NYK imam willing to discuss moving mosque -cleric

MIAMI, Sep. 9 Thu Sep 9, 2010 6:01pm EDT

MIAMI, Sep. 9 (Reuters) - A New York imam involved in a project to build a Islamic cultural center and mosque near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the city is willing to discuss moving the controversial location, a Florida Islamic leader said on Thursday.

"I think he is considering it," imam Muhammad Musri, head of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, told CNN. He said he had spoken to the wife of the New York imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Musri was speaking after Pastor Terry Jones, who heads the tiny, little-known Dove World Outreach Center church based in Gainesville, Florida, called off his plan to burn copies of the Koran this weekend, saying he had obtained a deal that involved moving the planned location of the New York center and mosque.

"We have the commitment of the office of the imam for a three-way meeting where myself, and the pastor, would fly to New York to meet with him to discuss the plan or ... moving that project to an ideal location that's not controversial," Musri said. But he said he had "no written guarantees".

Sources close to imam Rauf said earlier there was no agreement to move the site of the proposed Muslim cultural center in the city.