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Imam: GZ Mosque Site is Not 'Hallowed Ground

(AP) — The imam leading the effort to build an Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero says there is a "misperception" that the proposed site is sacred ground.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said Monday that the location where the center would be built, two blocks from the World Trade Center, has a strip joint and betting parlors nearby. He says it's "absolutely disingenuous" to suggest that it is "hallowed ground."

He also says the location is important, because it will serve as a platform where the voice of moderate Muslims can be amplified.

Rauf made his remarks before the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rauf says the center will be a place for all faiths to come together. He says "the world is watching what we do here" and that it is important to "live up to our ideal."

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