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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. Michael Shepard

    I was a soldier that served in OIF in 2004, I am from a catholic background and I just want to say that I think it is very ignorant for anyone to associate the muslim community with 9-11. Lets clearify... it was not the Muslim community that attacked the United States, it was a psychotic terrorist group. This is like telling people to keep their kids home from church because a few catholic priest touched kids. Clearly not fair to the larger group that has done nothing wrong.

    August 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  2. deep dog

    Now that I've cooled off a little bit. To every one that thinks the building of a Mosque at(near) ground zero is in good faith , I have some ocean side property in Arizona I'll sell you.

    August 8, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  3. deep dog

    I concider my self liberal and I be damn I wan to see a Mosque within a thousand miles of ground zero. so there

    August 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  4. Smith in Oregon

    The ultra-hawkish Israeli Government of PM's Netanyahu is very troubling for anyone in the world hoping to live in peace. I suspect they are not giving their full attention on crafting a negotiated peace treaty in the Middle East while Americans continue to sacrifice thousands of their son's and daughters as a result. Israel's present ultra-conservative government appears to simply be biding it's time waiting for another Republican hawkish government to be elected in America.

    America needs to pull the plug on continuing to pour Billions of free American taxpayer dollars into the tiny nation of Israel which Israel uses to murder and harass it's neighbors in it's endless blood feud with the Arabic world.

    August 8, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
  5. Jose

    This is an interesting dilemma. We believe in religious diversity and support the building of a religious site for those who have no interest in religious diversity. Islam has always been a "Convert at the tip of the sword" religion. One Muslim man told me that our freedom would be our downfall.

    August 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  6. Jose

    Well, down here in Arizona I live in the middle of a community of muslims. I've noticed only 3 things that they have in common with each other. 1. They tend to be more devout than the rest of us; 2. They are not extremists, to my knowledge, and 3. They hate Jews with a passion, to a man.

    August 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  7. JUSTICETO ALL

    If Mosque solved terrorisism you would have none in Islamic countries. God knows you have planty of mosques there. It is complete bull. The only places that do not have suicide bombers and religious killings in mass are countries and places that have no muslims. Hence ISLAM is the problem.

    August 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  8. John D

    It shows the true color of ADL. Their only loyalty is to israel. They don't stand for anything else. They need fanatic christian support for atrocities of Israel. Why anger them for a mosque. Hypocrite thugs. So AIPAC, JINSA & other bunch. Skimmimg money from gentiles ot fund Israel. !

    August 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  9. angus cooney

    Even though its not illegal under US law to build this place near the twin towers, I can not for the life of me think why a group of people who are intelligent beings and have the smarts to draw plans and apply all the legal alleys to construct a community centre on this site, can't use the same logic and brains and smarts to see how offensive this could be to some new yorkers and certain usa citizens. no one says its illegal and maybe its to bring communities together in future but all common sense says : let the wound close before trying to put ointment on it. its just bad taste, real bad taste.

    August 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  10. rahm

    fareed zakaria is not really familiar with islam religion, even though he is a muslim. quran has two aspects, one aspect comes from allah, whose prophet or god was abraham, the other aspect is muhamed, who claimed to be the last prophet of god. muhamed's version of quran is based on gaining political power and through hostility towards other religions of past and future. most believers of islam are strict followers of muhammed, who believed in violence, terrorism and other means such as money /so called marriage and promise of false security to covert people belonging to other religions to islam per mohammed's declaration and pronouncements for conversion that they would have better chance to enjoy paradise in heaven including enjoyment of virgin women after their death. therefore muslims in general can not be moderate or can not accept other religions and live side by side with other religions. only democracy and economic prosperity can help them to be moderate and be modernized. formation of islamic community near world trade center would encourage them to be more aggressive and irrational instead of becoming peace loving, democratic and moderate. they need to prove first they can live with others and have respect for other religions and can accept democratic values and can live in democratic societies having faith in govt. and laws of the countries. quranic teachings are against democracy and civil laws unless they agree with quranic views, therefore they are jihadists by nature due to of lack of knowledge of allah's quran and god(s). islamic comunity near the world trade center will have negative impacts on islam and other religions because of lack of offering of proper religious instructions by mullahs unless supervised by the govt. rejection of the award by zakaria indicates lack of his moderate views. religious competition is anti god, so this should be encouraged. democracy and prosperity have better chance of producing religious and spiritual qualities among people.

