Saudi Prince Opposes 'Ground Zero Mosque'
Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed announced Thursday that he is not behind the “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York City, and on the contrary, he does not support the project in its current location. The prince spoke to the Arabian Business news website.
“I heard and saw a lot of news about me being associated with it, and it is all wrong. We did not finance this thing,” Al-Waleed said.
He said he opposes the location of the planned facility, close to Ground Zero, the site where the World Trade Center was demolished in the 9/11 attack nine years ago. “First of all, those people behind the mosque have to respect, have to appreciate and have to defer to the people of New York, and not try to agitate the wound by saying, 'we need to put the mosque next to the 9/11 site,'” he said. “The wound is still there... I am against putting the mosque there out of respect for those people who have been wounded over there.”
He also expressed opposition to the location due to the businesses nearby. “The mosque has to be in a dignified location. It can't be next to a bar or strip club, or in a neighborhood that is not refined and good,” he explained.
Muslims have the right to built a mosque where they want, the prince said, but should show respect and move it by choice. “Ten years ago is nothing when you talk about history," he added.
The proposed Muslim community center and mosque near the Ground Zero site has been met with controversy and protests. Some have questioned the project due to investors' ties to terrorism.