Quran burning would have "strengthened radicals": Ground Zero mosque imam

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 07:00 hrs

Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the proposed mosque near Ground Zero in New York, has said that Florida Pastor Terry Jones' plans to burn copies of the Quran would have sparked "a disaster".

Rauf said that the event, which was called off, would have "strengthened radicals".

"It would have strengthened the radicals. It would have enhanced the possibility of terrorist acts against America and American interests," ABC News quoted Rauf, as saying.

Jones said that he cancelled the event as those behind the Islamic center had agreed to relocate it - a claim denied by Rauf.

"How can you equate the burning of any person's scripture with an attempt to build inter-faith dialogue?" Rauf said.

"This is a house with multi-faith partners, intended to work together towards building peace," he added.

He further said that the intense debate over the center had stoked anti-Muslim feeling across the country.

"How else would you describe the fact that mosques around the country are now being attacked?" Rauf said.

"We are Americans, too. We are doctors. We are investment bankers. We are taxi drivers. We are store keepers. We are lawyers. We are... part of the fabric of America," he added. (ANI)