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. Heywood Jablowme

    You are all sheep...worry about the Chinese government and the newest missiles they have created......Mosque...no mosque...who cares?

    August 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  2. Spado

    This I not about religious freedom. There are literally hundreds of mosques in NYC. This is a political statement. fine, there is nothing that can be done and the mosque will probably be built. But does that mean the ADL cannot make a statement about inappropriate it is ti build the mosque in that location? They are saying what many of the 9-11 victims and families themselves are saying. that it is a slap in the face to have a building devoted to honoring the ideology the terrorists used to justify their hideous act built on the graves of the victims. no one is allowed to speak this truth lest they be called a bigot.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  3. Tssshh

    What kind of person waves a 'right to religion' flag at the site of a religious massacre? Tomorrow there will be innocent casualties; children, women, soldiers, Muslims, Christians, Jews and Atheists in the name of religion/God/Islam. Good luck with your place of warship you dogs.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • lordylordy

      This is the USA. Freedom of religion might be the whole problem, but it is still the supreme law of the land.
      If you want to change the Constitution, please write your Congressman or something useful like that.

      If it changes, don't worry, I think you'll know about it.

      You cannot wrap "ground zero" (a stupid name btw) in the flag and then demand we not honor the flag you have wrapped it in just so you can make a big deal out of everything in a five-mile radius like some of the other hotheads out there.

      You say America got attacked? Then we deal with it as a country, and that means we respect the rule of law, among other things. Religion is the result of indoctrination.
      If you don't like indoctrinated d-bags flying jets into buildings, then do something about the indoctrination. Get the people de-programmed. Its all psychological and therefore treatable.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:15 am |
    • Lassie

      Arf! Roof! Arf!
      (translation: fire the main guns!)

      Ralph! Roof! Arf!
      (all ahead full!)

      August 8, 2010 at 3:16 am |
    • Benji

      (translation: Belay that order!)

      August 8, 2010 at 3:20 am |
  4. Dwelsh

    CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service!!

    Reading a few of these ignoramus posts, typical of all on this site, I wonder why CNN continues this thread of hatred.
    As far as Zakaria is concerned, he just lost another listener.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      That is all These Idiots know is Hate rid!!! What more can you expect out of them???

      August 8, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  5. max wendroff

    Kick the bum out. Fred is just like Glenn Beck, a worthless piece who knows everything about nothing.
    His show is boring prompting me to explain the what an idiot is: anyone who watches his show for more than one minute.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  6. Helen Waite

    Dont even know what or who the ADL is. And dont care.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • Scarmas

      Thank you for that amazingly vital piece of information, but you didn't have to go out of your way to inform us of your ignorance.


      August 8, 2010 at 12:58 am |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      We don't care if you didn't care!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  7. dmf

    Fareed , " They only live who dare. " You have to watch out . The necons and their friends would make Helen Thomas out of you . Take care.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  8. Joseph

    Lucky, he is working in CNN, not in CBS. Otherwise, he would have been fired by now

    August 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  9. KTAR

    I disagree with Zakaria returning the award. Building a mosque near Ground Zero is insane. If we allow a mosque there, then Israel should allow a memorial to the Nazis at the Wailing Wall. Unlike us, they would have the courage to not allow such a thing.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Why put one in Israel??? Wouldn't be better with the Rome with the Pope???

      August 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  10. Kelly

    So, wait a minute...we don't agree with the mistreatment of the Muslims by the ADL, so let's go after the Jews instead??? That is nothing if not hypocritical! One small part of the Jewish community spoke out against the mosque, so now all Jews are bigots who are determined to destroy the Muslim faith? Just like one small part of the Islamic community crashed planes into the World Trade Center, so now all Muslims are out to destroy Christianity and America. Please...that is so narrow-minded and wrong. Why would you even believe that discriminating against one sect is wrong, but its perfectly OK to do it to another? This is the same mistake the ADL made and that is why Zakaria returned the award. Stop trying to pin his decision on all Jews. Zakaria is an educated man and I highly doubt his decision was motivated by the same hatred and ignorance that some of you are displaying in this forum.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • Abbey Schmidt

      Ditto Kelly!! TOTALLY agree with you!! Well said!

      August 7, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      They do that already!!! So whats the difference???

