NEW YORK — An Internet evangelist from Florida has begun holding services near ground zero to preach against Islam as debate continues over plans for a nearby Muslim community center.
Bill Keller has gained a following through his Liveprayer.com website, and has promised to establish a "9/11 Christian Center" to counter what he referred to Sunday as "the lies of Islam."
Keller says developers have a right to build the Muslim center but the plan to locate it near the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is "in poor taste."
He began preaching Sunday at the New York Marriott Downtown Hotel, his temporary headquarters. His center is to open by Jan. 1. Early plans for the Islamic center call for a 500-seat auditorium, prayer space and Sept. 11 memorial.