The Cordoba House news over the weekend (besides the Times report that it is far from the only mosque drawing opposition in the country) was that, prompted by the mosque flap, Fareed Zakaria, the prominent columnist, editor, and television host who was brought up in a secular Muslim Indian family, returned a First Amendment-related award that the Anti-Defamation League had given him in 2005. “I cannot in good conscience hold onto the award or the honorarium that came with it and am returning both,” he wrote Abraham Foxman in a public letter. “I hope that it might add to the many voices that have urged you to reconsider and reverse your position on this issue.”
Generally, opponents of the ADL’s stance applauded the move and proponents tsk-tsked it—the ADL described itself as “saddened, stunned and somewhat speechless.” Andrew Silow-Carroll provides a different take: That, instead of cutting ties with the organization, Zakaria should have used the leverage he had with it (due to his award) in order to try to persuade it, from within, to change its mind.
Meanwhile, contributing editor Jeffrey Goldberg notes that we actually have far bigger fish to fry than an Islamic center near Ground Zero; there are Islamic prayer sessions in the Pentagon. How dare Muslim soldiers and officers pray in such a similarly hallowed place while going about their daily business of protecting the rest of our asses from further attacks?
CNN Host Zakaria Returns ADL Award Over Mosque [JTA/Jewish Chronicle]
Zakaria and the ADL: Mosque Madness! [Just ASC]
Muslims Infiltrate Pentagon! Judeo-Christian Civilization Collapses! [Jeffrey Goldberg]
Related: Across Nation, Mosque Projects Meet Opposition [NYT]