Imam Behind Downtown Mosque Will Tour Nation
FILE- In this Aug. 22, 2010 file photo, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf addresses guests at an iftar dinner hosted by the U.S. Embassy's deputy chief of mission Stephanie Williams, at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Saar, Bahrain, west of the capital Manama. 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)
The Muslim cleric who hopes to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site in New York is planning to tour the nation to promote the plan.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will first speak in Detroit on Jan. 15. The city has North America's largest Muslim population.
Zaheer Uddin, head of New York's Islamic Leadership Council, told The Associated Press Friday that he thinks it's a good idea for Rauf to address misunderstandings between Muslims and others.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed the project at the location two blocks from ground zero.
Opponents call it offensive to families of 9/11 victims.
Published at 4:56 PM EST on Dec 24, 2010
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York