August 7th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Fareed Zakaria to return Anti-Defamation League award over ground zero mosque

Here's a statement the Anti-Defamation League released yesterday in response to Zakaria's announcement:


New York, NY, August 6, 2010 … In response to Fareed Zakaria returning an award that was presented to him in 2005, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it was “saddened, stunned and somewhat speechless” by his decision.

Zakaria, the host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN and a Newsweek columnist, was presented the League’s Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize in 2005 for his journalism and championing the values of the First Amendment. In a letter received today, Mr. Zakaria indicated that while he was “delighted” to receive the award then, he could not “in good conscience hold onto the award” after learning of the League’s decision to urge the relocation of the planned Islamic Center near Ground Zero.

"I am not only saddened but stunned and somewhat speechless by your decision to return the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize you accepted in 2005,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote in a letter responding to Mr. Zakaria.

As someone I greatly respect for engaging in discussion and dialogue with an open mind, I would have expected you to reach out to me before coming to judgment,” Mr. Foxman added.

Foxman said he hoped that Mr. Zakaria “will come to see that ADL acted appropriately” and would reclaim the award bestowed upon him.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Judaism • Muslim • Religious liberty

soundoff (215 Responses)

    I admire Fareed but I think he's lost his journo-props. It is rational intellectuals like him who are smart, sophisticated and Muslim, who must struggle to keep their objectivity and not revert to medieval public gestures which in the end are deeply offensive to those who have awarded recognition with good will. 'If you are too big for a handshake...you'll next need to dodge a rock.'
    I believe Fareed's 'independence' has cost him a career.

    August 7, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Omar

      I adore Fareed. I think people who are truthful will support him. He has brought to open the hypocrysy of people and organizations. He has not refused to sell his sould to the devil. He is an example of a great Muslim and reality a true person of faith - which is really the essence of all true religions.. Bravo! Beautiful.. With this single act, he has undone some of damage that some terrorists and devils' mercenaries have cuased to Islam... ; Note thought America's battle in other countries has casued 1000X times more in deaths and destruction of innocent lives and properties.,.. You cant deny it.
      Love Fareed. May Lord/Allah protect Fareed! The only protection anyone needs!

      August 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  2. Jew

    Bill said it all for me.

    This mosque wont reveal how it got it's funding. I wish Jews would stick together like Muslims. Most voted for Obama as he stabs them in the back. I hope I am around when all this Muslim loving and Jew hating comes back to haunt everyone. Could Fareed return all Muslim awards as Jews are not allowed to build a synagogue in Mecca.

    Scary. But Bill said it best. That was poetry!

    August 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • SayWhaaa!!

      Why don't you ask christians about a synogogue in the Vatican

      August 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  3. JD

    Part of me says that the mosque should not be built since so many find it offensive.. but then part of me says if that's the reason for not building the mosque then by doing we are saying that ALL Muslims and their religion is responsible for ground zero. And that's simply not true! We are not focusing on the root causes of the problem, the truth is that our foreign policy is responsible for the mess. We have created mess in so many places outside U.S borders, we can only expect bad things to happen to us down the line unless we fix our foreign policy.

    August 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  4. Geoff King

    This is not a question of freedom of religion. Muslims are free to practice their religion anywhere in America. They don't need a mosque to practice their religion, they can pray at Ground Zero if they want. Fareed is blind to the reality that this mosque will be seen (rightly) by Muslims worldwide as a monument to Islam – the very ideology that Al Qaida used to justify the the WTC attack. The World Trade Center would still be standing if not for Islam. There is no "moderate" Islam, only moderate Muslims (Fareed is a moderate) but that doesn't change the fact that Islamic doctrine instructs its faithfull to wage war on all non-Muslims until Islam/Sharia Law reigns supreme globally. Any Muslim who denies this is practicing "Taqiyyah". Google this term if you don't know it...and your eyes will be opened for the first time concerning Islam.

    August 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • JD

      WTC would still be standing if it were not for our foreign policy... How can we carpet bomb and destroy entire countries and yet not expect anything bad to happen us?

      August 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • And what say other religions?

      Jewish holy book is full of call to Genocide. There are many stories where all cities have been exterminated, men, women and kids for the only pretext that it was call of Jehovah. Jesus mesage was about peace, unity and giving the other cheek when you slapped, it did not impeached killing being made on his name.
      Nutshell, all religions have in their core the seed of destruction of the non believer. You can only talk of Islam without talking about all the other.

      At the end of the day, it is our understanding of the message that counts, and that is individual. Generalization in spiriual matter is dangerous and counter productive. One bible so many different interpretation and churches. One torah and so many different school of judaism (there is even a school that militate for the destruction of israel), one Quran and so many movement shia, sunny, ismaelites, etc...

