Zakaria Returns ADL Award Over Ground Zero Mosque

Betwa Sharma/New York
Zakaria Returns ADL Award Over Ground Zero Mosque
Indian-origin Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria has returned an award he received from the Jewish group Anti-Defamation League over its opposition towards the Ground Zero mosque.

Zakaria returned the Jewish group's Hubert H Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, which was presented to him in 2005.

"I was thrilled to get the award from an organisation that I had long admired. But I cannot in good conscience keep it anymore. I have returned both the handsome plaque and the USD 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," Zakaria wrote in a letter.

The debate about a building a mosque on the Ground Zero site has been raging in the US for several months dividing New Yorkers, families of the victims of 9/11, civil society organisations and politicians.

This week, the project received the green light from The Landmarks Preservation Commission, which voted 9-0 for the construction to begin.

The following day, The American Centre for Law and Justice, a conservative advocacy group, sued to halt the construction.

The Jewish group has also vehemently opposed the mosque.

"But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgement, building an Islamic Centre in the shadow of the World Trade Centre will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right," ADL said in a statement.

The plan is being pushed by a Kuwaiti-born Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and will cost a USD 100 million.

Parties that oppose the building of a mosque, which will be called Cordoba House, insist this project is inappropriate since the terrorist attacks were carried out by extremist Muslims.

Abraham H Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote in a response letter to Zakaria that he was "saddened but stunned and somewhat speechless" by the decision to return the prize.

"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 judgement," he said.
Next Story : J&K: Valley Calm, Curfew Relaxed in Parts of Srinagar
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store
Online Casino Betway Banner