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Aug 24, 2010
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Feisal Abdul Rauf, Imam of Planned Islamic Center Near Ground Zero: One of Our Goals Is to Make People Understand What Islam Is

#2588 | 02:41
Source: Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam of the planned Ground Zero Mosque, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on August 24, 2010.

Feisal Abdul Rauf: The Cordoba Initiative is an initiative to improve relations between the Islamic nation and the Western world and the non-Islamic religions. The Cordoba House, within the framework of the Cordoba projects, began before 9/11.

I have been in the US for 45 years, and I felt that there is a need for a cultural center, with an agenda that differs from what goes on in the mosques. Here in the US, we need to establish an Islamic-American community. Of course, we knew that [the choice of a site] near Ground Zero would make the place well known. This is what we expected, but we did not anticipate this negative reaction, with such violence. First of all, this is not a mosque. it is a community center.

Interviewer: A center for the [Islamic] community?

Feisal Abdul Rauf: Generally speaking, yes. Secondly, it is not at Ground Zero. It is two blocks from there. "Ground Zero Mosque" is not the name of the place.

There is widespread ignorance about Islam in the US. One of our goals is to make people understand what Islam is, and who the Muslims are. Islam is a religion that loves tolerance and peace, and the people who carried out [9/11] were not... That action was not an Islamic action.

One of our goals in the future is to make people understand what Islam is and who the Muslims are.

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