      August 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  11. biggeorge22

    This is a tough one for me for many reasons. But I agree with his actions and it shows hutspa!!! We as Americans need to be bigger than this and hundreds of millions of Muslims didn't want to attack the WTC or anyone else. The few bad apples are ruining it for the rest and we should know better than that. This hate is exactly what drives our enemies and will destroy them. Don't let hate destroy us too.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Don't hate the Muslin!!! Just hate the Jews right???

      August 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  12. shiko

    it APPEARS that some of the posters on here have POOR memories; how about the 3,000 plus
    that were KILLED on 9/11 and the 6 million plus JEWS that were killed during world war II
    by a NUT named adolph hitler and his cronies.

    kudo's to ADL for standing up for what they believe in; its two bad more americans do not
    take a stand but think anything and everything goes.

    WAKE UP america before its to late. if the muslims respected the JEWS which they do not
    and respected what happened on 9/11, then they would not be PUSHING to build a mosque
    in that area.

    if the U.S. had half the BACKBONE of israel, we would not have the mess we have now in iraq
    and other places.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Don't you know they deserved to die!!! If you can't believe it just ask them...

      August 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  13. Waterman

    Its not Jews that are enemies, its the Zionist and right wing politicians in Israel that have sold out their own people as well as their religion. And don't give me that BS about Israel being the only Democracy in the Mid-East, there are no democracies in the Mid-East, just asked the Palestinians. Fortunately, there are Jewish groups particularly in the US that know this and work toward reconciliation of all people. I don't agree with building a mosque two blocks from the bombed World Trade Centers, its offensive to me as an American, but at the same time our legal system is built on equality of all people and fairness. Would a synagogue, church, or temple be prohibited from building there? I think not.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      I would love to know what Israeli ever did to you for you to talk like that??? You are one sick Person!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  14. ddz

    While it hurts a bit to consider the mosque so close to a now 'sacred' so-to-speak spot, we are in AMERICA, and that means we are obligated by our constitution to live along side and tolerate every culture and religion that chooses to live here. While it may be in bad taste, I would let them do it. Take the high road and ignore stupidity. The reason our country is in such a mess is because the media and the Internet reward stupid people and stupid attitudes. Live by the law and you will be a better person.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  15. The Light

    Sounds like all the Muslims live in the USA. While you were watching & pointing fingers at Israel the Muslims invaded & captured America without firing a shot. Like in Germany they will come in the middle of the night & take whole families, of course they will start with the Jews, so most won't care, but like with the Germans, the Jews won't be enough..
    We have become a Nation of fat lazy finger pointers & we are about to be caught with our pants around our ankles.

    Who am I, just an old person.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      You are one sick Person!!! They should take only People like You... That way the World would have less Idiots!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  16. PW - Dallas

    I'm amazed at how many people think it's ok to build a Muslim Center near ground zero. Wow! I think we should boycott Zakaria for making such a move.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  17. Scott

    I think Zakaria is one of the best people on CNN if not the best. But it seems that CNN is forgetting it's supposed to report news, not make news. Leave "making" news to Fox and the other editorial organizations pretending to be news organizations.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  18. rene

    A true American would never be in favor of a Terrorist Center at the spot they attacked us. It would be the same as putting a memorial to Hitler in Auschwitz. But I am sure you no-patriots out there would find a way to make it seem different but it is futile to distinguish the two with rational thought.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • Kelly

      Terrorist Center, my foot. Come on, a person is not a terrorist simply because he/she is Muslim. A true American also knows the rights given to us by the Constitution and it allows for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law. You want to label the entire Muslim community based on the actions of a few, then fine, but I suggest you read up on your Constitutional law first.

      August 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • PeteM

      If you are having difficulty resolving your confusion, then you probably missed something KEY along the way.
      Could you do something about that? Please?

      August 8, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      I spent 6 years in it already!!! It might help You if You joined!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  19. rene

    Great Publicity Stunt!!!

    August 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • StinkEyE

      @Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Would it help if you could join the Army? Why are you carpet-b/oming this place? The Army needs soldiers with discipline, which you have yet to show in the way you post at every little thing...

      August 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
  20. cowpersgland

    Perhaps a holocaust museum beside ground zero would be a more appropriate thing to build. Oh, and funded by the US tax payer of course.

    August 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      It would be a better use to have all the different Churches and Temples to build there!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 10:39 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.