A press release from Park 51 announced that Imam Fiesal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, will no longer be speaking on the organization’s behalf. Imam Fiesal will begin his personal speaking tour next week. He and Ms. Khan will also not be raising funds for the project on this speaking tour.
Park51 states that Imam Fiesal’s work on behalf of the Cordoba Initiative, while exceptional, requires a broader scope and that Park 51 requires a focus on the downtown Manhattan community specifically. Imam Fiesal Abdul Rauf will remain on the Board of Directors for Park 51.
Here is the entire press release from the newly designed Park 51 website:
New Imam Joins Park51
Islamic Community Center
Launches New Website
New York, NY January 14, 2011: Park51, the Islamic Community Center in Lower Manhattan, announced three major developments today.
Park51 announced the appointment of its first Senior Advisor, Imam Abdallah Adhami, a well-respected Muslim-American leader who for nearly 20 years has dedicated his unmatched doctoral credentials in the Islamic tradition to the service of Muslim and multi-denominational communities here at home and abroad. Imam Adhami also holds a degree in architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and has seven years of corporate experience in organizational development, art direction and executive training. He was born in Washington, DC and has been serving the Lower Manhattan Community since 1990.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to be a key adviser on a project going forward that has enormous creative and healing potential for the collective good in New York City and in our nation,” stated Imam Adhami.
Imam Adhami will join Imam Feisal and other New York Imams soon to be appointed, who will help Park51 create a robust and dynamic religious and interfaith component.
Moreover, Park51 applauds the goals and efforts of our brother Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf for launching his nation-wide tour on January 15th, a campaign that we believe will have a profound and positive impact on the dialogue between different faiths. It is important to note though that while on tour and afterward Imam Feisal and Daisy Khan will not be speaking on behalf of Park51, nor will they be raising funds for the project. Imam Feisal will remain on the Board of Directors of Park51.
The Cordoba Movement and the Cordoba Initiative are separate nonprofit entities from Park51 with different missions and leadership. Imam Feisal’s tour will support only those organizations.
Due to the fact that Imam Feisal is focusing most of his energies and passion on launching this new and separate initiative, it is important that the needs of Park51, the Islamic Community Center in Lower Manhattan, take precedence. While Imam Feisal’s vision has a global scope and his ideals for the Cordoba Movement are truly exceptional, our community in Lower Manhattan is local. Our focus is and must remain the residents of Lower Manhattan and the Muslim American community in the Greater New York area.
And finally, Park51 is announcing today the launching of a new, expanded website and blog, which provides online access to many of the social and cultural services we intend to provide in the weeks and months ahead.
“We are very excited about the next phase of Park51 and the challenging work ahead,” Sharif El-Gamal, the Trustee and President of Park51 said. “It is an honor for me personally to welcome Imam Adhami to our team. I look forward to his leadership and assistance in the development of Park51. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our many supporters for their time, effort and expertise during the past few months.”
Inspired by Muslim values and heritage, Park51 is a center dedicated to providing cultural, social and recreational programs and services to the Lower Manhattan community, and to helping weave the Muslim-American identity into the pluralistic fabric of the United States.