Sharif El-Gamal, the developer behind the proposed mosque near New York City's Ground Zero site, says he will not accept money from radical Islamic groups.
Mosque leaders have been criticized for not ruling out support from Islamic regimes like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
"We will not take funds from Iran. We will not take money from Hamas. We will not take money from organizations that have un-American values," El-Gamal told CBS News. He leads a real estate investment firm that owns the lower Manhattan building where the $100 million Islamic center would open.
El-Gamal also said he did not expect the mosque's location to stir up so much controversy because he doesn't hold Islam accountable for the tragedy of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the New York Community Board which approved the construction of the mosque says it should include an interfaith center that could help to unite people.
Julie Menin of Manhattan Community Board 1 suggested another section of the community center be turned into an interfaith, nondenominational area for people of all religious backgrounds. She cited the nondenominational chapel built at the Pentagon as part of a Sept. 11 memorial as an example.
"What it could do is it could really get to the heart of the matter of making this project one that brings people together," she said.