      August 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • Geoff King

      @ And What Say Other Religions: Granted, the Torah and Bible do contain accounts of genocide and mass murder BUT they are HISTORICAL in nature and do not apply today. Islam is the only religion on Earth TODAY that has an open-ended directive for holy war. You do not read every day about Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Scientologists, or any other religion except for Islam, commiting violent acts and then justifying these acts by quoting verses from their "holy" scripture. Your argument is intellectually dishonest.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • Umar Nabi

      @Geoff King
      What you do not Understand is that God only allows Muslims to attack people who openly condemn Islam... If yu look a the Islamic empire in medieval times, we controlled huge amounts of land and we allowed other religions to practice freely, but when they openly condemned Islam that was when we were required by Sharia and Allah to attack

      August 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
    • dnnis sandoval

      i was stuned when; a mosque at ground cero? is a disrecpect to all a americans, there is pleny of land in NY.to build, muslin is full of hate, is a backword religion, how they treat thier womans, the Iman should go where he came from, NY. is NOT the midle east bye.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  5. Tim, Oregon

    This was the right thing to do and it was done for the right reason. Congrats to Zakaria for using good sense instead of bad politics. Zakaria should hold a seminar on the use of common sense and invite politicians from all over the world, I think the world would be a better place. I salute you!

    August 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  6. Adam Donaldson

    I think christians in paticular but others as well should read this verse from the holy bible from Jesus Christ himself and look inwards at themselves:

    "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?

    You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye"
    (Matthew 7.1-5 ESV)

    For even christ calls those who judge others hypocrites, and you will be called a hypocrite when you stand before Christ and the Father.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  7. Tommie

    Claims not to see the insult? Or that radical muslims from all around the world won't want to come visit the beautiful 15th story prayer room overlooking Ground Zero where the 10 martyrs and 3,000 others died? What kind of America does this reporter think we are supposed to be? What's next? Oh... I know. So why doesn't he just tell the NYC firefighters and policemen and citizens what he really thinks of them? Bawk! Bawk! He should tell them right to their faces.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
    • JPM

      Maybe if you actually gave a crap about the facts, you would know that the planned site of the center does not overlook Ground Zero. It is two blocks away, will be 14 stories, and has a 16 story building directly between it and Ground Zero. If you were to stand on the roof of the center (per the plans), you could not see Ground Zero. You certainly could not see it from Ground Zero. Being a resident of New York City, I can tell you for a fact that with the location of the planned site, it is in an inconspicuous location, would not contain any overtly religious architecture (no spires, etc.) and would look no different than 100 other 10-20 story buildings within a walking distance of Ground Zero. Maybe, instead of being an ignorant bigot, you should try to find out the truth before you spout illogical nonsense.

      August 7, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Jack Kegley

      You cannot even see the Ground Zero site from the location of this community center. I lived in Manhattan for two years and know that area well. I go to St Patrick's Cathedral when in New York, does not mean that I support the teachings of the Catholic Church. I have been to the Holocaust Museum, it does not mean I unquestionably support everything Israel does. Visitors to sites in New York are the same as others and to paint them all as radicals because they choose to visit this site is not a valid argument. Remember, Timothy McVeigh was a Christian who killed 167 people in Oklahoma. We don't ban Christian Churches from being built near that site.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  8. Adam Donaldson

    It is quite sad that you do not even know the history of Islam, or the history of the predominant religion in this country Christianity. You point out that you are sick of muslims, and their hatred, killing, etc... Well i am sure muslims, hindus, buddhists, and others around the world have been sick of christian massacres, forced christian conversions, the forcing of christian and western culture and governments upon them, etc. Christian history like any other relgions history is not free of barbarism in the name of its faith:

    1) In Early christianity, pagan countries and pagans were killed if they did not convert to christianity, and their temples were burned.
    2) In Medievel Europe, Jews were actively hunted and persecuted... and christians lead holy wars against islamic lands for centuries.
    3) For hundreds of years since 1600 christian countries have conquered and colonized the so called "demon worshipping uncivilized world," forcing there culture, languages, and religion upon the natives from Africa to Middle East, to Asia.
    4)The basque seperatist group in spain killing innocents in the name of a christian state, and the christian serbian army that massacred 8000 innocent muslims in srebrenica in 1995 because they wanted a seperate christian state.

    Christians and christianity has committed horrendous crimes in the past, and present and at times have been hijacked by people who dont understand christs message. This is the same thing going on in Islam today. If you had ever taken the time to read the quran, islamic history, the bio of muhammad, the hadiths, the history of the hadiths, history of islamic law and traditions, and the historical circumstances behind the verses of the quran there would be no problem. But to many people are content staying in their bigotry, instead of loving one another and respecting one another like Christ taught. Christ would be ashamed of every christian and non christians that spreads hateful remarks about anyone.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  9. Kat Nanton

    Poor Fareed–at least he didn't rampage and burn some cars and buildings and threaten to behead someone.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
    • Pointerr

      Well said Kat !!! I love it 🙂

      qt:Kat Nanton

      Poor Fareed–at least he didn't rampage and burn some cars and buildings and threaten to behead someone.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:29 am |
    • deedeemiller

