October 28th, 2010
11:20 PM ET

Saudi prince opposes Islamic center near ground zero

From CNN's Salma Abdelaziz:

Saudi Prince and billionaire Al-waleed bin Talal says he opposes the building of an Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero, according to a magazine interview with him published Thursday.

"I am against putting the mosque there out of respect for those people who have been wounded over there," Al-waleed told Arabian Business, a Dubai-based magazine

Al-waleed is a wealthy businessman with large holdings in several U.S. corporations, including Apple, Citigroup, and News Corp. He was ranked 22 on the 2009 Forbes billionaires list.

His statements come after accusations by Fox News analyst Dan Senor in August that Al-waleed's organizations "fund radical madrassas all over the world" and that he supported the Park51, the name of the proposed New York project.

"I heard and saw a lot of news about me being associated with it and this is all wrong," Al-waleed said in Thursday's interview. "We did not finance this thing."

He said that while Muslims have a right to build a mosque in downtown Manhattan, it is insensitive due to its proximity to the site of the 9/11 attacks on World Trade Center.

"Those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York, and not try to agitate the wound by saying 'we need to put the mosque next to the 9/11 site'," Al-waleed said.

In October 2001, then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani rejected a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Al-waleed after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East may have contributed to the September 11 attacks.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • 9/11 • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • New York • United States

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. abcde

    sad cultre..

    November 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  2. 6 million muslims leave islam every year...

    READ THE BIBLE AND LEARN THE TRUTH..they have and live happier, and normal free lives.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  3. Keith

    Americans are short-sighted. How many of you morons who support the building of the ground zero mosque would've supported it on Sept. 12, 2001? Depraved mind=one not capable of making decisions in your own best interest. That is where many of you are. Personally, I could care less if that is the way you want to be. But, when it affects me, you will have a fight on your hands.

    October 31, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Since it does not affect you more than any other spectator, I expect your fight to be just as lame as your arguments.

      I would have supported the building of a mosque the day after 9-11-01, but then I am not brainwashed and the mosque is not being built on "ground zero", but upon private property far away from "ground zero".
      As an American, the rule of law trumps your lack of intelligence.
      Since it is not being built on "ground zero", you have no basis for attack other than some silly "sentimentality" that does not allow anyone to experience American freedoms and rights within a ridiculously large radius around "ground zero".

      November 1, 2010 at 12:23 am |
    • Leah

      Keith: Short-sighted? People support the mosque because they are in favor of religious tolerance and want to show more people what moderate Islam is about. Muslims have the same freedom of religion and have the right to build the Mosque at the proposed site, because they are following local laws and ordinances.

      November 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  4. Iqbal khan


    October 31, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Iqbal Khan.
      I doubt if Reality would watch that since he might get a heart attack poor guy.

      October 31, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  5. Sean

    Hi everyone,

    In my humble opinion, I feel that no one religion should be represented at the Ground Zero. If the powers that be wished to send a proper message, why don't they build a mosque, a church and a synagogue at the site? I feel this would promote the mutual harmony and respect among the 3 great religions and as well, send the much needed message that everyone could live in harmony, despite their beliefs.

    In builing only a mosque, the masses, (people who actually believe muslims are the problem,) may construe this as being 'the enemy has won.' Similalrly, in building only a church could send the message of one religion being better than another...hence my idea of the 3 places of worship...

    We must do our uttmost to remember that muslims did not plan and carry out these horrible attacks, but in fact islamic extremists did. (For those who care to learn and properly inform themselves, there is a GREAT differnece between the two – muslims and extremists...) The extremists are the people who took one of the world's great religions and have distorted it, to be used to fulfill their own murderous agenda, and, in doing so, have put an ugly face and tarnished the reputations of all muslims, everywhere.

    Anyways, that's my take...

    October 31, 2010 at 7:52 am |
    • Muneef

      Here at last I see some comments that speaks of " Just and Wisdom "..
      Just I pray to God one day Reality will Realize how far he is from Reality.!

      October 31, 2010 at 9:25 am |
    • Reality

      Ahh, poor Muneef still trying to avoid the flaws and frauds in his "gabriel-myth-based" religion so once again we send him The Cure based on Justice and Wisdom of the 21st Century:

      Correcting the Five Basic Tenets of Islam:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Accept these five "cleansers" and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      October 31, 2010 at 11:31 am |
    • Muneef

      @Reality Your Race are from Space and like us Religious from Earth..

      November 1, 2010 at 5:49 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.