Rushdie defends NY mosque plan

2010-09-13 22:51

New York - The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie is not a great fan of organised worship but believes an Islamic centre and mosque should be permitted two blocks from New York's ground zero.

Rushdie's satirical novel led to worldwide riots by Muslims and calls for his death in the 1980s. He told The Associated Press in an interview on Monday that he understands the "sensitivities" of building the site close to where thousands were killed on September 11 2001.

But he says the US Constitution's rights to freedom of speech and religion should be honoured. He adds that he is "not personally" a lover of mosques or any place of worship.

But he says that if people "want a mosque, it seems absolutely right they should have it".