WASHINGTON: Mosque developer to address fundraiser

The developer of a controversial Islamic center near ground zero is slated to address the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

In an e-mail announcement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said developer Sharif El-Gamal will speak at the group’s 16th annual fundraising banquet Oct. 9 in Arlington, Va.

The event is part of the organization’s leadership conference billed under the theme “Defining Our Faith, Defending Our Rights.” Awad said Islamophobia has become a growing threat to American Muslims and must be “challenged vigorously, methodically and comprehensively.”

A recent poll showed a majority of likely voters in New York think the planned mosque near ground zero should be moved.