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Posted: August 18, 2010 08:02 AM

Huffington Post political reporter Sam Stein went on Morning Joe this morning to discuss the details of the proposed Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, particularly the background of the man leading the project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

On Tuesday Stein reported that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is now being called a "radical Islamist" by conservative critics like Newt Gingrich, was brought to a forum hosted by the FBI shortly after 9/11 to help ease the social tensions between Muslim Americans and federal agents.

[The FBI] needed some sort of conduit, someone who could explain how to deal with these cultural sensitivities, and they brought in this imam to help brief agents about what was the best way to go about interrogating suspected terrorists without trampling on their rights or offending them on religious or cultural grounds...[Imam Feisal] is exactly the type of moderate Muslim voice that we should be elevating, not downplaying. I think the fear that a lot of people have is this debate is gonna turn off the people like this imam, that we desperately need to actually build better relations with the Islamic-Muslim world.

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