Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the chief organizers of the Park51 Islamic Center two blocks from Ground Zero, says that he is considering all solutions to solve the heated controversy that has erupted over the location of his project.
"Everything is on the table. We really are focused on solving it" in a way that will be best for everyone concerned, Rauf told the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday. "I give you my pledge."
Rauf, who had just returned from a State Department-sponsored trip to the Middle East, added that he was grateful to those who had, "voiced their objections to our plans with civility, with respect and with open minds and hearts."
"You affirm my belief in the decency and the morality of the American people," he said.
The imam's remarks come following months of controversy over the proposed center, which many opponents say is insensitive to the relatives of victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Proponents of the center have defended the project on religious freedom grounds, but polls have shown that even those who support the center have questioned the wisdom of its location.
Bigoted acts against Muslims have followed since the controversy erupted, including the vandalism of several mosques and the stabbing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City.
In August, New York City Governor David Paterson said that the controversy had "gotten out of hand" and offered state support to move the center to a location further from Ground Zero. Park51 developers initially declined the offer.
Last week, real-estate mogul Donald Trump offered $6 million to Park51 developer Hisham Elzanaty who had announced he was selling his share of the property.
Trump claimed he was making the offer not for business reasons but rather to end a "very serious, inflammatory and highly divisive situation that is destined…to only get worse."
Elzanaty, who is one of eight investors in the Park51 building, dismissed Trump's offer as a, "cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight."
Rauf has not specified which solutions his team will be pursuing, but noted the possibility of delaying the project to allow for more public conversations to be held.