Imam Behind New York Islamic Center Speaks
Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has rarely given interviews, spoke to the newspaper Bahraini Al Wasat about his proposed New York Islamic center, saying his project will provide “an Islamic approach that allows for harmony and understanding among all religions and other ideas.”
In the interview, to be published Monday, Rauf praised freedoms that Muslims and others enjoy in the United States.
“If we look at the American Declaration of Independence, we see that it speaks of principles that comply with Islam,” Rauf said, according to Bahraini Al Wasat editor-in-chief Mansoor Al Jamri. “The U.S. Constitution protects our rights and what exists in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution is much better than what is found in many Islamic countries.”
Rauf is on his third State Department-sponsored trip to promote religious tolerance, something he has done during both the Obama and Bush-43 administrations.
“We have a long-term relationship with him,” [State Department spokesperson P.J.] Crowley said. “His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well known, and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it’s like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States.”Click here for reuse options!
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