Imam: No Agreement To Move Mosque

Trump Offers To Buy Property, But Is Quickly Rejected

NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — Donald Trump tried, but got flatly rejected. Pastor Terry Jones put the country at ease, but is now having second thoughts.

Needless to say, Thursday’s edition of “as the ground zero mosque turns,” took the nation on a wild ride, one that changed seemingly by the hour and appears to be nowhere close to being resolved.

Moments after real estate mogul Trump offered to put up the cash to stop the mosque from being built, the leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy said he was canceling plans to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11.

Then Trump got trumped by the mosque investors and Jones said he was lied to and is now considering reinstating his controversial protest on 9/11.

On top of all that, the Muslim cleric behind the proposed downtown Islamic center said it may be too late to move his mosque further away from ground zero.

In a letter faxed out late Thursday, Trump tried to end the mosque controversy with his checkbook, but it appears the investors are not interested in “The Donald’s” money.

Trump wrote a letter to investor Hisham Elzanaty making an “offer to purchase your site,” meaning the location at 45 Park Place “for what you paid plus 25 percent.”

Photos: A Day In the Life Of ‘The Donald’

He added, though, “It would be agreed that if you or your representative were to build a mosque it would be located at least five blocks further from the World Trade Center site.”

However, Wolodymyr Starosolsky, a lawyer for the investor in the real estate partnership that controls the site, said Trump’s offer is “just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight.”

He added that the offer’s lack of seriousness was evident in the price. He said the real estate partnership had already received two offers in the ballpark of $20 million. The group collectively paid $4.8 million one of the two buildings on the site.

“He knows what the value of the building is. If he were really interested in buying the building, he would have come forward with at least $20 million,” Starosolsky said.

This all came the day after the Imam behind the planned Islamic center said he was sorry he picked the spot but feels compelled to go ahead with the project.

“If I had known this would have happened, we certainly wouldn’t have done this,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said. “If we move it will strengthen the argument of the radical to recruit, their ability to recruit, and their continued aggression of violence against our country.”

Even some mosque supporters think the imam may be overstating that case.

“Radicals use any and everything. It’s not this one thing. They already use a lot of other stuff; they didn’t need this,” said Hesham El-Meligy of the Arab-American Federation.

Just after the Trump news broke, Jones, the leader of a small Florida church, said he was canceling plans to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, only to leave the door open to a change of heart a few hours later.

At first, Pastor Jones said that he decided to cancel his protest because Rauf had agreed to move the mosque’s controversial location.

“We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday and on Saturday I will be flying up there to meet with them,” Jones said.

“He has agreed to move the location. That, of course, cannot happen overnight but he has agreed to do that. We felt that that would be a sign that God would want us the American people don’t want the mosque there and Muslims do not want us to burn the Koran.”

However, Rauf responded by saying there was no such agreement.

“I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Korans. However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musry. I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony,” Rauf said.

Manhattan real estate developer Sharif El-Gamal, who leads a real estate partnership that controls the property on which the center would be built, and also heads a nonprofit group raising money for the center, denied that any talks on a move had taken place.

“It is untrue,” he said, adding, “The project will proceed as planned.”

Standing outside his 50-member Pentecostal church, the Dove Outreach Center, alongside Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Jones said he relented when Musri assured him that the New York mosque will be moved.

Hours later, Jones said Musri “clearly, clearly lied to us.”

“Given what we are now hearing, we are forced to rethink our decision,” Jones said. “So as of right now, we are not canceling the event, but we are suspending it.”

LISTEN: Full statement from Pastor Terry Jones

Jones did not say whether the Koran burning could still be held Saturday, but he said he expected Musri to keep his word and expected “the imam in New York to back up one of his own men.”

In many ways it’s as if people on various sides of this issue are no longer listening to what the other side is saying but rather focusing on the tone of the discourse, seeing in the arguments perceived radicalism or racism.

“The tone of the debate is hatred, racism and bigotry in the ugliest form,” demonstrator Sara Flounder said.

But Rosemary Cain, who lost her son in the towers, hears her own ominous tone in the words Rauf delivered Wednesday night.

“If we move from that location, the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse,” Rauf said.

