Park51 Imam To Cut Middle East Visit Short To Deal With Controversy

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric trying to build an Islamic community center and mosque in downtown Manhattan, is cutting short his visit to the Middle East in order to deal with the controversy at home.

ABC News reports that Rauf, who has been traveling for the State Department as part of a mission to build understanding between Middle Eastern countries and the U.S., will leave from Dubai tomorrow.Rauf told ABC that his strategy for dealing with the controversy “is still baking in the kitchen,” but he does plan to speak publicly.

“I’m proud to be American…America is where I found my faith,” he said.