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He was one of the key Muslim leaders backing the effort to build a mosque at ground zero and soon found himself -- tidal wave of controversy.
But his new book moving the mountain -- final of the low.
Hopes to move the conversation beyond ground zero to a new vision of Islam in America and -- here now welcome -- great to have you here thanks for having me but to -- -- begin with the fact that you are no longer connected with the project to build the mosque at ground zero what happened there.
But the difference continue to developers but my vision is still alive and my vision of establishing a base that can be.
A speech where everybody from all regions can come together.
And build understanding and mutual respect which is -- faithful building global peace today that's my vision and I still hope to do that.
In your conversations with hundreds of Americans -- public officials.
You do understand why there was that the sensitivity about building that mosque so close to the place where so many people have died in this terror -- And you you came away with a greater understanding I asked him from those conversations.
No doubt I mean very very sensitive to the concerns of everyone in that area -- -- -- -- community.
By the things that have many people did not know until the not knowing what they want people to know is that I've been in them in that neighborhood for four or almost fifty years.
Since -- three of any memorable small mosque but felt -- north of ground zero.
And about sixty members of -- and most from fifth when -- among those who perished and -- never was accompanied to all of us.
But the more important question -- which which this can promise you raised is how -- America.
Engagement Islam and Muslims both in this country and internationally.
Because we -- them that this has in more -- very important interests in the in the Muslim world.
Energy pundits -- political.
Military basis and make many parts of Muslim world and and -- troops from Iraq in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And -- understanding to sensitivities of people all over the world and and and engaging in a proper discourse is really important issue we need to to two different today.
Indeed it on that note that even -- you have condemned terrorism why do you think some people in this country believed that.
It's not enough.
From people like you and others.
Who say that you need to express the outrage over jihadist.
In ways that go beyond just saying this why -- Is that still out there and how do you.
Hope to close that gap.
Well I mean we have to we have to look the law enforcement agencies I mean terrorism is how common enemy.
Extremism -- it is our common and the media.
The the the discourse which has shaped and -- Islam is being -- -- is false and wrong and actually rather dangerous.
-- real -- -- is not between Muslims and the west almost and then Hindus and Muslims and Jews and Christmas -- for.
Real -- minds between the moderates of all faith traditions against extremists of all faith traditions.
And fought in the nature of news media today is that -- the bad news grabbed the media attention.
And if of extremists from both sides have fueled each other and really have polarized from -- what we need to do is we need to work together to to bring together the middle.
And strengthen them whether it's in India whether it's in Israel and so forth and the vast majority of people are moderates and want to live together in peace and harmony.
And we see this everywhere everywhere in the world and and this is a -- that we are committed to doing.
-- if you're -- what's the biggest challenge in your travels overseas when you talk to Muslims around the world about their misconceptions about people here in the -- Well again I mean you know -- -- eleven there were a few incidents of of some of phobia and it Muslims being attacked and mosques being attacked -- -- of those -- -- the news.
To create the perception that America's against Islam.
But what was -- -- in the news was that.
Literally tens of me being hundreds of thousands of people.
You know who who came to us and -- help distances you know and and and were considerate and kind.
I mean the typical story and not not a -- story is that of a blonde blue I've been -- girl.
Going to have Muslim neighbor and saying I understand you're afraid to to go shopping here I am coming to arm.
The volunteers shopping for you these stores that are covered -- this or that I continuously fair.
-- account of the Muslim world.
To -- the perception and misperception in the vast -- the world that America actually is engaging in the war against Islam.
This is false but a -- music you know a military general says something -- all of the pastor in Florida trusted when the core arm.
And then you know it it it's wide use in the Muslim world and and tit for tat and he could downward spiral of of of extremism.
And this is why we have to to to figure out ways to combat that which is why written this book.
-- -- the American people know what I stand for I believe and what needs to be done and I'm optimistic that we can actually build a new chapter in U restless and relations.
-- you thank you very much of it's called moving them out we appreciate you joining us today with your -- I appreciate it very much thank you having me to have you here.
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