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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. Dan

    Islam is thuggery, not a religion.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  2. lindy

    Synagogues, Churches and Buddhist temples are not allowed in Mecca yet they feel they have
    the right to build a mosque near where muslims killed hundreds of Americans..
    It is insane!

    August 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  3. sherrieff

    Zakaria should have returned the islam to saudi arabia for the sacrifice of 3000 innocent souls and also for brainwashing 10 young lives transformed into deadly terrorists. He should have become an atheist when the islamic world failed to prevent the destruction of the bahamanian buddhas. Unfortunately he places islam, more than any thing else including the tears of the 3000 grieved families. He should have gone to pakisthan and protested, educated the imams involved in the killing of the innocents in mumbai.This really exposes who it is. He returned the reward showing that the ADL was wrong in first place to give him an award.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  4. Bob Brush

    I think Fareed Zakaria is not just acting out of principle of being against ADL but is also taking the opportunity of showing his fellow Muslims that he is totally aligned with them. Muslims are taught from young that their religion and their prophet are perfect and are not to be questioned. Fareed Zakaria will questioned many things in this world but he will never questioned the intention of those behind this project, the Cordoba Initiative. Perhaps Fareed Zakaria would like to suggest to those behind this project that they promote an initiative to build places of worship for other religions in Medina and Mecca. Let's see how pluralistic Islam can be.

    August 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  5. Saad Hasan

    Now FZ can become irrelevant, he will be promptly fired for being a petulance to the supporters of Israel...

    August 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  6. PJ

    The ADL is not alone in it's opposition to this monument to terror. Most of America agrees with the idea of moving the location away from the sacred ground of the WTC. The Islamic Center will be a constant reminded of who committed the atrocity of Sept 11.

    August 8, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  7. Ken

    So this guy thinks it's okay for him to return an award as a protest against someone else expressing their own opinion? Should no one express their opinion for fear of having someone else protesting? It's an endless circle. What a hypocrite. You're supposed to be reporting the news, not trying to grandstand and try to make news.

    August 8, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  8. kill2000getafreemosque!

    What is really fascinating is how the liberal mindset turns a BLIND EYE to how the Muslim religion treats people of gay, lesbian, & transgender lifestyles. THERE IS ZERO TOLERANCE IN ISLAM. In fact, in ALL muslim countries, if you are gay, you go to prison or WORSE.

    Yet you think it is ok to build a center in the heart of new york to spread these ideals. Exactly how does that work to be ok in your mind?

    August 8, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  9. Robin

    Fareed Zakaria is a gay (closeted) Muslim. That's why he's so utterly confused.

    August 8, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  10. kill2000getafreemosque!

    So the clear message here is: Blow up a few city blocks and GET A FREE MOSQUE!

    So when the next terrorist attack occurs, do they get to build a mosque there too? If its even more destruction and death will they get to build 2 mosques or maybe a school or two?

    What really is pure EPIC FAILURE with the logic here is that if this attack was only a small one with little loss of life, there would be no mosque going up. But with so many lives lost and so much destruction, the bleeding hearts feel it is "necessary" to "reach out" to muslims. You people are disgusting pathetic excuses for humans. Just pony up and admit you love to be dominated. The show of power from the destruction & DEATH caused by 9/1, turns you on in some perverse backwards way. ADMIT WHAT YOU ARE.

    Hey,: do A LITTLE research on what the term "Cordoba" means to Muslim and the history of this city. Now you will understand why this is called the "CORDOBA INITIATIVE"

    August 8, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  11. George

    Is it possible that the Jews are supporting the building of the mosque on ground zero because they know it will increase tensions and resentment of many millions of Americans toward their enemy, the Muslim? I'm just asking, is it possible?

    August 8, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  12. barbara

    I see that CNN did a nice job of editing my first comment because what I said was too close to the truth. Shame on you CNN.

    August 8, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  13. John E.Hopkinson

    ReMote: ypur reply to Howard is in very poor taste.

