Imam and developer say no deal and no talks for moving NYC mosque site

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Imam and developer: No deal for moving NYC mosque

NEW YORK — The imam and developer behind a plan to build an Islamic center near ground zero are denying reports that there is a deal to move the facility.

A Florida pastor who had threatened to burn copies of the Quran in protest of the center announced Thursday that he had negotiated a deal to have its location changed.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf issued a statement through his publicist saying that was false, and there had been no negotiations of the sort.

Manhattan real estate developer Sharif El-Gamal also denied that any talks had taken place.

He said the center would go forward as planned.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida imam says no deal has been reached to move the site of a mosque near ground zero in exchange for a Florida minister to call off plans to burn Qurans.

Imam Muhammad Musri tells The Associated Press that what he offered was a meeting among the Rev. Terry Jones, the New York imam planning the Islamic center and himself to talk about the mosque location.

Musri is president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida. He says he told Jones that he does not believe the mosque should be built near the World Trade Center site and would do everything in his power to make sure it is moved.

Jones says he believes a deal was reached to move the mosque and would fly to New York Saturday to discuss it.

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