NEW YORK - A Hamas leader says Muslims "have to build" a mosque near ground zero.
Mahmoud al-Zahar said Muslims "have to build everywhere" so that followers can pray, just like Christians and Jews build their places of worship.
Al-Zahar spoke Sunday on "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on WABC-AM. He is a co-founder of Hamas and its chief on the Gaza Strip.
Sen. Chuck Schumer says Al-Zahar's comments don't carry any weight because Hamas is a terrorist organization. Schumer hasn't taken a stand on the mosque.
Rep. Peter King, who opposes the mosque, says he won't respond to Hamas.
The mosque is a project of the Cordoba Initiative, an advocacy group that promotes improved relations between Islam and the West. It didn't respond to Al-Zahar's comments.