New York: Joining the debate on the
controversy over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, the
father of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was
beheaded by militants in Pakistan, has said the mosque should
not be built there and should be moved to another location.
"If I were Mayor Bloomberg, I would reassert
the right to build the mosque, but I would expend the same
energy trying to convince them to put it somewhere else,"
Judea Pearl told the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
"Public reaction tells us that it is not the right
time, and that it will create further animosity and division
in this country," he said.
Daniel Pearl, the then South Asia Bureau Chief of the
Wall Street Journal, was beheaded by militants in Pakistan on
February 1, 2002.
Pearl, who was based in Mumbai, had been to Pakistan
on an official engagement when he was kidnapped.
Despite stiff opposition to the proposed Islamic
Centre and mosque near Ground Zero, Mayor Michael Bloomberg
continues to strongly support the construction of the Muslim
community centre close to the site of the fallen Twin Towers
of the World Trade Centre.
Polls suggest that the majority of Americans
inside and out of New York, both Republican and Democrats, are
against a mosque so close to the 9/11 site.
Prominent Republicans like Sarah Palin, Rudy
Giuliani and Newt Gingrich have already spoken out against
the mosque as have Democrats like Senate majority leader Harry
Pearl, however, did not join in condemning the
mosque developer Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who has been targeted
by the anti-mosque groups.
At the same time, he pointed out that reactions to
the mosque indicated a failure in Muslim leadership in the
"At the time, I truly believed Danny`s murder
would be a turning point in the reaction of the civilized
world toward terrorism," said Judea, who engages in public
conversations with Akbar Ahmed, an Islamic studies professor
at American University, on behalf of the Daniel Pearl Dialogue
for Muslim-Jewish Understanding.
The established Muslim leadership in the United
States, Pearl said, "has had nine years to build up trust by
pro-actively resisting anti-American ideologies of victimhood,
anger and entitlement."
"Reactions to the mosque project indicate that they
were not too successful in this endeavour," he said.