by the way, trying to unify, but in doing this you mock us. I have no respect for you as the boy you are or the point you try to prove. You have to understand that there we are here as a race. We are here as a world and from what I read. From what I see. There is one problem and that's you. You want us out of your land, fine. If it were up to me I'd make sure that happened. You want the isolation, then so be it. There would be no help. No support. You can keep your oil. We are a nation that can overcome. We are a race that will not fail. See what your sand grows and then talk to me about it. I'm really sick and tired of this junk and you trying to bring your beliefs to me.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Think about it

      America does not have a nice history. Look at slavery, Christians carried out those acts. 1968 MLK was killed so it was not too long ago when Christians did some bad things in history. Should we burn Bibles – no. It was a portion of the Christian Society that carried out these acts and we don't judge them as a whole. Just like Germans, there is about 51 million Germans in the United States alone and the Holcaust took 11 Million lives. We are not buring German flags and raiding all the German towns here in America. There is a group of so called Muslims making a bad wrap for everyone. Burning Quarans is not an answer. There are good Muslims in the World so please try to respect them because the good ones also respect the other religions of the World.

      Go back to you crops Farm Boy you have no place in the modern world.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
  7. M&M

    Seems as if Muslims have turned this whole issue into a religious thing when it was never a religious issue. See how narrow minded they all are. This is not about Muslims vs Christians. If you all think so, you are really stupid! But you Muslims turn everything into a religious thing and it is for this same reason the radicals are blowing up themselves and others. They can't see past Islam. Islam has them under some evil spell. So very sad.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Dawn

      Would this protest and hate-speak be happening if it were some sort of Judea-Christian center. I don't think so. How is any religion "better" than any other?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
  8. John

    Would you support building a Catholic /Christian church in Mecca?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Ryan Strahs

      I mean I am not a Muslim, but in response to you question. Would you be okay with them building a Mosque in Vatican City or the head city of any religion that is holy. I mean no holy city would allow this... Ground Zero is not Mecca. Come on...

      September 8, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  9. christina

    forgive me if this comment has been posted above I did not read every comment but my question to this person is " isnt so that Muslims belief is that anyone who is not Muslim is an infedel?" with that being said " why then do you care about your relations with the rest of the world" I think he is lying.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • alvi

      infidel means someone who does not beleive in ur religion. u can safely say all people who don't beleive ur religion are infidel in your religions context. it is not taken in the meaning of curse as people might think.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  10. sleeve

    We must reject democracy in favor of Islam, which is the unique perfect system worked out by Allah. . .Our march has just begun and Islam will end up conquering Europe and America. . . And let no one think that we are Utopian dreamers.
    -Sheikh Saeed Shaaban, quoted in L'Orient le jour, Beirut, 19 October 1983

    The Koran pushes us in the exact opposite direction to the forces at work in the American political spectrum.
    -Imam Zaid Shakir, former Muslim chaplain and political science professor, Yale University

    Islam is not Christianity...Islam is the religion of agitation, revolution, blood, liberation and martyrdom.
    -Sheikh Morteza Motahari, quoted in "Islamic Movements in the Last One Hundred Years," Tehran, 1979

    You shall begin to live once you have killed yourself. The "you" in you is none other than Satan in disguise. Kill him and you will be saved. Muslims are lucky because they can accomplish this self annihilation in accordance with divine rules. For Islam has an answer to every imagnable question. All an individual needs to do is to obey the rules without posing questions, without seeking variations.
    -Sheikh Ragheb Harb, "Islam is the Strongest Religion," 1983, p.22

    September 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
  11. Anand

    To Imam Rauf Sir, Instead building Mosque at ground zero if you show some efforts to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani a Iranian women who is going to die by stoning by your brothers than I can belive that you are a moderate muslim and building a bridge. I didn't heard any word from ANY so called moderate muslims against this brutal killing. And poor guy the woman's son, Sajad is appealing to Pope Benedict XVI and to Italy to work to stop the execution. Why? what kind of bridge builder you are who left one side of bridge in deep hole fill with darkness and no hope.I know you want to preach Americans to love Muslims but what about the Muslims who hate non muslims. Who is going to preach them. Why I am asking you? – because you are the bridge builder.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  12. Behebbak

    The man has the eyes of a snake. From his voice to his mannerisms, everything about him says 'deceit and intolerance'. What would I ask him? Nothing. What is there to ask when you know the answer will be a lie.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  13. Jeff

    Of the Unbelievers: Sura 4:89 “seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

    Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (Sura 9:5)

    4:101 “When ye travel through the earth, there is no blame on you if ye shorten your prayers, for fear the Unbelievers May attack you: For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies.” 4:102 “For the Unbelievers, Allah has prepared a humiliating punishment.”

    September 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • JS

      Jeff : Thanks for bringing this up . I will urge you to open the Quran and read the verse befor and after the ones that you have quoted . The context of 9:5 was a treaty that was signed by pagans and Muslims and some of the pagans broke the treaty .. but pay attention to what the Quran says in 9.6 and 9.4
      9:4 Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].

