This morning Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, the leader of the Islamic community center and mosque proposed for Lower Manhattan, addressed the Council on Foreign Relations, and sought to clarify a "misperception" that the Islamic center's proposed site was sacred ground. "It is absolutely disingenuous as some have suggested that the block is hallowed ground," he said, pointing out that there are strip joints and an OTB nearby, too. Indeed, right next door to the mosque property there's a bar called Dakota Roadhouse, "Where Too Much Is Never Enough."

Because the NYPD closed the block to vehicular and pedestrian traffic all weekend, the bar posted signs at the end of the block alerting potential customers, "Dakota Roadhouse Is Open! Just ask a cop to cross the barricade." (The owner now tells us that the street was finally opened up again at 8 a.m. this morning.)

Rauf also did not rule out the possibility of relocating the Islamic center, telling the influential group, "We are exploring all options as we speak right now, and we are working to what will be a solution, God willing, that will resolve this crisis, diffuse it and not create any unforeseen or untoward circumstances that we do not want to see happen." But during Sunday's broadcast of ABC's "This Week," Rauf again predicted that moving the mosque would inflame anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world:

Let's say we moved under this current circumstance with this dialogue. What will be the headline tomorrow in the Muslim world? 'Islam under attack in America.' That's the theme of it. 'Mosque forcibly removed by whatever.' That will feed the radicals. So diffusing terrorism is a necessity for our national security. My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be Islam is under attack in America, this will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment, this will put our people—our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizen—under attack in the Muslim world and we have expanded and given and fueled terrorism.

Rauf was criticized last week for suggesting that moving the mosque would be a victory for extremist Muslim terrorists, and on Sunday the lifelong mayor of 9/11 Town, Rudolph Giuliani, was quick to blast Rauf for what he sees as "a suggestion of a threat" and duplicity. On "Meet the Press," Giuliani said "September 11" and threw in some other words, too:

I'm concerned about the imam doing that. I think that tactic is not the kind of tactic I would have expected from an imam who's featured as a man of conciliation. You know, I analyzed this imam's history pretty carefully, and I hate to simply it, but it's the only way to do it. There's the good imam and the bad imam. The good imam is about reconciliation. He's about being open and transparent about what he's doing and how he's doing it.

Then there's the bad imam who said America is an accessory to September 11. America has more Muslim blood on its hands than vice versa. He can't condemn Hamas as a terrorist group. And he will not be transparent about where he's getting the money, how he's getting the money, and has virtually not been open at all about this. And now we have the imam who tells us if doesn't get his way there could be significant and very dangerous violence. Look, those are very, very strong words, and to enter a sort of a suggestion of a threat into this, I worry about this as the kind of tactics he, he pursues.