In an exclusive interview with NY1, the developer who wants to build a controversial new mosque and Islamic center two blocks from the World Trade Center site blames the media for all the opposition to the proposal. "The media went out and started looking for 9/11 family members that are opposed to the project, and they were specifically looking for people opposed to the project," says developer Sharif El-Gamal. "Because on May 5, there was nobody opposed to the project. There was a unanimous vote from the community board, and that community board, everyone looked at each other and said, 'Wow, can you guys please build this sooner?'"

Ha. We're pretty sure the "media" didn't have to look to hard to find people against the mosque; they've been organizing to stop it since it was first announced. Opponents say the mosque would just be a place for "terrorists to gloat" and a "house of evil" that "will be the birthplace of the next terrorist event." It would also stab Sarah Palin in the heart, so win-win there. But El-Gamal says it's a "misperception... that we are terrorists." And that's exactly what he wants to correct with the high-profile mosque.

During the interview, El-Gamal declined to reveal the identities of who bought the property at 45-47 Park Place, which is what Republican candidate for governor Rick Lazio has been demanding, among other things. But as a gesture of good-will, El-Gamal has promised that the sounds of prayer will not waft from the mosque to the World Trade Center site. He says, "This isn't about converting people... We don't need any Muslims, I have to be very honest with you." Which is at least one thing El-Gamal and the mosque opponents can probably agree on.