Bismillah. From Feisal Abdul Raouf, Imam of the “Ground Zero Mosque”:
I’m writing to inform you that tomorrow I am formally launching the Cordoba Movement: a multi-national, multi-faith organization dedicated to improving understanding and building trust among people of all cultures and faith traditions.
The new organization has grown from my work over the past 25 years leading my Muslim congregation in New York City and from the overwhelming expression of support Daisy and I have received for our defense of the planned construction of the Park 51 community center and mosque in lower Manhattan this past summer and fall.
The messages of the Cordoba Movement are simple:
We must retake the discourse among religions and cultures from the hands of the extremists around the world who benefit from hatred and violence.
We must stop this downward spiral of hatred, mistrust and misunderstanding if our world is to have a peaceful future.
Through the Cordoba Movement, I am broadening the work on our existing programs to expand learning and understanding among Muslims, Jews, Christians and people of all faiths, including the programs of which you may already be familiar — the Young Leaders program, the Women’s Empowerment program, the Cordoba House and the Shariah Project.
As part of the Cordoba Movement launch, I will be speaking with journalists this week in New York City. From there, I will expand my speaking tour around the United States and the world to spread our message of peace.
It is my belief that the Cordoba Movement is creating a new paradigm. From my perspective, the global battle isn’t between America and Islam. Instead, it is a battle between the 95 percent of people in the world who want peace and the extremists on all sides who benefit from hatred and violence. For too long, the 95 percent of people in the world who want peace have sat in the stands watching the extremists battle it out in the arena. We must enter the arena ourselves and retake control of this important global discussion. It is my fervent hope that you will continue to support this new and expanded effort, as you have loyally supported us in the past. If you would like more information about the Cordoba Movement, its mission and its programs, you may find it at http://www.CordobaMovement.org.
I look forward to hearing from you as I embark on this new and most important journey.
May God bless you and your loved ones during this special holiday season,
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf