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Tuesday, Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) called Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf -- best known for his work with multicultural Cordoba Initiative to build a mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan -- a "radical" and criticized the Obama Administration for including him on a Middle East speaking tour. That tour, which includes stops in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, is designed by the public diplomacy office to explain to Muslims abroad what it's like to be a Mus
"His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it's like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States," State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said Tuesday. He added that the department's public-diplomacy offices "have a long-term relationship with" Rauf - including during the past Bush administration, when the religious leader undertook a similar speaking tour.