The ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee accused the imam behind the mosque project near Ground Zero of arm-twisting and "blackmailing" to push Park51 through.
"To me, it's almost as if he's blackmailing and threatening the United States that somehow if the mosque is not approved or people speak out against his mosque, you have to worry about being attacked by Islamic terrorists," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on Fox Business Network on Friday.
King said that the Islamic center was being "put their to make a statement, not to build bridges, but to make a statement."
"We don't have to prove ourselves to anyone and certainly don't have to measure up to some standard set by an imam who said that the U.S. was a co-conspirator of 9/11," King said.
The imam sits down for his first Sunday interview on ABC's "This Week" this weekend.
“This is a house with multi-faith stakeholders, multi-faith partners, intended to work together towards building peace,” he said, according to excerpts released by ABC.