Former Park51 imam mulls alternate interfaith center proposal

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Two co-founders of the controversial plan to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero are mulling a new, rival proposal in the wake of a split with developer Sharif El-Gamal. According to the New York Times, Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, said at a luncheon yesterday that she and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, are considering an interfaith cultural center project either at 51 Park Place, the current site of Gamal’s planned Islamic center, or elsewhere in Lower Manhattan. “Once we are ready to announce our new vision, we will talk to the property owner and see if it is the right location for us,” Khan said of Gamal, who owns the former Burlington Coat Factory site. Gamal announced in January that Park51 would be dropping Kahn and the imam as fundraisers and spokespeople because the two sides had different visions for the project. Abdul Rauf remains on the project’s board of directors. Khan said the new proposal would be “larger in concept” than the currently-proposed Park51 and would contain a center for inter-religious conflict resolution as well as stories from families affected by the Sept. 11 tragedy. [NYT]