Imam: Handling Of Islamic Center Plan A Matter Of National Security

The religious leader behind plans to erect an Islamic center and mosque a few blocks from New York's ground zero said Wednesday night that America's national security depends on how it handles the controversy. "If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Larry King Live." "The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack." The imam, who repeatedly said his mission was to promote peace and build a bridge among faiths, said he was also speaking about "radicals" on both sides of the debate on the Islamic center. "Our national security now hinges on how we negotiate this, how we speak about it." "The battlefront is between moderates of all sides... and the radicals on all sides," he said. Moving the project to another location would strengthen Islamist radicals' ability to recruit followers and will likely increase violence against Americans, the imam said.