Islamic center near 9/11 site disturbs some

A gathering of Muslims praying close to the location of the World Trade Center towers that collapsed on 11 September, 2001 has raised fears of a possible plot for another terrorist act in the US.

The New York Times said Wednesday that hundreds of Muslims gather at the old Burlington Coat Factory to perform the Friday prayer. The factory was bought by a Muslim group six months ago for use as an Islamic center to be managed by Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, the imam of Al-Farah mosque on Broadway.

The newspaper also quoted the New York governor’s spokesperson as saying, "If the center is legal, they can do whatever they like in it." However, the New York Times expected anti-Islam groups to oppose the building of the center.

For his part, former Egyptian ambassador to Washington Abdel Raouf el-Ridi attributed these fears to the "Islamophobia" that he said is spreading in the West. "I was equally surprised at the minaret ban in Switzerland," he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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