      Well he has been doing it every day with his "WORDS" in his post as a journalist. That iswhy we cannot trust the Press.Well, he must now be doing it under cover!!!!!!!!! Watch out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      August 8, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  10. JD

    Reading all of the above comments just shows how brain washed we all are. Fear of Islam and Muslims is deep rooted in us, thanks to media for doing the job and getting all of us to fund the wars with your tax money. I bet if our president announced another war on a middle eastern country, we would gladly fund it because we are so paranoid.. so afraid that Muslims are out there to get us? What have we done to the Muslims that makes us so paranoid? Perhaps we are aware of the destruction we brought upon Iraq and Afghanistan.. and deep inside we feel guilty for all the wrong we have done....

    August 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  11. Adam Donaldson

    Why all the hateful remarks towards fareed because of his opinion... I mean saying go home, and hes a muslim so he will support any muslim agenda... Thats the equivilant of a terrorist saying christian aid workers and missionaries go home, and they are christian so they will support any christian countries ideologies. Thats completely ridiculous, and its completely ridiculous to accuse fareed zakaria of it. If anything he should be applauded for standing up for what he believes in. Is that not one of americas greatest freedoms... to voice your opinion. It is quite sad that an issue like an islamic center being built anywhere, even near 9/11 site, has been made into a sensation of islam bashing. I pray people will see the teachings of Christ and Muhammad and realize that neither Christ or Muhammad would approve of or accept the hatefulness, and bigotry that has been shown in this issue.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
    • deedeemiller

      Non sense, remove your posting and put it back when christian missionaries are being allowed in muslim country. You cannot discuss apples and oranges. This is our Country, and we the people should, must and will have a saying!

      August 8, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • Omar

      Well said. Wow how much hatred and fear in this thread. If only brothers and sisters in this thread invested the same energy in studying Islam and not be so afraid. They need to discover Jesus in Quran and how Islam peace and order and justice in the lives of the barbarous and how it restored equity, fairness and justice for women etc. Visit whyislam.org to clear some of you concerns and questions and the misquotes from the Quran in these thread! Salaam and Peace to all of you brothers and sisters in this thread and out there. If Allah wills, there will be love for each other in our hearts and strength and ability to understand our common human condition.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • Quanta Marie

      I totally agree with you Adam. As a young Christian, I have learned for myself the importance of diversity. I read a English translation of the Quran in college and was surprised and full of joy afterwards. To know that Isa and his teachings were included, that Christ’s message was the same comforted me. After 9-11 we were misled and teens and confused because of the media.

      As Omar said, educate yourself. America has a history of hatred, going all over the world pressing its views on everyone else. Now all of a sudden a few lost confused people create a tragedy and now all Muslims are bad. What about American born, white middle class terrorists? Should the rest of us US citizens now push you and your religion out? The Black Panthers were the # 1 enemy at one time. Should blacks now hate America for destroying our communities? I feel for all of you who lack any sense of what diversity really is... God bless

      August 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  12. Luke

    That's some very nice free speech. Unfortunately it makes you a hateful bigot. So as long as you are cool with that label, then please do go on...

    August 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  13. David Vineberg

    I'm on the side of peace. With this in mind what better area than the former site of the World

    Trade Center to erect, bricks and mortar, a center dedicated to peace with scholarly

    representatives of ALL religious faiths? A nondenominational center, with library, electronic

    media and facility for face to face communication would go further, in my opinion, to advance the

    cause of peace, than the proposal, no matter whether dedicated to Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or

    any other religion.

    David Vineberg

    PS. I'd prefer to include atheists in this, but knowing religious folk as I do, that would be

    asking a wee bit much – no matter what the topic.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm |

      A multi-faith chapel is the only solution...otherwise, the 'Dinner-jackets' of this world will make a publicized bee-line for a Mosque whenever they're in town. (Like Sharon's visit at the Dome of the Rock) These gestures cause genocides.

      August 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  14. SR

    Fareed by his actions has shown he is a Muslim first and an Aemrican next. This is the case with all Muslims whether they are in India or England. They are dictated by what the Koran says. There is no separation between their Religion and the Secular society they live in.

    This action is a Stunning wake up call for all Americans! If a so called Secularist American thinks of himself as a Muslim first, what about the average Muslim convert in America.

    August 7, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
    • Adam Donaldson

      again, why is it not a problem if someone sees themselve has a christian first, and an american second, but if a muslim saw him or herself as a muslim first and an american second it is wrong... And just because fareed voiced his opinions that are different from yours does not mean that he considers himself a muslim first, and an american second. If he was a christian most of the comments would never have happened. They only happened because he is a muslim, and sadly there is alot of hatred and bigotry in this country towards Islam... It is sad because this is not what Christ taught... and sadly few christians seem to follow Christ truly anymore.

