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. Adam

    Perhaps CNN should return Zakaria's JOB to someone better suited for it. He is obviously a racist bigot.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • ReMote

      Perhaps the man is merely intolerant of other's mistakes and chose to make an issue of it.
      As to his true motives, who can say? People can lie to themselves as easily as to other people.

      August 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  2. Buck

    Almost as dumb as them building that mosque. Great insensitivity and antagonistic. If it does end up being built I will organize chalk Mohammed and Koran origami events weekly in front.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      I hope you get arrested for doing it too!!! It is wrong to do anything to any Religious Property... But what does People like you care... You probably do it to the Jewish Temples all the time!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  3. nome m.

    its good that he returned it..america doesnt need the bigotry of the ADL...they cant just collect money by yelling "holocuast" at every oppurtnity only to use these funds to attack the muslims in america

    August 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Most of the Jewish People have more respect for the American Muslin that the Catholics do!!! But you Racist are to stupid to realize it...

      August 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  4. Gary

    Yeah BIG suprise right? Zakaria a muslim, returns a prize given by Jews because he wants a mosque built where islamists flew 2 planes into buildings and killed over 3,000 people just a short time ago, sorry Mr. Zakaria, even though you would wis so, our memories are not that short. And Mr. Zakaria wants all of us to stand up and applaud his fake courage. I am glad he has done what he has so "heroically" done, now all CNN viewers can see what a hypocrite this man really is. This is political statement pure and simple and has nothing to do with him being, obviously incorrectly labeled a "humanitarian." What a joke...Zakaria is simplying showing his true colors...as an anti-semite.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      If 2 planes ran into the building... Why is it still standing??? Could it be because it wasn't on ground zero???

      August 8, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  5. david

    I find Mr. Zakaria very knowledgeable and creditable with regard to his insightful perspectives on issues and events in the Middle East. His decision to return the ADL reward because he disagrees with that organization's position on building a Mosque near ground zero has earned him even more of my respect. It is very refreshing to see someone stand up for their convictions and not just go along to get along. Bravo to you Mr. Zakaria.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  6. louise

    The sounds of Hitler, I can"t believe these statments are coming out of the mouths of Americans. such hatred and disrespect .my deepest wish for people who hate the jews, just because they are jewish is that if you are gifted enough to have children, I hope he or she takes for a husband or wife a jew, then perhaps you would come to know that you are so wrong. may god forgive you.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Chelese did and is better off for it!!! These Idiots think all us Jews have horns... The problem they wouldn't know a Jew if the saw one!!! Unless it was me... I wear My bride out all the time!!! My Star of David and My Army shirts!!! I'm proud of both...

      August 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  7. Rick

    @Richard Nixon – Dick.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  8. Josh S

    I don't think that all Muslims are terrorists, and I believe in religious freedom, but Americans need to wake up and look at the FACT that Islam is an aggressively expansionist socio-political belief system, not JUST a religion, that will seriously curtail the freedoms that we claim to love in this country if it ever gained enough influence. Look at what is happening in Europe Why should anyone be tolerant of a movement which has not historically tolerated rival philosophies and religions? If they ever gained a majority in this country, you can bet they would end our religious freedom and tolerance in a heartbeat.

    August 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • levine

      hello Psychopath Psychic.

      August 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      So you believe it is alright to go into some ones own Country and kill Their People??? But if Israel defends Their People they are Tarriest right??? You Muslin are more Stupid that I ever thought you could be!!! Thank GOD the Muslin her in Calif. aren't as stupid as you are...

      August 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • Josh S

      This is a serious question, not a rhetorical question. Can someone give an example of a country with a Muslim majority that has comparable civil liberties to America? I'm being open minded here and assuming there might be a few, although I'm going to go out on a limb and say there are not a lot of them.

      August 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  9. PhillyRN

    "At a news conference, Lazio said he was concerned that not enough is known about the project’s funding sources and raised questions about its director, Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf. He noted that Rauf had recently refused to call the radical Palestinian group Hamas a terrorist organization, and had said in a “60 Minutes” interview televised shortly after 9/11 that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.” http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/candidate-calls-on-cuomo-to-investigate-funds-for-nyc-ground-zero-mosque/

    August 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
  10. mr keno

    is it really a good idea to build an islamic mosk at ground zero really
    kind of like rubbing your face in it
    i would think the last place on earth they would put a mosk is there
    all muslims are not terrorists but it sure looks like most terrorists are muslims
    how about building it in crawford texas next to the imbeciles ranch or on top of cheney

    August 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Abbey Schmidt

      I LOVE your ideas/suggestions Mr Keno!!

