Imam to tour nation promoting NYC Islamic center

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Associated Press

Posted on December 25, 2010 at 1:04 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 25 at 1:05 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Muslim cleric who hopes to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site say he'll tour the country in an effort "to inspire interfaith understanding" for the controversial project.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told The Associated Press on Friday that "the major purpose is to make people aware of what America means as a country that protects the right to freedom of religion."

Rauf's first appearance is scheduled for Detroit on Jan. 15. The city has North America's largest Muslim population.

The imam said he'll continue to Chicago, Washington, San Antonio and college campuses including Harvard, Georgetown, Yale and the University of North Carolina. He did not release specific dates for his speeches.

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