NY mosque imam: extremism is global threat

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MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — The imam leading plans for an Islamic center near the Manhattan site of the Sept. 11 attacks says extremism is a security threat in both the West and the Muslim world.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf says he hopes to draw attention to the common challenges to battle radical religious beliefs during his 15-day Middle East tour funded by the U.S. State Department.

Rauf made the comments to Associated Press Television News after leading Friday prayers at a neighborhood mosque in Bahrain’s capital Manama.

He refused to discuss the political firestorm over plans for an Islamic cultural center near the site of the World Trade Center towers.

The imam arrived Thursday in Bahrain. He also plans to visit Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.