      August 7, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Will you please tell me how 1 1/2 blocks away is ground zero??? It just shows how stupid you people really are!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  11. yammy

    Fareed Zakaria is a fine fine jourbalist.ADL is the biggest bigot.

    August 7, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  12. Norman

    It's almost funny that an Arab would return such a honor but really no surprise. What is really an insult is that we Jews have had about enough with the olive branch and with the Will of the Lord will punish all those who hate no matter where they live. Remember G-D spoke to Abraham and that my friends is where the real history of the Jewish People began.

    August 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • david

      How do you know that a "God", whatever or whoever that is, spoke to someone named Abraham? I see nuts walking around the streets all the time talking about "God" spoke to them. I am very suspicious of anyone, living in the past or present, who claims that God spoke to them.

      August 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
    • Adam

      I take exception to that remark.

      August 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • god

      Don't you mean history started with ME?

      August 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
    • Logician

      He's not arab, u doofus. He is an indian muslim. Dont trust what you think!!!! Your brain ain't workin.

      August 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • historyoftheJewishPeople

      I began a long time ago. Ask anyone.

      August 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
    • levine

      You proven well that u are a complete ignorant. You defamed yourself. Report it to the ADL.

      August 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
    • LMAOagain


      August 8, 2010 at 3:02 am |
  13. shilpy

    America rejects this mosque, supposedly built for interfaith stuff, within sight of the sacred ground for the same reason mayor Guiliani rejected Saudi govt offer of several million dollar donation to the fund meant for the families of those perished in 9/11. The article says ADL is jewish but conveniently forgets to point out that Zakaria is a muslim. This is like Muslim cab drivers' refusal to do business with liquor carrying passengers. Opposition to this mosque is simply about honoring the memory of the 9/11 victims, and in no way signals anything else. Farreed is the one with the predjudice, and his biased views often signal that to those who really know what's going on.

    August 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • levine

      It is much more than what u see. You need to take the blidfold out form your eyes to write comments here.

      August 7, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      It is a block and half away!!! Please tell me how that hurts anyone??? You can't see it through the building on that street!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  14. laynie

    just remember you will never break the cocde

    August 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  15. namaste26

    I applaud his decision to rebuke the ADL for their position. It took courage to voice what many of us know to be hypocrisy on their part. He did the right thing by returning the award and honorarium.

    August 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      There reason against it is as good as yours for it!!! I might not agree with them... But I respect their right to think it!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  16. Richard Nixon

    Take a muslim huntig with you!

    August 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
    • terrycloth

      Is that you, Cheney?

      August 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  17. Rahwaja

    Zakaria is indeed a class act here, and from now on an American Hero for me.

    What courage! What guts to stand up for what is so right (and so American)! And remind us of what is so beautiful about our American values: tolerance and equal treatment for all Americans.

    (I think his courage here is matching that of Mayor Bloomberg – gosh, I would love to have Mayor Bloomberg as our President)

    ADL on the other hand cannot and should not get away with this double standard and hypocrisy. They are now exposed and can no longer pretend that they defend All Americans from discrimination. They have every right to announce they only care about discrimination against Jews and to hell with the others.

    I am not sure they are getting their just desserts. However, most of the comments written against the Islamic Center I’ve read are laden with anti-Semitic poison as well. Shame on those who oppose the building of the Center and shame on ADL for being on the same side as they are.

    August 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Sure as long as People agree with your thinking they are great!!! But if they think different they aren't???

      August 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  18. Richard Nixon

    take an anology from the Indian troubles. "The onlly good muslim is a dead muslim."

    August 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      smart 9Sorry)

      August 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  19. tolerant

    Pure ignorance!

    August 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  20. Mir

    We give billions to Egypt because we want it to behave nice with Israel. We give billions to Pakistan rent loyalty of its army. We don't give billions to Gaza. We don't protect Saudi Arabia, just the royal family in control of Oil. We were attacked by the dissidents of the Saudi royal family who were mad at US for getting Saudi royal to be friends with Israel.

    So yes, Jews don't attack us because we protect Israel. We get attacked by Islamic dissidents because we give and trade billions with corrupt Islamic regimes to protect Israel.

    August 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • lindy

      The USA just gave 900 million to Gaza with more on the way...

      August 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        What this World needs is more of a understanding of each other rather than hate!!!

        August 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        It would be nice if they ever got it!!!

        August 8, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
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About this blog

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.