“He shouldn’t sound like he’s warning us against it. That puts a shiver down my spine. We’ve suffered enough. I don’t see why the whole basis for the Muslim faith in this country is depending on one mosque at ground zero,” Cain said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Lastest Ground Zero Mosque News · Trend at NRSWealth

    […] Imam: No Agreement To Move Mosque Moments after real estate mogul Donald Trump offered to put up the cash to stop the mosque near ground zero from being built, the leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy said he is canceling plans to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11. Read more on CBS New York […]

  • elabbasa

    I do understand Pastor Terry Jone’s openion. He wants to express his anger and BURN not LEARN. He has no Idea about the tolerance of Islam and don’t differenciate between Islam itself and some radicals like him with Islamic names and IDs. The idea saying that Quran teaches violence and cruelity is completely wrong, because the Holly Books are from same source (ONE GOD), message to humanity in different languges to different nations on different times and situations!!!!!!!! The message is to beleive in God the creator. So Islam is the same religion carried by all Messangers and Prophets, to human beings.
    Allah says in Holly Quran:
    “How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.”
    “Mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth written in your Scriptures, the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] while you know (the truth) “.
    “Abraham instructed his sons [to do the same] and [so did] Jacob, [saying], “O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims.”
    “When death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: “What will ye worship after me?” They said: “We shall worship Thy god and the god of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma’il and Isaac,- the one (True) Allah: To Him we bow (in Islam).”
    “Remember when the angels said: “O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus) the son of Maryam from Him, his name will be the Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam , held in honour in this world and lifeafter.”
    Such praising and honour expressed to Mary the Virgin and Jesus not to be burnt.It will not harm Islam but hurting Pastor Terry Jones himself being exposed to the media.
    “Do not be grieved, [O Muhammad], by those who hasten into disbelief. Indeed, they will never harm Allah at all. Allah intends that He should give them no share in the Hereafter, and for them is a great punishment.”
    “Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned “Allah says.
    God Bless beleivers who planned to build Community Cultural Center for all American citizens with prayer to worship God and ask forgiveness for the victims of Ground Zero of different nations and ages. Also to pave the way for doubtful disbeleivers to LEARN not BURN the Holly Books (Godspell).

    • John Lenin


      Perhaps the pastor will only light one of his farts, and then the whole world will chuckle as one.

  • Omar

    That pastor jones or whatever his name is is looking for some fame, I am a Muslim and burning the Holy Quran does not offend me, it is from God and God is able to protect his book, however why do you wanna give people more excused to kill more of us Americans, google that pastor jones and read his history yourself and how he boosted his book sales by his actions. He simply rides the waves to achieve personal gains. I hope he does burn the Quran so he will bring it upon himself soon or later.
    Mr. Observer didn’t you observe your caps is stuck

  • morris wise

    Burning a Koran in the US would have got some Afghanis angry, but how much angrier can they get when thousands of their civilians are being killed by drones. The US is a nation where one third of its population are people of color and they must be given their civil rights. The real danger behind the potential burning of the Koran by the Pastor was the precedent it would set in the way minorities are treated. He had to be stopped not for the sake of the Muslims in Afghanistan but for justice right here in America.

  • Drasties - Dutch on the World - World on the Dutch

    […] organisation said the group has no plans to move the Muslim community center. And Imam Rauf has NOT spoken to the minister in Florida and he has no change of plans. [read […]

  • rodin

    No religion , NO PROBLEM.

    Religion is god sanctioned hatred.
    Hatred is a faith based initiative.


    • KPMc

      You came here to read about it. No one forced you. I am sure if you stay in your own little world this will not affect you at all. So what are you complaining about. Put your head back in the sand and be as a happy as clam.

  • BC

    Don’t you understand? This is not about building a mosque near Ground Zero. The news reports ‘mosque’ and every single one of you repeat ‘mosque,’ ad nauseum. It’s a cultural center with a prayer space in it, much like a hospital with a chapel in it, or a Jewish office building with a temple in it. The only thing the proposal of building this center has accomplished is that it brought all your hatred to the surface, because no matter what you say or do, you will never get along because you don’t want to. You are content in your hatred because this is what our country has cultivated…hatred of anyone who is not us. And just who are we?



  • marta sloan

    Can’t we all just get along?

