Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf used his taxpayer-funded Mideast tour yesterday to praise President Obama’s qualified support for the mosque near Ground Zero.
“I am grateful to President Barack Obama and all those who expressed support for our project,” Abdul Rauf said at a dinner for student leaders in the Gulf state of Bahrain. the Gulf Daily News in Bahrain reported.
Obama fueled the debate over the mosque with a White House speech defending the right to build the project, but hedged by saying he wouldn’t comment on the “wisdom” of its location.
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Abdul Rauf also wryly noted that “We are in the media a lot these days due to one of our initiatives,” a reference to the planned Islamic cultural center including a mosque on Park Place two blocks north of Ground Zero.
The 62-year old Abdul Rauf said the purpose of his $16,000 State Department-sponsored swing through Bahrain, Qatar and Abu Dhabi was to set an example of religious tolerance to the youth of the region.
Read More: BY RICHARD SISK, NY Daily News