Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the moving spirit behind the initiative to establish a mosque within a short distance from Ground Zero presents himself as a Muslim moderate, striving to find common ground between religions and reveal the "true essence" of American Islam.
In a letter to The New York Times, published on November 27, 1977, responding to the historic visit of Sadat in Israel he called on Muslims to "give a chance for peace." But he added, "I say to my Arab brothers, the Prophet Muhammad taught ... after the war with the infidels of Mecca, which lasted many years, he acceded to their demands in the Hudaibiah Convention, demands that his colleagues saw as most humiliating. And yet, peace has become the most effective weapon against the infidels.” Muhammad used the period to rearm and eventually conquered Mecca and defeated the heretics.
Rauf added "real peace, is impossible with a pure Jewish state in Palestine ... in a real peace, which will be in our lifetimes, Israel will become yet another Arab state with a Jewish minority."