      August 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • Adam Donaldson

      Also, i am a convert from Catholicsm to Islam. I am a red blooded american born in Atlanta Georgia... I am a white male, who served his country during a time of war for 6 years as a muslim. I come from a family of service as well: My father was a captian in the US Army, my brother has served 11 years in the infantry, my cousin has served 12 years in the special forces, and my grandfather served 31 years and fought in vietnam and is buried in arlington... But according to your comments im just another terrorist pretty much... I feel sorry for you, and anyone, muslim or non muslim who is filled with such irrational fear and hatred towards others because they dont and dont want to understand each other.

      August 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • AndyDo

      There is no conflict between being a Christian and being an American or in belonging to any of the other major religions and being an American - except Islam. A Christian or Jew or Buddhist or Taoist or others do not have to choose between being a member of his religion first or being an American first. But Muslims do. They expect exceptions to be made for them everywhere at all times of the day and night and they refuse to even think of reciprocating because "their religion doesn't allow it." I've come to the point that I place absolutely no value on any word a Muslim utters. The word may be true or it could very well not be true - I have no way of knowing.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:13 am |
    • Adam Donaldson

      again the fact that you can single out one group without actually understanding that religion is a shock to me... and it shows the bigotry and hatred on your own part and on the american people as a whole. You say muslims say exceptions have to be made for them all the time... i guess your referring to when they live in a non muslim country... Well dont christians actually demand that exceptions be made for them in secular european countries, middle eastern muslim countries, and athiest china??????? I mean christians demand that the cross be allowed in class rooms and elsewhere in Italy, France, etc. where the secular state has banned it... Christians demand that they be allowed to follow christian religious law, etc in the middle east... The list goes on. Your argument shows the stupidty of the argument used by christians against Islam. The fact is, christians have hated muslims since the crusades when christians started and kept going with a series of holy wars... and the generations lated still believe the false lies and still are bigots like their ancestors.

      america deserves to fall and have to answer to china and russia because we always act like we are this morally superior nation... when all reality we are one of the most morally reprehensible countries on earth.

      August 8, 2010 at 9:55 am |
    • deedeemiller

      You are so right. People with muslim descent eventhough they were not raised muslims are muslims first. Fareed Zakaria should go back home and return his American citizenship because he does not deserved to be called an American. What a slap in the face of America you had made him who he is now. Wake up America, muslims are our enemies within. By the way is President Obama a muslim?

      August 8, 2010 at 10:16 am |
    • Josh

      Adam, I can't believe you end this defense of Muslims not needing to choose between their religion and their country, by saying:

      "america deserves to fall and have to answer to china and russia because we always act like we are this morally superior nation... when all reality we are one of the most morally reprehensible countries on earth."

      Well there's an eloquent argument for accepting Islam's intentions at face value.

      Also, putting a cross in a classroom, while it shouldn't be acceptable, is not quite the same as forcing your wife to stay in the house or go out only in a burka. It's not the same as demanding the right to murder your niece for having premarital sex. It's not the same as demanding that non-believers leave the room when you pray.

      And anyway, which middle eastern countries go out of their way to allow religious freedom among non-Muslims, again? Maybe you're thinking of moderate Egypt, where Copts are beaten in the streets and the police do nothing about it. Or Saudi Arabia where possession of a Bible is a crime.

      Not that America should lower itself to that level. But consider that those laws and standards stem from the ideology we're talking about here; they don't stem from any other religious or atheist ideology on earth, and if they did, that ideology would certainly be open to doubt, would it not? When Scientologists imprison their converts like slaves, should everyone just say nothing about it because it's a recognized religion? Should we respect them so much that we let them convert people without challenging their beliefs? Freedom of expression's a two way street. If you can't take the heat, keep your opinions to yourself.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:25 am |
    • Jaret

      Excuse me SR and AndyDo but I take offense when you say that there is no conflict between any religious identity and American identity outside of Islam.
      I for one am a Christian first, and an American somewhere down the line. I love all the people of this country but the country as an entity has no hold over me. In fact, there are many times when my identity in Christ and my American identity violently clash.

      When the American Dream says that we are a chosen people called to prosperity and wealth as long as we can outcompete everyone else, the ends justify the means, and the one who dies with the biggest house, fastest car, and most money in the bank, wins. Jesus says: Bessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh...But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.(Luke 6:20-25)

      When America demonizes the immigrants that are a byproduct of its exploitation of other countries resources, God says "when an alien sojourns with you in your and, you shall do him no wrong. YOU SHALL TREAT THE ALIEN WHO SOJOURNS WITH YOU AS THE NATIVE AMONG YOU, AND YOU SHALL LOVE HIM AS YOLURSELF, FOR YOU WERE ALIENS IN THE LAND OF EGYPT; I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

      In 2005 when the hatred against undocumented immigrants burned bright in many peoples hearts and congress considered a law that would make anyone who aided these people a felon, Archbishop Roger Mahony of Los Angeles told the entire Archdiocese that if the law were to take affect the church would ignore it. "Mahony said he would instruct his priests to defy legislation - if approved by Congress - that would require churches and other social organizations to ask immigrants for legal documentation before providing assistance and penalize them if they refuse to do so." (LA Times) Maybe America needs more Mahony's who's love of humanity transcends man made borders.

