September 8th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

Live blogging CNN's interview with imam behind NYC Islamic center

CNN's Soledad O'Brien has an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on "Larry King Live" happening now. CNN is live blogging it at This Just In.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim

soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Iqbal khan


    September 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  2. SK

    I too share similar sentiments of previous 99% bloggers; this interview conducted by Soledad was absolutely disgusting. I am utterly disappointed by Soledad and also CNN for disserving the nation. The interview was anything but fair and balanced and sounded more as an interrogation where she kept on repeating the same question over and over. Throughout the interview her tone towards Imam was offensive, venomous and spewed out bigotry. Imam on the other hand exuded dignity, and poise and handled her agitated, hostile and unprofessional behavior with graciousness. He articulated his views very intelligently and made very valid points.
    Being a loyal CNN watcher for over a decade, I truly believe that Soledad does not belong to CNN. She would be a great asset to FOX network. Meanwhile, I am switching to MSNBC till CNN cleans its act.

    September 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  3. TM

    Very very disappointed in Soledad O' Brien. This interview was extremely biased and more fit for kitchen table discussion. She came into this interview firm in her opion and failed to live up to the objective standards that CNN is supposed to represent. I will not be watching any of her interviews in the future and she is not fit to ever sit in Larry Kings chair again. She is unworthy of such a privilege. CNN has other anchors that are more professional, emotionally balanced, and educated on global issues that would have been more effective. Please Soledad, stay in your lane.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  4. Kelvin Emmanuel

    Even an unbiased (Christian/Catholic) foreigner like myself residing outside America who just happened to surf to the interview on telly thought Soledad O’Brien was amazingly unwise and 'unintellectual' in this particular interview with the imam. Certainly the imam needs help in framing his toughts for sure.

    September 13, 2010 at 6:14 am |
  5. Kenny from The Bronx

    I couldn't believe what I was watching! As an avid CNN watcher, I was very disappointed with Soledad's so-called interview. But I am more disappointed @ CNN for having the audacity to reair this travesty. It is unforgivable. CNN is not the joke that is foxnews. I have always respected CNN because you always reported with balance and integrity. Shaw in Tianamen sq., Amanpour in Iraq, Cooper and Gupta in NOLA and Haiti. Even soledad's Black in America was good. But Soledad did CNN and fair journalism a grave disservice. As a New Yorker who lost 4 friends on September 11 this all important interview
    Could have been a teachable moment. That America stands for freedom of speech AND religion this is a fight between moderates for peace and radicals for hatred. I am glad Christianne Amanpour is on ABC interviewing the Imam the way a responsible journalist should have. If only Soledad checked her personal feelings at the door and ask the questions
    For jounalism's sake she could have given herself a great feather in her cap and pose the tough questions. But unlike Walters,Hunter,King, Oprah,Sawyer,Coric and Wallace;
    Soledad missed a historic opportunity. I hope CNN redeems it's self until then, I'll be watching MSNBC!

    September 13, 2010 at 3:01 am |
    • Amit

      HI Kenny, You et all above summarised my thoughts...I have just finished watching the interview and was wondering that am I misreading what is happening here or Soledad O’Brien actually has BIAS written all over her when asking the questions. This was my first learning in deatil about this issue and I must admit that I felt that the Imam was far more composed knowing that he is on a responsible stage which is being watched by billions all over the world...

      September 13, 2010 at 6:59 am |
    • Larry Eppley

      Thanks Kenny. You said it better than I did. I have quoted you on my blog, http://YouDidntAsk.Org. Feel free to come by.

      September 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  6. Larry Eppley

    I have been a great admirer of Soledad's work for many years. But what was this? She seemed agitated, shallow, and petty. How can she keep acting as if the American public, operating from fear and ignorance, should have the last word in this matter? And that from one who has researched the nature of prejudice against blacks and Hispanics.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:25 am |
  7. Ed

    I once liked Soledad. Her hostile, opinionated badgering of the Imam clearly indicated that she was not searching for information but was pushing an agenda. I she wants to know about Islam, she needs to listen and not opinionate. I have always enjoyed Larry King, but if this is the best he can do, I won't be back and I will find another network for my information. I felt that the Imam demonstrated far more grace than she deserved. I am a protestant clergyman, retired, and I saw more of the principles of Christianity in the Muslim than was demonstrated by the "journalist" who only seemed angry. I have never written before, but this was too much.

