WASHINGTON (AP) — Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Thursday an Islamic community center and mosque planned near ground zero should be built because Muslims were among those of many faiths who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“Why then should a mosque, a cultural center, not be constructed a few blocks away?” Farrakhan asked at a news conference in Washington, where he was joined by a coalition of African-American Muslims.

Farrakhan and other Muslim leaders said the controversy over the building points to a rise in racism toward minorities and an anti-Islamic atmosphere.

The proposed $100 million project has been denounced by many critics as insensitive to the families of people killed at the World Trade Center. They say it is disrespectful to build an Islamic institution so close to the spot where nearly 2,800 people died at the hands of Muslim extremists.

“When that building was destroyed, the whole world felt it,” Farrakhan said, adding that many Muslims had offered their condolences to the country in the wake of the attacks. He said the area is also hallowed ground to blacks who are Muslims.

“Muslims are here. We are not terrorists,” Farrakhan said. “We will not allow anyone on our watch to do some silly act to deprive an innocent human being of their life. And if we see it, we’ll stop it.”

Early plans for the Islamic center in lower Manhattan call for a swimming pool, a Sept. 11 memorial open to the public and a prayer space.

Farrakhan also commented on the rumors that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama is a Christian.

“Respect his choice,” Farrakhan said. “He chose to be a Christian, but he has deep respect for Islam. Take him as he is.”

Obama has said Muslims have the right to practice their religion and build the Islamic center in lower Manhattan. He later said he wasn’t commenting on the wisdom of building it there.

In a poll released last month by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, 18 percent of people said they believe Obama is Muslim. That was up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (28)
  1. Misha says:

    Minister Farrakhan speaks in Christian churches quite frequently to a diverse group of people. Caucasians, Asians, Blacks, Native Americans…I’ve seen just about all races in the audience. Get the actual facts before you start talking next time.

  2. Take action today against the Ground Zero Mosque! Go to:


  3. Marc says:

    First bloomberg, then obama, then hamas and now farrakahn.

    What’s wrong with this picture????

  4. iRunThis says:

    Democrats sux!

  5. alan says:

    “When that building was destroyed, the whole world felt it,” Farrakhan said
    HA!!! That was exactly what the mass murdering terrorists wanted to happen. Curious choice of words by a master demogogue

  6. SAMM says:

    When a terrorist group successfully attacks your country, in the name of their religion, more than once, resulting in thosands of deaths, they lose the right to be treated just like “any other religion” .
    They have shown only arrogance and intolerence to all who are offended by their bold in your face attempt to disrespect the people who perished on that day.
    This is an outrage.
    You can and do build everywhere…


    1. Al A. Snakbar says:

      ‘cuz Iman Bloomberg said so, that’s why!

  7. Dee says:

    Well now, that makes all the difference.

    Obama speaks out for the Mosque, on ramadan.

    Farrakahn, who hates anything Christian, and anything that is not African American, is now speaking out in support of obama.

    Where do I go to throw up?

    What is happeneing here?

  8. JB says:

    Video of Press Conference:

    A Coalition of African American Muslims held a press conference, Thursday, September 2, 2010 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

    Coalition leaders say the controversy over the Park 51 Project is indicative of a general rise in racist bigotry towards people of color in this country. While the issue has its particular and unique distinctions, it cannot be separated from the rising violence against African Americans and Latinos, or the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric and exclusionary politics driving the national debate on immigration.

  9. satan6 says:


    1. ezekiel says:

      If we got rid of people like you, then America can move on productlively, bcuz you hate filled negro bashers are about to be finshed off!!!

      1. Gustavo says:

        Zeke, what’s with the race-carding here? Believe it, people (of all flavors) can be upset with the president because of his actions, not skin color. Sheesh. You seem to be the one with a ‘race’ problem. WHere I’m from (earth) there’s one race: human.

  10. gp says:

    Obama is a Christian.

    “Respect his choice,” Farrakhan said. “He chose to be a Christian, but he has deep respect for Islam. Take him as he is.”

    Lets Translate – I am a Christian to the Bible built so they don’t turn against me, but deep in my heart I am a Muslim and will ultimately support Islam!
    At least that’s the way I see it!

  11. gp says:

    That’s the icing on the cake of why it should NOT be built, This man is pure racist HATE!

    1. ezekiel says:

      This man is pure truth, and love, so fall back you negro basher!!! Farakhan spoke true wisdom and understanding, but you can’t comprehend bcuz you’re the true racist!!!

      1. SAMM says:




  12. DMB says:

    Tell our Fricken Obama to attend church every Sunday if he is truly a Christian and maybe his next R&R should be at Camp David. He really is not believable
    AT ALL.

    1. Noel D says:

      You sure don’t sound like a practicing christian,but a person who hates Obama because he is Black not because he doesn’t go to church every Sunday

      1. Len says:

        I agree. A lot of people can’t get over the fact that there is a BLACK family in that WHITE house. It was okay for slave labor to build that area, and we can be cooks and butlers in the WHITE house, but President……….No. That’s too much for some people in this USA.

    2. Len says:

      As far as I know he is still President Obama.

      1. ezekiel says:

        Tell them hate filled negro haters to fall back, Ken!!!

  13. djphoenix says:

    This is newsworthy?

    Who is surprised that Farrakhan is of this opinion? What is newsworthy is whether or not Farrakhan equally supports the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Church which stood across the street from one of the towers.

    Speak up, Farrakhan. We are unable to hear you about this important issue which is at least equally important.

    1. ezekiel says:

      He did speak up, and you heard him loud and clear, bcuz you’re talking about him.lol Bow down you ignorant child of hate!!

  14. JohnnyJ says:

    “When that building was destroyed, the whole world felt it,” Farrakhan said
    Nice choice of words there buddy.

    A better choice would be “When that building was destroyed by Muslim terrorists that flew a jetliner into it full of innocent people”

    Why would we expect anything more of this clown?

    1. JOHN J says:

      You’re the clown, JohnnyJ!!! You must be one of the many who know the end is near for you, and your racist thinking!!

      1. Perplexed says:

        Huh?! What was racist about JohnnyJ’s comment? Please explain.

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