      When America says we need to kill and occupy for peace and freedom, Jesus says: "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28) This is as true now as it was under Rome. Look at the example of Saint Maximilian of Theveste, a Roman Soldier who was martyred for refusing to serve under Ceasar. His testimony is historic record he said "I cannot serve, I cannot do evil. I will not be a soldier of this world. I am a soldier of Christ."
      Maybe America needs some more soldier-saints who refuse to serve in Caesar's armies.

      When America says "one nation, under God" Jesus says "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36) We believers need to see that God is above any government created by man, and even the best secular democracy is not to be followed before God. As Peter says "We ought to obey God rather than men." (1 Peter 2:13) and there are plenty of opportunities to do this in the United States of America.

      Hatemongering is not from God. Stereotyping and demagoguery are not from God. And I refuse to let this "GI Jesus" monstrous militant Americanism and Christianity amalgam hijack and co-opt the faith my Savior left for the world.

      Adam Donaldson, you are on your own personal spiritual journey and I will not attempt to proselytize to you. I have no idea what made you convert from Catholicism (my faith) to Islam, but if you were surrounded by some of the Christians like the ones on this site who attack others I have a pretty good hunch. I'd simply like to take the opportunity to apologize to you on behalf of those who Christians who do not act very Christ-like towards others. We are all broken and sinners, and at times need charity and grace. I went through a similar struggle with faith a couple years ago. I was condemned by fellow Christians who attacked me for not condemning gay marriage. I turned that bitterness towards those people who condemn, but in doing so I was no better than them. Thanks to a little outside help I realized that those people require some good old fashioned love and grace too, even though I really didn’t want to give it to them. I am definitely better for the experience and try to assume good intentions in people I disagree with (granted it’s hard on online forums). I wish you well, as I wish all well.

      Ma’salaam al’Meseeh
      – Jaret

      August 9, 2010 at 1:41 am |
  15. jim

    Fareed, you just said that a 911 victim's reluctance to see a Mosque built 2 blocks from ground zero is "Irrational". It is not Irrational. Thinking that building a victory mosque so close to the sight our national tragedy is OK is irrational.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      of course you are assuming that most Muslims think 9/11 was a "victory". Perhaps you should spend some time among Muslims instead of on news sites.!

      August 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  16. Berg Levin

    He didn't deserve it anyway.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
    • deedeemiller

      You are right Berg! By the way Asif Raza is speaking like a teorrist. Asif, Are you sure you are not under cover?

      August 8, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  17. rusty

    I hope he will return his citizenship and go back to his home country. Everybody should learn lession from this, Muslims whatever their position always support Muslim agenda only.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
    • hawaiihunter

      The radical Islamists that attacked the US and declared Jihad are but a small minority in the Muslim population. There are millions of Muslims in the West that love the West and love our way of life. Why should they be punished for what a small group of people did.

      August 8, 2010 at 1:18 am |
    • Asif Raza

      Why don't you and your whole generation go back to where ever you came from. Masjid will be built on ground zero. And you people can yelp all you want. How quickly you forget your history. Well, America will be a country of Islam, already as you can see, Islam is on the rise in my country, america, and across the globe. embrace the truth,let the peace flow into your evil veins, cleanse yourself up, accept your true savior, Islam. Muslims never have any agenda, we are just too confident, and at peace, its little insecure folks like you, who have no clue what they believe in are coming up w/ all sorts of agendas, and talking away rubbish...I guess it makes you feel good.
      ust another dumb idiot.

      August 8, 2010 at 8:07 am |
    • deedeemiller

      You are so right. No wonder we can no longer trust the press. They only focusing on pushing their agenda. The guy is a muslin and has always been a muslin. Wake up America. We are starting to see the enemies among us.........

      August 8, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • Josh

      "Well, America will be a country of Islam, already as you can see, Islam is on the rise in my country, america, and across the globe. embrace the truth,let the peace flow into your evil veins, cleanse yourself up, accept your true savior, Islam. " - Translated as: Convert or submit. Islam means "submission". Freedom of religion stops at the line where the religion advocates violence. Islam advocates violence; even when speaking about "not needing an agenda," it considers itself an unstoppable force. How exactly is it to be unstoppable if it does not employ violence against non-believers at some point? Beyond all the smoke and mirrors, lies an expansionist agenda. The tearing down of churches and building of mosques was not simply the "way of the world" "back then". It is going on right now in Egypt, Indonesia, Sudan and across the Islamic world.

