Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf followed up his Times Op-Ed defense of the proposed Islamic community center and mosque near the World Trade Center with an appearance on Larry King Live last night. During the interview, Rauf made the obvious observation that, "If we move from that location, the story will be the radicals have taken over the discourse. The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack." Rauf framed the issue as a matter of national security, adding, "If we don't do this right, anger will explode in the Muslim world. It could become something very dangerous indeed." To some critics, that sounds like a threat.

"The whole national security thing: that's a veiled threat," Andy Sullivan, a union construction worker who wants all New York construction workers to boycott the proposed Islamic center, told Anderson Cooper last night. "He's saying 'you make me move' and, guess what, the whole radical Muslim world is coming after us. This is a turf war." And Rosaleen Tallon, whose firefighter brother died on 9/11, told Cooper, "On 9/11, it didn't take a mosque for extremists to come and attack the World Trade Center and kill my brother. What I'm finding here to be very disturbing is that now... this mosque has to go up or there will be retribution."

Rauf also expressed regret about the election-year outrage stirred up by right-wing demagogues who say the project with make a mockery of 9/11. Rauf insisted, "If I knew that this would happen, that this would cause this kind of pain, I wouldn’t have done its." And when asked whether he would consider moving the site, Rauf said, "Nothing is off the table. We are consulting, talking to various people about how to do this so that we negotiate the best and safest option."

Moving it somewhere else would seem to suit one of the property owners just fine. Hisham Elzanaty, the Egyptian-born businessman who says he provided a majority of the $4.8 million to snatch up the two buildings where the center would be built, tells the AP, "Develop it, raze it, sell it. If someone wants to give me 18 or 20 million dollars today, it's all theirs. I'm a businessman. This was a mere business transaction for me." We're not businessmen but we think $20 million is a steal if it means everyone will finally STFU up about this.