The imam who was named three weeks ago to lead religious services at the proposed Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero said Friday that he was stepping down. The move is the latest in a string of public relations setbacks for the project.
The imam, Sheik Abdallah Adhami, who stirred controversy shortly after his appointment by telling a reporter for NY1 News that most homosexual behavior was linked to early childhood abuse, said in a statement that he was giving up his role in the project, known as Park51, to devote more time to completing a book.
The project’s developer, Sharif el-Gamal, announced the appointment of Mr. Adhami on Jan. 14, the same day he declared that another Muslim cleric, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, would give up his role as the Islamic center’s longtime spiritual leader and public face. Mr. Gamal said then that Mr. Adhami would lead Friday prayer services and be a religious adviser to the project, possibly to be joined later by other advisers.
Whole thing here.