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.
Mr. 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.