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Feisal Abdul Rauf

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NYC Mosque_Thir.jpg

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, addresses the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Sept. 13, 2010. The organization planning to build an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center said Mr. Rauf, the imam who has been the public face of the project, will be playing a reduced role in the facility. The nonprofit group Park51 announced Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, that it had named a new imam to help lead religious programing so that Rauf could focus on other initiatives. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

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A poster from Jewish supporters sits outside the doorway of a conference room as Muslim community leader Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf ends an interview in New York. He has spearheaded plans for a proposed Islamic cultural centre near ground zero. (Associated Press)

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Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, addresses the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, in New York. Rauf is now in the midst of a polarizing political, religious and cultural debate over his plans for an Islamic center that will feature a mosque, health club and theater about two blocks north of ground zero in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

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NYC Mosque Imam_Bone.jpg

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2010 file photo, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, standing center, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, greets worshipers inside a Muharraq, Bahrain, mosque after leading midday prayers. Rauf is now in the midst of a polarizing political, religious and cultural debate over his plans for a multi-story Islamic center that will feature a mosque, health club and theater about two blocks north of ground zero in New York. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

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"American Muslims have the right to practice their religion in accordance with the Constitution of the United States," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said in an interview with Bahrain's Al Wasat newspaper. (Associated Press)

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mosques_2051

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, addresses a gathering as groups planning a proposed mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan to be named Cordoba House showed and spoke about their plans for the center at a community board meeting in New York Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Community members both for and against the plan spoke during the meeting. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

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mosques_2047

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, addresses a gathering as groups planning a proposed mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan to be named Cordoba House showed and spoke about their plans for the center at a community board meeting in New York Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Community members both for and against the plan spoke during the meeting. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)