Fareed Zakaria Returns ADL Award Because Of Their Opposition To Ground Zero Mosque
Newsweek columnist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria is so upset that the Anti-Defamation League opposes building an Islamic Center and mosque at Ground Zero, he is returning a prestigious award he received from the organization (via Think Progress). Zakaria sums it up beautifully in his column when he says, “I believe we should promote Muslim moderates right here in America.”
The debate over whether an Islamic center should be built a few blocks from the World Trade Center has ignored a fundamental point. If there is going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed institute. We should be encouraging groups like the one behind this project, not demonizing them. Were this mosque being built in a foreign city, chances are that the U.S. government would be funding it.
The proposed centers’s founder, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is a moderate Muslim clergyman who has denounced terrorism. He’s even written a book that should quell any thought that terrorism lurks behind this effort.
His last book, What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America, argues that the United States is actually the ideal Islamic society because it encourages diversity and promotes freedom for individuals and for all religions. His vision of Islam is bin Laden’s nightmare.
Zakaria’s bold action is moving.
Five years ago, the ADL honored me with its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize. I was thrilled to get the award from an organization that I had long admired. But I cannot in good conscience keep it anymore. I have returned both the handsome plaque and the $10,000 honorarium that came with it. I urge the ADL to reverse its decision. Admitting an error is a small price to pay to regain a reputation.Click here for reuse options!
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