A group of Muslims from Asia embarking on a monthlong study visit to the United States made pledges of friendship and pleas for religious tolerance yesterday at a University of Louisville forum.

The 14 religious and intellectual leaders are visiting under a $343,785 grant from the State Department, participating in a UofL program designed to show Muslims abroad how Islam is practiced in America.

A.N.M. Wahidur Rahman, a professor of philosophy from Bangladesh, said he came to help overcome “the misunderstanding between the West and the Muslims.”

Rahman said he would be telling Americans in the coming month: “Islam is a religion of peace. Terrorism and extremism is not allowed in Islam.

Another member of the group is Hayatullah, whose name has one word. He is a member of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government and said his people are grateful that the United States helped liberate them after the Soviet invasion of the 1980s and from the rule of the Taliban after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks…


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