On his CNN show this weekend, Fareed Zakaria announced he was returning an award he’d received from the Anti-Defamation League over their stand on the mosque battle in New York City. The ADL had opposed the building of a mosque so close to ground zero in lower Manhattan. Zakaria, who was honored with the Hubert Humphrey award for first amendment freedoms five years ago says he is returning the ADL’s award.
Given the position that they have taken on a core issue of religious freedom in America, I cannot in good conscience keep that award. So this week I’m going to return to the ADL the handsome medal and the generous honorarium that came with it. I hope this might spur them to see that they have made a mistake and to return to their historic robust defense of freedom of religion in America, something they have subscribed to for decades and which I honor them for.
The ADL’s national director Abraham Foxman wrote a letter to Zakaria saying he was “not only saddened but stunned and somewhat speechless” by his decision to return the award.