WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Prince Alwaleed 'against' Ground Zero mosque

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Saudi's Prince Alwaleed says he did not finance the Ground Zero mosque

Saudi's Prince Alwaleed says he did not finance the Ground Zero mosque

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed has said he is against the construction of a mosque close to the site of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business to be published on Sunday, His Royal Highness also said he had no part in financing the controversial project.

In his first public comments on the issue, he said: “I heard and saw a lot of news about me being associated with it and this is all wrong. We did not finance this thing.

“I say that I am against putting the mosque in that particular place. And I’ll tell you why. For two reasons: 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'.

"The wound is still there. Just because the wound is healing you can’t say 'let’s just go back to where we were pre-9/11'," he said. “I am against putting the mosque there out of respect for those people who have been wounded over there.”

Prince Alwaleed added: “More importantly, the mosque is not in the best location, the mosque has to be in a dignified location. It can’t be next to a bar or a strip club, or in a neighbourhood that is not really refined and good. The impression I have is that this mosque is just being inserted and squeezed over there. So I am personally against putting the mosque over there…"

"I believe that Christians have the right to build churches where they want and Jews have the right to put synagogues where they want and Muslims have the right to put a mosque where they want. But you have to take care and respect the dignity of those New Yorkers who have been hit badly. Ten years ago is nothing when you talk about history.”

Several US news organizations claimed earlier this month that the prince had been involved in funding the construction of the mosque.

In the interview, the prince argued that the wounds of the twin terror attacks could take up to 30 years to heal. He said:  “For sure, the wounds are so deep. What I’m saying is, it’s been a decade right now, and I would evaluate things at being at a standstill. They did not improve dramatically but they didn’t worsen. You see pockets of deterioration from people who don’t want things to advance,” he said.

“I don’t want to exaggerate and say things are falling apart, they are not. Most governments are pragmatic, most people are logical. There are pockets of extremism in Israel, in the US and in the Muslim world. But we have to fight them with reason, with logic and with compassion. We can’t just say ‘go to hell,’ we cannot do that.”

*The full interview with HRH will be published at 8am UAE time on Sunday 31 October on www.arabianbusiness.com. The following day, 1 November, Arabian Business will also publish the first magazine interview with his wife, HH Princess Ameerah Al Taweel

 

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Posted by: frank forsberg

Those of you that are saying they shouldn't build a mosque there, or they should build it few blocks away like they can pick and choose anywhere, I want to tell you that what they are adding is the Islamic center, the Mosque is already there. It had always been there. Get your facts straight. People were and are praying and using the mosque.

Posted by: Khalid

Why is this man saying American Muslims do not have a right to build a mosque where they are legally permitted to do?

Posted by: Wildwine

Re. Khaled, he is not talking of a "right" but a "responsibility". Hope you understand the difference.

Posted by: His Excellency Dr Paul

As long as the people are peaceful and law-abiding (and I see nothing to suggest otherwise), then they have as much right to practice their religion in private as anyone else. The US constitution expressly guarantees it.

If people take offence, it is because they are ignorant and are simply linking all muslims with the vile acts of a few.

Would they similarly assume that all catholics share responsibility for the widely publicized abuse by catholic priests? Is a catholic church within 2 blocks of a school insensitive too?

I am not a muslim, in fact I am not particularly religious. But I think the way some Americans are acting is not only in direct contravention of the spirit of their own country (which claims to value freedom and its constitution) but is born purely out of racism. They don't blame all catholics for the abuse by a few but they are happy to hold all muslims responsible for the acts of a few. Sheer hypocrisy.

Posted by: Marwa al-Serri

I agree with Prince AlWaleed, it is inappropriate, incompassionate, too soon, and distasteful to put up anything Islamic near by ground Zero.

- A very Muslim Kuwaiti

Posted by: Frank Forsberg

Why? What Islam got to do with ground Zero? incompassionate, how would building a church be a compassionate act? It is unfortunate that the Mayor of New York who is not a Muslim understood the difference but not you .

Posted by: Paddy

Its not a sensible thing to build a mosque in that location. As someone mentioned it will ultimately be lauded by radicals as a symbol of victory (to commemorate the heinous crime) and will never serve as a uniting factor. Whatever maybe the reason, this will only fuel fresh hatred among a few NYC residents while the need of the hour is exactly the opposite. Is it really worth creating a new breed of terrorists for the sake of satisfying the ego of a few radicals? There was no mosque in that location till date and no one had thought of doing that till now and hence why is it needed now? Build one a few blocks away. This is a good opportunity for Islam to emphasize the fact that it is a religion built on tolerance and broad-mindedness.

Posted by: PEACE LOVING MUSLIM

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH PADDY AND PRINCE WALEED AS I ALREADY GAVE MY COMMENTS LONG AGO WHEN THIS ISSUE STARTED. ALLAH IS EVERY WHERE AND NOT JUST IN THIS LOCATION, SO LETS MOVE OUT AND GAIN THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE OF OTHER RELIGIONS, THIS IS WHAT ISLAM IS.

WAKE UP AND DONT BE SENTIMENTAL BUT ACT WITH TOLERANCE, NO ONE IS CREATING RADICAL MUSLIMS BY MOVING THE MOSQUES.

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