    August 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  11. Altee11

    Is it possible to exercise true freedom within a religious framework that considers converting from it to another religion apostasy? The penalty for apostasy within this framework is "death." That's oppressive. Just asking. Looking for a solution that will create a tolerant world. Is it that possible?

    August 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  12. john the baptist

    Send Zakaria back to reporting on the quality of camel dung in the middle east

    August 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  13. CONTENT_PESSIMEST

    The fact is that you PC liberals that defend Islam proves that liberalsim is a suicidal mental disorder. Liberals have this knee jerk reaction to defend any minority especially if they are not white. The white liberal moron will defend Islam even when Islamics stand against everything the white liberal moron believes in. It will destroy the west
    If you haven’t been following the Islamification of Europe, Its time to wake up and realize that it is here in America. Apparently it is not enough that 3000 people lost their lives in a hideous act of religious mass murder on 9/11 but now their memory will be insulted by allowing the religion that murdered them, to build a towering triumphant mosque on the ground where they died. It says a lot about Islam, to even propose such a preposterous idea. It makes me sick to my stomach at the idea that Islam is allowed anywhere near ground zero, because 9/11 would not of happened if it wasn’t for Islam and its teachings of jihad and its promise of the most ridiculously impossible afterlife. 9/11 wasn’t an attack just on America, but on the whole civilized western world just like in London, Madrid, shootings in Mumbai and everywhere else that the religion of peace decides that it doesn’t like the way people do things.
    Without the shield of religion to hide behind, Islam would be banned in the civilized world as a political ideology of hate. We have no more of an obligation to allow for Islam than we do for Nazism.Both are totalitarian and separate the world into us and them and both have made it no secret that would like to exterminate the Jews. Building mosques on conquered sacred ground is standard practice for Islam. This is what it has always done to assert its supremacy and that is what is happening here. Of course they know how offensive and insulting it is, why else would they pick a site so close to ground zero? I think there is a more appropriate place to put this mosque. They should build it in Death Valley.

    August 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  14. Jeff

    It's Zakaria's loss. He is now on the side of the terrorists. Shame on him! His CNN producers probably influenced him to do it. What a lemming.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  15. sossadnews

    To Abbey Schmidt and Ibu Lala,
    Please read my posting again with your brain in gear:
    "I'm sorry but I don't remember the Muslim community standing up in outrage over the 9/11 attack on America by Islamic extremists. Did I miss something or did that not happen?". Now where in that statement did I state that there was NOTHING from the Muslim community against the actions of the terrorists? So thank you for the update. And to LaLa, let me set the record straight, I don't watch Fox news. To reiterate, I still believe that there is no need for a huge mosque to be built near ground zero.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  16. Wild Bill

    BREAKING NEWS!!!!!! this just in.......Fareed Zakaria's Career is over....

    August 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  17. Wild Bill

    Fareed...you are naive...It is as disrespectful as placing a pork processing plant to the left and a kosher deli to the right of a mosque. This is about 9/11 and a slap in the face to all Americans. That area is sacred ground where American blood was spilled. See if Islam is a religion of peace should 3000 gallons of pig blood be spilled on any Mosque sight.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  18. John

    Islam tolerates only Islam. Whenever Muslims become a majority in any area, all tolerance ends and non-Muslims are treated as scum. Islam spreads by violence and deceit. Read the history of its spread. Horrific.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  19. John

    Islam tolerates and respects only Islam. Until Islam rules supreme, there are smiles and talk of 'tolerance' and 'respect' so that the incremental destruction of the infidel progresses. Islam is patient. When its objective is finally reached; in a generation, a century, whatever; that is the end of tolerance. That is the end of respect. That is the end of any other philosophy, religion or approach to life other than Islam. At the point of a bayonett. By mass slaughter. Read the history of the spread of Islam you fools.

    August 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  20. lbensky

    IT's hard to forgot the 3000 dead and the 3 planes crashing into buildings with one plane crashing into a field. All in the name of islam. Why are we affording the these rights to people who want to destroy the USA? Zakaria is a phony IMO. Why do folks watch this bozo anyway?

    August 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
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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.