      So do they have a legal right to build it? Sure, even the ADL acknowledged that. It just said that it was in poor taste. And guess what – it is. If saying so is that offensive to Fareed's sense of Islamic Supremacy, well too bad.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • BB

      Asif raza dream on..you guys showed your true color. Do we trust you at all? You are disloyal and viewed as enemy within, by almost every country. What do u call as 'clean' islam? Well its opposite to that for us(needless to mention how great is our culture than yours), and cleansing will happen only when we clean the world from fundamentalist islam.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:34 am |
    • Ben

      you sound like you're ready to gather a posse with some pitch forks and go on a search for witches. have some perspective – there is no muslim "invasion" coming. any fool who says so is either a powerless muslim fanatic trying to scare you with words, or an opportunist politician trying to scare up some votes. do you really think our democracy can be overturned by a bunch of uneducated bearded guys in caves? really? the vast majority of muslims hate those guys as much as we do and just want to live free in their own countries, or if they happen to be american, in this country.

      maybe the problem is that you assume everyone else thinks like you do (i.e. i am a christian, therefore all things christian are good, and all things muslim are bad). well, hate to break it to you, but most people (and especially Fareed) are bit more humanist in their thinking, and are able to separate the religion they were born into from a general sense of rights. i am a jew, i live in nyc, and i have no problem with a mosque two blocks from ground zero. i fear people like you much more than i would fear this mosque, because you are endangering our democracy.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  18. Sherri

    Fareed is Muslim. He will back up any Muslim agenda. I wonder when people are going to see this. He does not like that someone suggested the mosque be built elsewhere. So, he thinks it is fine to build it near Ground Zero. Which was CREATED by Muslims! Of all the land in NYC and THIS is where they want to build it. What does that tell you America? You better wake up real fast. Sharia law is coming. Burkas are coming. Mandatory Islam is coming and those of you who deny it will be very shocked when it happens. Do a Google search "takeover of America" + Muslim and read for yourself. Watch the movie The Third Jihad and HEAR what they plan for us. BELIEVE THEM FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!

    August 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • BB

      So, Farid Zakaria being a muslim cannot take a stand for the Muslims being treated so badly by the Jews/Zionists/Evengelicals, but only the Jews/Evengelicals have every right to do whatever they want-stand for illegal state of Israel, approve making the Palestinians homeless, killing the Palestinians and other Arabs, sending billions of American dollars in the form of charity to build illegal settlement in the Palestinian part of the land, maintaining/supporting nukes and so on. The Jews are given the free ride for every thing they wish!

      August 8, 2010 at 12:13 am |
    • BBfather

      Israel is perfectly legal and legitimate state..palestinians are brought there by british. You can call jordan as palestine. The problem with islamists is they see every state as illegal if they are democratic and not part of their ummah. Muslims are treated far better inside israel than all other muslim countries does to its people. Fareed zakaria indeed showed his true color by supporting the monument of islamic war. This support is vulgar and shows that some people want sympathy but never return it to others. We are not against mosques in NY, we oppose mosque at the places the dust of ground zero touched.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • Jack Kegley

      I find this type of argument to be fundamentally flawed. To make a single change to our Constitution (an amendment) takes a majority of both the House and Senate and the approval of 38 of the 50 states. To discard the Constitution and replace it with Sharia law would require overturning the 1st Amendment initially and the agreement of 250 million people that the remainder of the Constitution had no value. It is not a Mosque that is being built near the Ground Zero site but a community center with a restaurant, a library, a swimming pool, a series of meeting rooms and a small mosque and potentially a non-denominational chapel. We ask Muslims to be calm, patient, understanding, moderate and then make the most extreme, vitriolic and prejudiced statements against them. Sharia Law is alive and well in America today (in the Muslim Community among Muslims) as is Jewish Law among the Jews and Sikh law among the Sikhs. Seems to me that is what freedom of religion is all about. You do not have to follow Sharia law (or Jewish or Sikh law for that matter). You only have to follow the Constitution which gives this community center the right to build there.

      August 8, 2010 at 11:43 am |
    • snow

      I dont think NYC is ready for any mosque within its territory. It is out of bias and hatred. You are not Mayor to give permission.IYou dont have place in heart for A religion other than yours out of hatred.So better not discuss a place on land.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  19. Sandy Olesen

    Mr. Fareed is forgetting one thing. This Iman has the legal right to religious freedom but not the moral right to put his mosque right next to the 911 site. Even the Pope stepped in when the nuns wanted to build their convent on the the of the most horrible concentration camp in Poland. He said they had the legal right but not the moral right. To insult the memory of those who died there and their survivors was not the right thing to do. There are many other sites in NYC to build this mosque and accomplish what they say they wish to accomplish. Considering what goes on in many of the american mosques (hate filled speech and call to action to kill) they have their work cut out. Hopefully they will see that what they are trying to do plays into the terrorists plans (look–we have a mosque where we terrified America the most).

