Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Park51 Imam in Hiding
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Yesterday, during a press conference held by Muslim leaders, voicing support for Park51, one of the organizers, Zaheer Uddin, noted that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf hadn't attended their one-day summit on the project. Security concerns, according to Uddin, had kept Rauf away. According to CNN, he's now avoiding New York City and is getting protection from the NYPD.
"There's just a lot of crazies and that's why he has police protection from the NYPD," the Rev. James Parks Morton said Monday of his friend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
"I know that he's being guarded, that he's not been staying in the usual places, that he's not working from his office and that he's concerned for his safety," said another friend of the imam's, Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, in an interview Sunday night.
"He's staying in an undisclosed location, as they call it," said Matalon, a rabbi at B'nai Jeshurun on New York's Upper West Side.
The New York City Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Rauf has made just a few media appearances since returning from an overseas trip earlier this month. His last public event was at the Council on Foreign Relations, on the 13th.