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New Yorks borgermester under 9/11, Rudy Giuliani, tar fatt i at imam Feisa Abdul Rauf fremstilles som en som vil helbrede menneskelige relasjoner. Men hvis det stemmer, hvorfor vil han da bygge en moske i nærheten av Ground Zero, det kommer bare til å føre til sinne og hat, sier Giuliani.

Han uttalte seg til NBCs program Today.

Giuliani also had strong words for the imam who would lead the mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf, saying that if he portrays himself as a healer «then you don’t go forward with this project,» but that if you are «a warrior, then you do.»

He added, «If you’re going to so horribly offend the people who were most directly offended by this» — the families of the 9/11 victims — then «how are you healing?»

Giuliani, who won praise for his leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said the imam was a man who was «selling sensitivity,» but that «you don’t do it by creating this kind of vicious, sort of angry battle that’s going on.»

The imam, who is seen as a controversial figure even among U.S. Muslims, has on occasion criticized Islam and has spent a lot of his career working closely with Christians and Jews to try to advance interfaith understanding. The show’s host Matt Lauer quoted the imam as saying soon after 9/11 that the U.S. «didn’t deserve what happened» that day but that its policies made it «an acceesory» to «the crime» that happened.

Calling plans for the development divisive, Giuliani said: «This project is creating tremendous pain for people who’ve already made the ultimate sacrifice. All you’re doing is creating more division, more anger, more hatred.»

When Lauer interjected that some would say that the anger was being created by those weighing in on the project, Giuliani replied: «They’re all wrong.»

Giuliani: Mosque by Ground Zero Would Stir Hatred