Mosque TimeOut

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 8:48am

Imam behind controversial community center says he's exploring all options.

Controversy continues to swirl around the proposed Islamic center under construction near Ground Zero, but could compromise now be ahead?

The Imam behind the center spoke this morning and signaled that all options are still on the table.

"We are working through what will be a solution, God willing, that will resolve this crisis, defuse it," said Imam Feisal Rauf.

Imam Rauf wouldn't say whether that could include moving the center.

Over the weekend he said changing the project could help extremists recruit terrorists and put Americans at risk.

The statements came as a new poll shows 70 percent of American voters think Muslims have the right to build near Ground Zero, but 63 percent think it's inappropriate.

The controversy highlights what seems to be a growing divide over religion in America.

Even as Imam Rauf pledged to find a solution to the mosque controversy, he called it a misperception that the blocks near Ground Zero were a sacred site.

"With a strip joint around the corner, with betting is absolutely disingenuous as many have said that that block is hallowed ground," he said.

The fallout over the controversy is reaching Washington.

44 percent of respondents in that poll disapprove of how President Obama is handling the situation, while only 31 percent approve.

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