    Build their mosque anywhere else in NYC and I am sure people will support their aims. But remember, there is no synagogue or church in fundamentalist arab countries. People are killed because they are not muslims in every muslim country. Maybe they forgot this. This is a country that allows all religions to practice here. This cannot be said of any muslim country. Maybe this is Imam needs to remember this and stop saying we do not allow freedom of religion.

    August 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • hawaiihunter

      How can you say every American mosque preaches hatred and death... Have you ever even stepped into in and seen for yourself?

      August 8, 2010 at 1:05 am |
    • Elaine

      I don't think that is quite accurate. I live in the UAE, and we have churches here. People aren't killed for not being Muslims – and the UAE is inarguably a Muslim, Arab state. The same can be said for Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait... Tarring all Muslim countries with the same brush doesn't help your cause.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:18 am |
    • FrankLW

      Actually, the “relatively liberal” UAE does not have democratically elected institutions, and its citizens cannot change the form of government or even form political parties. It has a record of abusing prisoners, denying them legal counsel and speedy trials.
      Equal rights do extend to its citizens, sort of, only problem is that 80% of its population are non-citizens and do suffer human rights violations.
      UAE DOES restrict free speech, regardless of what is written in its “constitution”, and Christians there have nowhere near the same freedoms as Muslims, except perhaps within tourists confines. A large cathedral would certainly NOT be allowed in the financial center of the UAE.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:59 am |
    • FrankLW

      Actually, the “relatively liberal” UAE does not have democratically elected institutions, and its citizens cannot change the form of government or even form political parties. It has a record of abusing prisoners, denying them legal counsel and speedy trials.
      Equal rights do extend to its citizens, sort of, only problem is that 80% of its population are non-citizens and do suffer human rights violations.
      UAE DOES restrict free speech, regardless of what is written in its “constitution”, and Christians there have nowhere near the same freedoms as Muslims, except perhaps within tourists confines. A large cathedral would certainly NOT be allowed in the financial center of the UAE.

      August 8, 2010 at 10:12 am |
    • snow

      I think American people are so ignorant of Islam that they fear by its name. this is because of system of education there and lack of interaction with real characters. They have liitle idea of common mainstream muslims because media has no interest to show this.But media toppest interest is in few of misguided people living in edges of our socitey..This Islamic centret was an initiative to increase iterfaith activities but this effort as usaul was suffocated by well trained lobbies.IGnorance is the real cause of opposition for Islam within the borders of USA inspite of its ever highlighted claims of christian secular democracy.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • Ben

      What we should fear as Americans is not the ridiculous notion that burkas and sha'ria law are coming. I do fear that we will become more like the repressive regimes of the Taliban, Iran, and other fundamentalist countries – but not because we are giving too much freedom to Muslims. Rather, we are becoming more like the Taliban because we are so willing to deny people their rights because of our irrational, unfounded fears.

      August 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • Megan A.

      In response to Sandy Olesen's post; I, too, like Elaine live in the UAE. We have lived in the region since 2006 and I can categorically tell you that there are other places or worship besides mosques in the UAE, and other parts of the Middle East. Please do not generalise the Middle East as an area where people are persecuted and killed because they do not practise Islam – that is not true. In most areas of the GCC, the population consists of mostly expats (Sub-Continent, Far-East, Europe, etc) and they are free to live and work as non-Muslims. In countries of great tension, such as Iran, it is estimated there are between 20,000-50,000 Persian Jews; and in countries such as Jordan and Egypt, Islam co-exists with Christianity. Even in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, there are Jewish synogogues along with mosques.
      Terrorism exists in many forms and crosses many religions, genders, nationalities and cultures. It would be unwise to label all muslims at terrorists – that is completely untrue and irresponsible. It is often said that we fear which we do not understand. Please take some time to step out of your comfort zone and learn a little bit more about Islam. It is a peaceful religion and is in step with a lot of texts and scriptures that exist in Christianity and Judaism.
      I, myself, am a humble Christian girl from Sydney, Australia, and have learned an amazing amount of information about the amazing culture and religions that exist in the Middle East. I hope that you will take some time and learn about them too.
      Light & love.

      August 9, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • Genie

      The mosque has nothing to do with Arab or Muslim countries which are all essentially Judeo-Christian occupied btw. We are American Muslims in America and we have the right to put a mosque anywhere that is legal. No "morals" about it. We are white, we are Chinese, we are European, we are Mexicans, we are Irish etc etc etc. The ADL is racist and aims to make trouble between us all. They hang onto 9/ll/2001 like they hang onto the Jewish holocaust just to keep a bogeyman alive. They don't want to let 9/11 go. They are saying "remember the Muslims are terrorists!" because recall they used the event to turn right around and slaughter Muslims! Last but not least, We are all tired of that crap and just want to get along! Let it go!

      August 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  20. Darkus

    Finally someone who is willing to vocalize the nuances of an issue, and more importantly, take a personal stand. I applaud Mr. Zakaria for his willingness to fully explain the hypocrisy, especially with such a flammable analogy as Palestinian victims. He spoke with a moderated and respectful ambiance that I am not sure I could achieve, and his argument was better for it. It is truly a wonder that after such a compelling action, the ADL has kept with such a shameful position.

