Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie said tonight that an Islamic centre and mosque should be permitted close to Ground Zero in New York city.
Mr Rushdie’s satirical novel led in the 1980s to worldwide riots by Muslims and calls for his death.
The British author said in an interview today that he understands the “sensitivities” of building the site close to where thousands were killed during on September 11, 2001.
But he said the US Constitution’s rights to freedom of speech and religion should be honoured.
He added that he is “not personally” a lover of mosques or any place of worship.
But he said that if people “want a mosque, it seems absolutely right they should have it”.