The Imam behind the plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero is back in the United States and weighing in on the issue for the first time in nearly two months.
On Wednesday, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf published an editorial in the New York Times saying he will not back away from the project.
He also said the Muslim center will focus on building bridges between all faiths, noting the mosque will have prayer rooms for many different religions.
The Imam also reminded critics of President Obama's support.
"It was striking, a Christian president and a Jewish mayor of New York supporting the rights of Muslims. Their statements sent a powerful message about what America stands for and will be remembered as a milestone in improving American-Muslim relations."
In the article, Rauf also promised to identify all of the financial backers for the mosque.