    August 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
    • FrankLW

      Actually, the “religious leader” of the center, the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, rather than “building bridges”, seems to be a fundamentalist Muslim interested in burning them. After 9/11 he said “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened” (providing an indefensible rationale for the terror and abetting yet more), and he refuses to condemn the mass murdering Hamas terror organization that targets civilians and celebrates their murder (which means he IS condemning their victims).

      Also – regardless of claims of “building bridges” by the center’s founders, fundamentalist Muslims can only read such a center as being yet another victory monument, and this will serve to embolden wannabe terrorists – aside from providing them food and shelter when they make their celebratory pilgrimages to Ground Zero and plot their next atrocities.

      If Mr. Zakaria is so upset about the ADL’s recommending distancing the center from Ground Zero, it is quite apparent that his sympathies lie with fundamentalist Islam and he never deserved such an award in the first place. So, yes, the return of the award IS perhaps a correct move and rights a wrong.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:52 am |
    • Sarah

      I am tired of all the misinformation and historical inaccuracies written over this issue (even if they are in capitals)! The only thing correct in the above post is that Cordoba was/is in Spain! Cordoba was a beacon of Islamic Spain where all worshipers of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism (Peoples of the Book) were welcome and flourished. Members of all of those religions even served as government ministers. As for Muslims building a mosque on the site of church 1000 (!) years ago, they may have but 1) that was a common practice during that time when a new regime came into power as I have seen Spanish buildings that have Roman, Early Christian, Muslim, and Christian (again)–it was just the way of the world. 2) Referring specifically to the Mosque of Cordoba, this may help you feel vindicated (rolling eyes), Charles V built a christian cathedral in the middle of it to make the same point.

      August 8, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • dmmd

      Fareed, grow up! You do not need to go into a tantrum because you had an disagreement with those who applaud you. Returning your award tells me more about you than the ADL, although I too disagree with their stand on the proposed Islamic building. You usually present an appearance of justice and fairness but your over-reaction raises my paranoia and I ask you whether you might be motivated by same anti-Jewish feelings?

      August 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • RS

      I guess all Whites are Nazi, all Blacks are Black Panthers, all Jews are rich and greedy, all Asians know Kung Fu, and all Muslims want to bomb and kill; in which category do you fit. You would probably say none of the above. I don't know if the planned mosque is radical Sharia or not, and neither do you. Fareed returned the award because he thought it was the right thing to do, just like your daily actions are based on what you believe are right ( hopefully). Its refreshing to hear informed opinion, but its disappointing to hear blind, prejudice, and angry criticisms, think about whats right, than type.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
    • Umar

      Do you even know what Sharia is? Sharia isn't a battle plan or something like that. Sharia is our code of laws, a code of conduct that muslims must follow. Personally as a muslim, I don't consider these radicals that are giving us a bad name muslims, as two of the worst sins (besides polytheism) in Islam is murder and suicide, both of which warrant a sentence in hell.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Vincent di Norcia

      As a Canadian friend of the United States, I totally support Fareed Zakaria's support for the New York Mosque, indeed for religious tolerance in all its forms. In a way opposition to the mosque hints at a problem Robert Rubin alluded to in his remarks today, whether the US is at a critical turning point in its history. Pandering to the radical right Tea Party / American Taliban and its extreme fundamentalist 'Christian' (??) politics is the road to rapid decline of the United States, both in terms of international credibility and internal vitality. The mosque issue, like the stalemated Congress, the continuing (racial?) distrust of President Obama–whom most Canadians admire–and the inability of the United States to confront major challenges like climate change, are disturbing signs of imminent, if not advanced, decline. The refusal to face reality, and deal with it intelligently, is always a sign of psychopathology, in countries, as in people.
      Hopefully, Im wrong.
      Building the mosque, even if its Imam is conservative (like many US Christians!), is the only acceptable choice.
      Your friend, Vince.

      August 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • C K Lund

      Zakaria made the right move. The ADL needs to live up to their abandoned (forgotten?) ideals of religious tolerance. The Codoba Interfaith Center should be supported and take its place alongside NYC 92nd St Y.

      August 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • snow

      ADL may be working against biases for jews but it also working to promote anti islamic feelings around the world. hatred do serve their hidden agenda

      August 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Terry McGehee

      HOW TO RESOLVE the building of a 15 story Mosque by Ground Zero: I propose make 1/3 a Temple,
      1/3 a Church and 1/3 a Mosque. This would be a very positive gesture to the
      world by Muslims. No where have the
      decedents of Abraham, 3 monotheistic religions come together
      for a single purpose, View God as the creator of the world, who oversees and
      intervenes in human events, the
      source of the highest good.

      August 10, 2010 at 3:27 am |
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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.