Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf is heading back from his State Department-sponsored tour of the Middle East early to deal with controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center project at 45-47 Park Place. According to ABC News, Rauf said he would discuss the mosque publicly once he's back in the State and that his strategy for dealing with the issue of the summer is "still baking in the kitchen."

In remarks in Dubai, the imam also noted that the debate had "expanded beyond a piece of real estate and expanded to Islam in America and what it means for America," adding, "The reason America is successful is because of its diversity, because of its immigrants...multi-culturalism is a fundamental. The real battle is against radicalism in all its guises." Rauf also made a point of saying, "Like many of our fellow Muslims, we found our faith in America."

In the meantime, after the results of a Quinnipiac poll showed that 71% of NYers think that the mosque should voluntarily find a new site (ostensibly one far from Ground Zero), the Staten Island Advance spoke to some relatives of 9/11 victims what they thought. One man, whose wife died the attacks, said, "I agree with that because they murdered 3,000 innocent people and then they're going to put a mosque on sacred ground. All the people who were in there, they were living and they had their freedom, and they were wiped off the face of the Earth. ... Building a mosque there is a slap in the face to all the families... They are laughing at us."