      9:6 And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

      O you who believe! Stand steadfast for Allah as witnesses of justice, and let not the hatred of a people prevent you from justice towards them. (Nay!) be just: that is closer to piety. And fear Allah! Verily, Allah is well aware of what you do. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 5, Verse 8)

      And fight in Allah’s cause those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits (set by Allah), Truly, Allah loves not the transgressors. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 190)

      And if any of the pagan (enemy) seeks your protection then grant it – in order that he may hear the Word of Allah – and escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men who know not. (The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 9, Verse 6)

      I can respond to your comment regarding Jews and Christians as well .in detail but lack of space will not allow me to Moses is considered one of the mightiest prophets by Muslims and Mary a Jewess is held in high esteem by Muslims .

      September 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
    • mehedi

      When a terrorist says what he did is written in the Quran is no different than you; they only read the part that supports them and ignore the rest. I suggest you read the entire sura before yo quote it.
      But dont you worry because when Jesus comes back, he will fix it for you! LOL

      September 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
    • Muslim Skeptic

      The difference is (and I'm not religious) Christians or whatever overlook the silly parts of the bible and don't take it literally for the most part. There are entire schools in the middle east that the only thing they read is the Quran. There is a lot of bad stuff in the Quran that is taken literally. If you're not following the Quran then you are not a true Muslim according to many.

      September 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • JS

      Just to let you know :
      1) Jesus PBUH was circumcized just like Muslims
      2) Jesus did not eat pork just like
      3) He used to refer to God as Alah in his language armaic
      4) He used to pray like Muslims (kneel down and pray ) . He did not goto church to pray .

      Are you sure Jesus Christ taught gospel form Mathew , Luke and John .. because these guys were not around when Jesus was preaching gospel .

      Can you quote one verse from modern day bible which was written ages after Jesus Christ Peace be upon him where he said – worship me .. Can you tell me why Jesus cried out Eli Eli Lama sabachthani 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?' " (Matthew 27:45-46, NKJV throughout) when according to Christian he was God / Son of God . Why would "god" cry out to another "God" in distress ??

      September 8, 2010 at 1:25 am |
  14. Jeff

    The Jews are to be eliminated

    Sura 5:51: “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he among you that turns to them for friendship is of them.” This friendship makes any Muslim a enemy of their own and deserving of the same fate as the unbeliever. This is because God does not guide an unjust people.

    There is a consistency in the statements in Qur'an about the Jews, Christians, unbelievers, infidels, polytheists, only a few statements are favorable. But the direct approach of whom Mohammed meant is clear from his theme of elimination and destiny for punishment.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  15. AntiWar

    May be all the barkings will end if he gives FUNDING MANAGEMENT to Chrisitan Accountants.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  16. mpandi

    I knowfrom authoritative sources that Muslims do not HAVE to tell the truth to non-muslims! Why are people soooo ignorant? Just read about things like Taquiya etc...As long as you are not a muslim, you are the "other". Next time you talk to a moslem ask him or her about these two concepts: Forgiveness and love...and who accoding to the Koran deserves to be loved and to be forgiven...in fact, ask what the Koran teaches about Forgiveness and revenge; love and hate...Hope you will be told the truth!

    September 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • JS

      And your sources are the Islamophobe blogs ..or the Quran that exists in your imagination .. Please produce the verse of the Quran that talks about "hiding truth" from non believers so that Muslims can be enlightened .. We kept reading the Quran but never came accross this "hiding truth" stuff in all these years .. Maybe you can help us here

      September 8, 2010 at 3:57 am |
  17. John

    Is Hamas a terrorist organization?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Bobby Ray

      Yes, their main stated purpose is to destroy Israel. All else is incidental.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  18. Jeff

    Why is it so hard for Muslim to become a Christian or join with another religion? Mohammed said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.” (Hadith Al Buhkari vol. 9:57) This command is practiced in almost all Islamic Fundamentalist countries today.

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

      Yes but it's kind of what happened during the Spanish inquisition with the Catholic Christians and kinda what happened when Columbus rediscovered America and it's kinda what happened when the Ottoman empire was invading countries. These things have happened over and over again. I think the only way we can change the circle jerk is by actually forgiving and moving on. However, there's only one instance where you need to stand up and fight for your right. When big brother walks in and tries to take your liberties and when they blow up your family with an airplane and blame it on someone else. Then you should not only fight for your rights, but fight for the rights of others.

      September 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  19. Safa Faleh

    I give this iman ALOT of credit for standing up for what he believes in and giving Islam a new outlook to americans, and to most of the world, so THANK YOU!! Most americans believe that all american muslims have some plot against this nation, and to hurt the people which we share this land with. My questtion towards the iman is, how would you tell citizens arould you that Islam is not something to fear, because many of the older generation americans dont understand what it is and they fear something so different from what they know, and how would you change their opinion? And I'm pretty sure that the younger generation are more open minded toward this.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
    • M&M

      We only fear what we see in action every day. It is not a figment of our imagination! Could you be so blind that you don't see what is taking place around the Muslim world in the name of Islam? Muslims who are against the killings should take to the street and protest and take back their religion. So, we don't see this therefore we conclude that you agree with what is going on in the name of Islam.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Surah 2:256 “Let there be no compulsion in Religion.” This would be a rational position if practiced as a standard, however Muslims disallow the Bible (as well as other books of religion) in their countries and do not give people a choice. They do not want to engage in dialogue or allow freedom of choice when they are in control. To present the Bibles Gospel is tantamount to aggression, so one is labeled an infidel, and the use of force can be used to restrain him. The rest of this verse says “Truth stands out Clear from Error: whoever Rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped, the most trustworthy Hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth And knoweth all things.” This verse seems to imply that those who embrace Islam willingly are accepted.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
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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.