Downtown Mosque Leader: We Won't Change Course

Daisy Khan says she realizes uproar over Islamc center near ground zero affecting Muslims across the country

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    Pedestrians stand outside of the proposed site for the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center which would be blocks from Ground Zero.

    A leader of the proposed Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero says dropping the plan in the face of protest is not an option.

    Daisy Khan tells The Associated Press that she and other organizers of the center are closely consulting with American Muslim leaders as the plan moves forward. Khan says she realizes the uproar is affecting Muslims nationwide.

    The project has created a national debate over religious tolerance and the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Khan said Friday she's under no pressure to change locations from the political leaders who previously expressed support.

    Khan and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, say the center will promote moderate Islam. Critics say the location is insensitive to 9/11 families.

    Rauf is on a Mideast tour funded by the U.S. State Department.

    Meanwhile, the mosque's developers say they never planned to meet with New York Gov. David Paterson over his offer to help find an alternative site.

    The developers from the Cordoba Initiative say there never was a meeting planned with Paterson. No reason was given in the brief written response to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

    Since Aug. 10, Paterson has publicly sought a meeting with the group to discuss the tensions surrounding the project and to offer options for an alternative site.

    The governor says the group postponed a meeting that had been scheduled for Monday because its imam leader was traveling.

    Paterson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the Cordoba Initiative's statement.