    September 13, 2010 at 1:09 am |
  8. SomeTruth

    I think that Soledad O'Brien did a fine interview. Her job was to elicit information from her interviewee - for us. Of course she had to ask tough questions and to pursue in depth answers. It was not a kaffeeklatsch.

    If they had been presented it in a format of questions from the "Man on the Street", or what the general public really wants to know, I'm sure it would have raised similar questions.

    The imam responded well, and didn't seem to be at all offended by her. He is already on the spot.

    September 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  9. Feeling ashamed

    I just watched the Soladad O'Brien interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. I too was deeply disappointed in the way the interview was conducted. Ms. O'Brien appeared to be an evil twin. What happened....? It's such a crying shame that Ms. O'Brien's evil twin decided to show up at a time when journalistic balance is so desparately needed and, more importantly, on a network perviously trusted to provide such balance.

    September 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  10. Mia

    After watching two clips of the interview done with the Imam from what I saw, Soledad O'Brien did a good job in the interview. At times the discussion was heated, but it was no more heated than was the discussion that the Imam had with Ed Bradely from 60 minutes a short while after 9/11. A reporter has a job to do, which is to allow the story to be told, and that was done. This is a controversial topic. Many people want to know why build this cultural center? Why here? Why now? Yes America does give freedom of religion, but we do still have to caution ourselves about the decisions we make. I am not opposed to the Islamic center being built, but I am not for it either. I just have questions like many other individuals. Because the extremists who attacked they WTC were Muslims, building an Islamic center near ground zero is definitely a sensitive issue, nevermind the fact that a Mosque already exists 10 blocks from the site. People don't care about that. All they care about is the fact that these events are still fresh in their minds. Some say that this controversy is a political ploy...that may be the case, but it does exist. My main point is that Soledad is getting a very bad wrap. This was a good interview. She had a job to do and she did it. Many wanted to know why the Imam chose to bulid, and why he wanted to build in that spot and she let him do it. Thank you.

    September 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  11. Elaine Brostrom

    It's days after Soledad O'Brien's interview with Imam Raul and I still can't get it out of my mind. What an embarrassment for her and for CNN. At a time when we need to inject calm and reason into a hot button issue she was unreasonable and hostile. If this was the interveiw of herl lifetime then seh failed miserably and should not be trusted to do an important interview again. The world is watching. .

    September 12, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  12. YourFuture Is


    September 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
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    September 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
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    September 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
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    September 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  16. YourFutureis

    United States... Michigan
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    September 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Iqbal khan

      Please check out http://www.911bible.com

      September 29, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  17. Iqbal khan


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

    GROND ZERO what can I say so much hate in the world the same hate that kept black kids from going to school with white kids. The same hate that kept blacks from moving into white neighborhoods.Should blacks hate the GOD fearing whites for slavery and segregation? And should the Japanese Americans also hate GOD fearing whites for being forced to relocate to internment camps? We wre here before lets not make the same mistakes stop the hate. AMERICA IN GOD WE TRUST

    September 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  19. Andre

    I can't believe Soledad continues to have a job after such a horrible interview. I thought news was supposed to cover both sides of the issue, not just the side that continues to pour fuel to the flames of intolerance and stupidity. Stop referring to the vast number of Americans as being on one side or another, because I have never been questioned by one of these surveys, yet you position the results as representing the majority... if that is the view of the majority then this country is full of people who don't think for themselves or know when to turn off the so called “news” channel and do some real digging for the facts themselves. Soledad should find another day job and let somebody else, even Larry King, do the real interviews.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:39 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.