Imam behind NYC mosque back in US

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, arrives at a Muharraq, Bahrain, mosque where he led midday prayers Friday, Aug. 20, 2010, and spoke briefly with worshipers. Rauf, the imam leading plans for an Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York, is on a U.S.-funded outreach tour to Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to talk about religious tolerance in America. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

September 6, 2010 6:34:18 PM PDT
The imam who has become a public face of a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero has returned to the United States following a taxpayer-funded tour of the Middle East.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's wife told The Associated Press on Monday that he was back in the U.S.

Daisy Khan declined to comment further. She said her husband planned to comment on the debate surrounding the planned $100 million center later this week.

She says he returned Sunday from a 15-day State Department-funded trip to the Gulf. The tour was intended to promote religious tolerance.

During his Middle East trip, Rauf mostly sidestepped questions surrounding the Islamic center location about two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.