Continued from page 1

“We must retake the discourse among religions and cultures from the hands of the extremists around the world who benefit from hatred and violence,” the imam said.

The imam feels that “he is in a position where his voice is being heard,” said spokesman Gene Grabowski, adding that Mr. Rauf has been invited to speak on several college campuses, including Harvard and Yale universities.

The imam announced a new initiative, the Cordoba Movement, that would promote not only the ground zero mosque project but the construction of Muslim and interfaith community centers in other American cities and around the world.