    August 8, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  14. barbara

    Who cares that he gave them back. Good. When will these people understand what a supreme insult it is to all those to died to build a mosque practically on ground zero. Ask him if we would be allowed to do likewise if the tables were turned in a Muslim country. We'd be beheaded for even suggesting it. I suspect that Mayor Bloomsberg is being threatened by this Cordoba Initiative, that if he doesn't push this thing through that there will be more terror attacks on NY. That or Mayor Bloomsberg might have a vested interest in this construction because that is how he makes his money. Either way.... if Muslims really wanted to "bridge" the cultural gap they wouldn't even suggest having it built so near ground zero. And until we can build churches and temples on their land..... the answer should be no. They preach religious intolerance yet, want us to support THEIR relgion. Besides.... they already have mosques in NY.

    August 8, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  15. lucidpanther

    Fareed Zakaria has realized that Jews are bigoted racists.

    August 8, 2010 at 8:33 am |
    • lindy

      Really you have talked to every jew in the world to find that out? What is your faith and where do you live?

      August 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  16. 5t1v

    you have t assume the sponsors of the mosque knew it"s proposed construction would cause all this controversu and divide us like this> i am disapointed in bloomberg for being his usual condescending self and siding with the islam even calling it american

    August 8, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  17. scott anderson

    RELIGIONS ARE NOTHING BUT FABLES FROM LONG LONG AGO WHEN MAN KNEW NOTHING OF HIS WORLD. TO BELIEVE IN A MAN IN THE SKY NOW IS A JOKE. WAKE UP AND TRY TO LET GO OF THESE STUPID TRADITIONS. ITS SO SAD THAT PEOPLE KILL IN THE NAME OF A MADE UP STORY. AND OH YES NO MOSQUE. THE QUORAN IS THE SCARIEST OF ALL RELIGIONS. IF YOU THINK ISLAM IS PEACEFUL THEN I DARE YOU TO GOOGLE QUORAN AND READ 5 PAGES AND THEN SAY YOU THINK WE SHOULD ALLOW THIS MOSQUE.

    August 8, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  18. H G

    I can understand Fareed Zakari's stance. The ADL is wrong on this issue as it is on several others although it claims to be a civil rights organization.

    The point is this – I hate bin Laden and his fellow murderers just as much or more than anyone else. But....we need to distinguish between terrorists who act in the name of Islam and ordinary folks who just happen to be either born into or convert into the Islamic faith.

    Ordinary Moslems like Zakaria are just like anyone else – except that on Fridays they go to mosque. Jews happen to go to temple on saturday and chrisitians to church on sunday. Hindus go to temple on their holy day(s). And so on..

    Otherwise, we're all the same, and if you think about, we are all praying ultimately to the same higher power.

    150 Moslems died on 9/11, and if their relatives or other moslems who wish to pay their respects to any of the 3000 911 victims wish to pray at a mosque at ground zero, so be it.

    Shame on the ADL and on Abraham Foxman for adopting a bigoted narrow minded view on this issue.

    August 8, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  19. scott anderson

    READ THE QUORAN. ITS ALL ABOUT PEACE AND LOVE TO YOUR BROTHER. UNLESS YOU ARE NOT A BELIEVER THEN ITS ALL ABOUT VIOLENCE TOWARDS THAT PERSON. IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE GOOGLE QUORAN AND READ 5 PAGES. I DARE YOU TO READ 5 PAGES AND TURN AROUND AND SAY THIS MOSQUE IS A GOOD IDEA. MUSLIMS NEED TO LEAVE AMERICA AND GO BE WITH THEIR OWN AND WE NEED TO STAY OUT OF THEIR AFFAIRS IN THEIR PART OF THE WORLD.

    August 8, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  20. NYCGuy621

    Why is this news? Fareed Zakaria is a CNN left columnist masquerading as a moderate host. Why are his personal affairs, awards, return thereof, etc...worthy of a headline? It's self-promotion and publicity to support his stance on the mosque in NYC, nothing more. This isn't about personal integrity, it's pure, naked self-promotion. NY'ers, and Americans in general, don't care how some naturalized-American Muslim interprets the US Constitution nor what awards they accept or refute. The question is... why does CNN care?

    August 8, 2010 at 7:53 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.