New York: The developer of an Islamic
community center and mosque near the site of the September 11
attacks in New York says it may take years to determine what
kind of project Muslims and non-Muslims want.
Sharif El-Gamal tells The New York Times that decisions
will be made after consultation with lower Manhattan residents
and New York City-area Muslims.
El-Gamal says that in the past year he`s built
relationships with neighborhood groups. He`s recruited a
September 11 victim`s relative to his advisory board and
sought donors from around the country.
He concedes he should have done those things before going
public with the project. He also says he`ll only accept money
from sources that reflect "American values."
El-Gamal`s vision for the project remains unchanged: a
mosque, health club, theater and religious and interfaith
programming open to all.