The controversial head of a Muslim congregation in New York announced the launch of a “multinational, multifaith movement” meant to improve understanding and build trust between “people of all cultures and faith traditions,” according to a statement released Tuesday.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the public face of a recent political firestorm surrounding the construction of an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, is now spearheading what he calls the Cordoba Movement.

The initiative is meant to broaden his groups’ work in promoting religious tolerance and “expand learning among Muslims, Jews, Christians and people of all faiths,” the statement said.

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