Imam: Christian and Jewish communities support construction of Islamic center in New York (UPDATE)

Arab World Materials 19 October 2010 18:33 (UTC +04:00)

Editor's Note: Imam's words were added after the eighth paragraph

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 19 / Trend S. Suleymanov /

Many religious communities, not only Muslim supported the construction project of an Islamic center in New York, Feisal Abdul Rauf, the author of this project, imam of the al-Farah mosque in New York, said in an interview with Trend.

"The project was supported by many religious communities, not only Muslim, but Jewish, Christian, Imam Feisal said. Not only U.S President Barack Obama, who is Christian and Muslim, as his father is Muslim, but New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is Jew, supported our project, he said.

The United States continue rapid debates over the project of building an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, two blocks from the twin towers of the World Trade Center destroyed by terrorist attacks in 2001.

He said that everyone understands that there is a righteous cause, which the United States need.

"This is not just a mosque. It will be the center of all religious communities with places of prayer for Muslims, Christians and Jews," he explained.

He said that the planned Islamic Center will become not only a religious center, but also cultural.

The center will be universal. He expressed the wish for cultures of all countries, who practice Islam, to be represented in it.

He said that Islam today is in many world countries, in different cultures, including the U.S.

Islam preaches peace, love and mercy, he said. The problem is that many people have misconceptions about this religion. Muslims' task worldwide is to change that attitude.

He said that unfortunately, there are followers of radical Islamism throughout the Muslim world - Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt. Therefore, people in the West often associate Islam with terrorism. But it is a big mistake.