August 7th, 2010
06:23 PM ET

CNN host returns award from Jewish group over Islamic center stance

Fareed Zakaria, the CNN host and Newsweek columnist, has returned a prestigious prize to the Anti-Defamation League, another rebuke for the esteemed civil rights group's opposition to an Islamic center near ground zero.

Zakaria, who received the ADL's Hubert Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize five years ago, gave back the honor to ADL for publicly siding "with those urging the relocation" of the center, which would be located near the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"I cannot in good conscience hold onto the award or the honorarium that came with it and am returning both," he said.

Watch Zakaria explain his decision

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Judaism • Mosque • TV

soundoff (585 Responses)
  1. Suval

    Bravo Fareed: I have always liked positions taken by the League but this latest one is sad and prejudiced. We are,as a country,really behaving badly toward the Muslims. We seem to have condemned an entire culture and religion because of actions by some radicals. Other religious groups have been responsible for atrosities over the years and we have not banned them .I ,for example, would think people would raise hell if a Catholic Church went up near a school where there are children but noone says anything. Why pick on one religious group? The site is NOT AT the Trade Center per se. We really have no right in this country to tell someone to whom who he can and cannot sell his land or the buyer what he can or cannot build if it meets general city code regualtions. We did not make laws in this country so they could apply only to people we like. I think the ADL needs to revisit their own Bylaws and Guidelines because what they did recently was not the ADL many of us have long supported.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:05 am |
  2. Whoop de doo

    Who cares. When islamic terrorists destroy the new WTC complex...they'll knock down that new mosque with it.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:52 am |
  3. Tony L

    Thank You Fareed. I always admired you and now you have earned more respect from me. These powerful Jewish organizations have control over the US congress and White house. They have formulated a control over the US foreign policy for decades. Now they are controlling the media with propaganda against the Mosque. Most of the national security problems we face is due to Israels mischief in the middle east. Most of our Military leaders know it but are unable to say due to Jewish lobby pressure.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:42 am |
  4. ellen

    To the one who asked what part the jewish faith played in the scientific and medical accomplishments of jews throughout history let me answer. Jews historically value education above all and believe that they have a moral obligation to improve the human condition. It's why jewish mothers want their daughters to marry doctors, because they're so revered. Why they want their sons to become doctors. To improve the human condition. I will put the accomplishments of jews up against the accomplishments of muslims anytime and anyone that disagrees can go right ahead and forgo using those antibiotics and vaccines. As to the mosque being a place to bring people together.....so far, not so much. Why not pick another place and actually try to do just that. This is too in your face. I wish they would have been so forward about condemning the atrocities committed in the name of Islam over the past 10 years.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:32 am |
  5. Vilas

    No matter where you educate them, even in Howard and Yale (Fareed is product of these unis) but Muslim will always remain the typical muslim. I do not want to enter in any logical discussion that why the mosque should not be there or should be here. I just want to respect the sentiments of local and all American people and suggest the Muslims that, Please build the masque some where else. BUT no there is no consideration for peoples sentiment in Islam. Same thing they did in Ayoydhya India, NO respect for Hindu sentiments, thousands & thousands of people lost there life in the process. I had lot of respect for this guy, I was looking at him as a real icon of Indian muslims. But really saddens me to see him like this, people were looking in him a next Henry Kissinger. But thank god he showed his true colors well in time.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:21 am |
  6. Mohamed Seigel

    Let them build it, maybe someone will fly a plane into it.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:17 am |
    • cnn1bigjoke

      Irony is a b**tch 😉

      August 8, 2010 at 1:18 am |
  7. cnn1bigjoke

    BFD. Fareed we don't care what you do. Needless to say...Muslims are AT BEST...the most insensitive people on the face of the planet. Remember Muslims – your reap what you sow...

    August 8, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  8. jpt153

    In reading the reports about this whole issue, I think that the problem is not that its an Islamic center near Ground Zero. I think it comes down to the Imam that is leading the center and the funding for the center. It seems that most people just want more information about the Imam and where the money is coming from for this center. Quite frankly, I am in agreement, and believe that if this person does have terrorist ties and the money is coming from terrorist organizations, that NO it shouldn't be allowed to be built near Ground Zero, that truly would be a slap in the face to all the victims of 9/11 and to the men and women of our armed forces who have given their lives in the fight against terror.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:16 am |
  9. Bill

    pnfctg – before we go ... can you tell us what the weather is like there?

    August 8, 2010 at 1:12 am |
  10. Barada

    Zakaria is the worst kind of apologist. I pay no credence to him. I don't understand why CNN gives him any air time.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:12 am |
  11. Richard

    I am all for freedom of religion, but I have heard that members of this group advocate replacing the U.S. Constitution with some type of religious law. Is this true? If it is then this is more than just a religion.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:58 am |
  12. Maria Ashot

    I would expect nothing less from Fareed Zakaria. I fully expect him to be both a donor to the center and a featured speaker there.

    No, there is no reason to feel "shame" for understanding the true nature of Islam. Manhattan is huge: why is it of such critical urgency to the Muslim community to have a 15-story tower within two blocks - literally, moments away - from Ground Zero?

    IF BUILT, The 'Islamic Cultural Center' will be a place that will indoctrinate people we share living and commercial space with into believing that Women are intrinsically inferior to Men, and created thus by God.

    It is beyond shameful to support such an initiative: it is absolutely lunatic, and morally repugnant in every way.

    I am sure the ADL is sorry they honored Zakaria, too.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:56 am |
    • Bill

      Indoctrinate is the correct word

      August 8, 2010 at 1:14 am |
  13. Protect America

    I think the United States should copy Executive Order 9066 and throw all Muslims into captivity. Only then will we FINALLY get some peace around here...and stop those terrorists from building on the ground zero site!

    August 8, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  14. StephenStarr

    ADL would have supported Hitler for the extermination of Polish, Gypsies, Communists... etc.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:49 am |
  15. Charley

    what a bonehead

    August 8, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  16. Joey M.


    August 8, 2010 at 12:37 am |
  17. Joey M.

    When all else false, reach for the anti-semitism card.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  18. Fahim Lodhi

    For those of you who still oppose the construction of the mosque, watch this video and maybe you'll come to your senses: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/08/06/gps.fareed.take.cnn

    August 8, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  19. CJ

    Building a mosque at Ground Zero is like putting up a Japanese monument at Pearl Harbor ...it's inappropriate and makes us look like fools yet again. Wrong for so very many reasons. Let them build their mosque elsewhere. And yes, Mr. Zakaria, 5 years after the fact -I'm glad he returned his award-he really didn't deserve it. I've never watched his show and now i certainly won't. This is comparable to an actor returning his Oscar because he doesn't like who gets it the next year. Honestly, Muslims have such spite and hatred for all things American, why are we trying to win their "hearts and minds"...? Who cares?
    I"m proud of the ADL for voicing their opinion and shame on Fareed Zakaria....maybe CNN will get rid of him so we can see more objective reporters.
    A quick note on Bloomberg: this man has done more to mess up NYC than any mayor in my memory. Look at these awful pedestrian malls...and on and on.. he's totally out of touch.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  20. moe

    listen up all zionists, christans, chatolics, muslims, and none believers. pregeduice is human nature, if some one or some thing is not like us or of our beliefs then we hate it. so stick it where sun don't shine and respect the guy for what he believes in. if it was a zionist, or christan given a muslim award back you all suckers would have bend over for him ha wouldn't you. just because he is a muslim you you say all this. bigot is far what you all are.... losers

    August 8, 2010 at 12:20 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.