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Muhammad Musri, an unusual imam, brokers Quran-burning debate

Imam Muhammad Musri is comfortable brokering interfaith dialogue, but in his bid to stop Florida pastor Terry Jones from burning Qurans on Saturday, he has waded into a controversy with global repercussions.

Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida (c.) speaks to the media with Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center (r.) on Thursday.

Phil Sandlin/AP

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He has stood with Jewish and Christian leaders to support health-care reform. He waded into the Fatimah Bary runaway teen controversy. And he has reached out to Hispanics by teaching the Quran in Spanish.

But Imam Muhammad Musri, a young and by many accounts unconventional Muslim leader, may have found his greatest challenge as he stepped into a global controversy over Florida pastor Terry Jones' plan to burn Qurans on the anniversary of 9/11.

On Thursday, Mr. Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida and overseer of six mosques, appeared with Mr. Jones to announce the suspension of the Quran-burning gambit. Jones later backtracked, saying Musri "clearly, clearly lied" to him by agreeing to a condition that the Park51 religious center planned for near ground zero in New York would be moved to another location.

WATCH VIDEO: Build a 'mosque' near ground zero?


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