  • samething4u

    “Boo hoo, mosque offends me!” sounds just like “Boo hoo cartoon of Muhammed offends me” SAME THING

  • Dennnis

    burn the quran and the mosque in N.Y. and the muslim swine and roast pigs in the flames

  • marie

    Donald Trump’s offer does not solve or diffuse the state of affairs regarding the location of the mosque. This is a situation involving religious tolerance and freedom. This is not a real estate deal. Mr. Trump is just throwing money at something that involves thoughtful consideration and understanding. America was not founded by chasing away people who want the freedom to worship.

  • 1389AD

    I think Rauf may be doing all of this in large part for personal and monetary aggrandisement in the first place.

    That said, he DOES have terrorist connections and should definitely be deported.

    • KPMc

      Oh well.. that confirms it.. if you say so.

  • John

    CBSTV news is to quick to report the events without verifying all the fact. In an effort to scoop other stations the ultra liberal news reporting leaves a lot to be desired. Let all of us pro and con for any issue be sure we report the correct facts and not report news that is not correct and then repeated thousands of times before they find out they have sent out wrong information.

    • Liberal Jew

      Joe, what are you trying to say? It makes no sense whatsoever. I am trying to determine if I agree or disagree, but I cannot because of your terrible grammar and diction. Then, you seem to attempt to correct it with a second equally incomprehensible post. This is borderline mumbo jumbo. The writer in a unnamed “News”paper who recently commented on New York City’s inability to write clearly and correctly was right. Jesus Christ, Joe, get a tutor or take a lesson, do something, seriously

      • joe

        thank you for you speech, if you don’t get it, sorry.the guy trump offered the money, to may not even own half of the building.i read it another article.

  • MLK

    Sorry Sal, book burning is not an act of treason.

  • joe

    publicity stunt, it says if he is majority owner. it’s a shame, the whole thing. it being by these clowns in the newspaper. there’s no money, where is it? lol yes he should his hair, you could buold a building on top, it’ so big.

    • joe

      publicity stunt, it says if he is majority owner. it’s a shame, the whole thing. it being used by these clowns in the newspaper. there’s no money, where is it? lol yes he should sale his hair, you could build a building on top, it’ so big.

  • PR_one

    If he really wants to help, then why not have an even deal.
    The location of Trump Tower for that of the Islamic Center.
    Then we will know that he isn’t looking to make a good deal for himself.

  • Harry

    He’s the only one who has stepped forward to try to diffuse a very volatile situation. Good for you Donald for trying to do that right thing!!!!!!!

  • Sal

    The pastor who wants to burn the Korans should be arrested for treason to his country, plain and simple.
    He will inevitably be contributing to hatred and death to our troops.
    If that isn’t an act of treason then I don’t know what is.

    • joe

      freedom of speech, that is what is great about this country. also pastor said he will not burn any korans. thank god

    • cmm912

      obama’s policies are treasonous.

      • dennnis

        Yes they are and our weak ass government won’t do anything about it. Vote them all out and then attack them and run them out of the country.

    • Dan Te

      Like the mu-slimes need any reason to kill people?

      You must be born stupid. Nobody can possibly be working that hard at being that stupid. Just too much work.

  • Reegs


    • Dag O'stino

      I think that Trump’s hair is the kind of Imam I can support.

  • James

    What would it take to buy Donald off and send him permanently to Siberia

    • Cynlee

      what will it take to send you James back to mid east where you can from? We don’t need your kind in the U.S.

      • KPMc

        How exactly did you come to that conclusion based on what James said? No… your opinion is based on prejudice or anything like that!

  • goodnews



    • Ray

      This is the 21st Century. I would like to think that mankind has progressed past imitation and elementary thinking, but with the recent controversey surrounding the mosque in Manhattan, I realize I was wrong.

      Let’s ask ourselves this question, ” is it fair to hold all white men responsible for the slavery of the African people?” “Is it fair to hold all Japanese accountable for the attack on Pearl Harbor?”

      And finally, “Is it fair to hold all Muslims responsible for an Islamic extremist groups actions?”

      We are not 5 year olds making a fuss about this, we are adults who should have critical thinking skills – smart enough to “know” that this is all so trivial and ridiculous.

      We are all human beings – created to acknowledge truth and justice.

      Therefore, I support the building of the mosque because I refuse to hold all Muslims responsible for the actions of extremist groups.

      Thank you.

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