Radicalism common threat to all: Ground Zero mosque leader

The real battle is between moderates and extremists of all faiths, says Imam.

Dubai: The real battle against radicalism is not between Muslims and non-Muslims but between moderates and extremists of all faiths, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf of Ground Zero mosque and community centre in New York has said.

Imam Abdul Rauf, who is heading plans to build a Muslim community centre near the site of attacks of 9/11 attacks in New York, asked the followers of all faiths to join hands against radicalism which he says exists in all religions.

"We are all in this together there is a common threat: radicalism which exists in all religions," Abdul Rauf told UAE`s official news agency WAM in an interview.

Imam Rauf is the chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, an independent multi-national project which works with state and non-state actors to improve Muslim-West relations, and in particular Muslim-US relations.

He runs programmes designed to cultivate multi- cultural and multi-faith understanding across minds and borders.

He is in the UAE as part of a mission from the United States government to promote religious tolerance in the Arab world.

The Imam has also visited Bahrain and Qatar. "We are making efforts to bridge the divide through projects in youth and gender relations and the current media frenzy and look at not only the issues between Muslims and non-Muslims but also at the issues that are important for us to address within the Muslim Ummah," Abdul Rauf said.

The idea, he explained, is "to develop personal and professional relationships" with other institutions involved in religious and spiritual work.

"The UAE is among the Gulf countries which are very interesting because they are very conscious and geopolitical issues," he said.


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