Imam recognizes opportunity to heal rifts among Americans

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Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The man who plans to build a mosque near the former site of New York’s World Trade Center senses a rare, opportune occasion of unity within the United States.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf called the news of Osama bin Laden’s death a spur to the greatest sense of shared national purpose since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — and he hopes Americans will seize the moment.

“We need a healing between America and the world of Islam, both domestically and internationally,” he said Tuesday speaking with KPCC’s Larry Mantle. “This is why around the world you’ll hear sighs of relief of his demise because people want a better relationship.”

Rauf is scheduled to speak at UCLA’s Royce Hall at 8 p.m. Wednesday. He said it may take five years before his organization breaks ground on the mosque and cultural center in Lower Manhattan.

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