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September 9th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Imam: Handling of Islamic center plan a matter of national security

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The religious leader behind plans to build an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York's ground zero said Wednesday night that America's national security depends on how it handles the controversy.

"If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Larry King Live."

"The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack."

But some critics decried his assessment.

"The whole national security thing: that's a veiled threat," Andy Sullivan, a union construction worker who wants all New York construction workers to boycott the proposed Islamic center, said on CNN's "AC 360" Wednesday night. "He's saying 'you make me move' and, guess what, the whole radical Muslim world is coming after us."

"This is a turf war," Sullivan said.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Islam
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