The award was presented to Imam Antepli on Nov. 10 during ADL’s annual Never Is Now Summit on Antisemitism and Hate in New York City.
“Imam Abdullah Antepli is an ally and a champion for interfaith relations and embodies the ideals and the mission of ADL,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “This award recognizes leaders who demonstrate a commitment to the values which guided the life of Daniel Pearl, a commitment to building understanding between Jews and Muslims and seeing entrenched conflicts from a new perspective. I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition than Imam Antepli and we look forward to continuing our close relationship with him.”
The ADL Daniel Pearl Award was established in 2004 by longtime ADL leaders George and Ruth Moss and their son, Richard, following the horrific murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 at the hands of antisemitic terrorists in Pakistan. The award honors his memory and commitment through his work to build cultural bridges and promote understanding. This year’s award coincides with the 20th anniversary of Pearl’s death.
Imam Antepli is a globally acknowledged scholar and leader of cross-religious and cross-cultural dialogue who has built multiple organizations and initiatives to facilitate religious and spiritual life across America’s college campuses. He currently teaches interfaith relations and public policy at Duke’s Divinity School and Sanford School of Public Policy.
Antepli was the first imam after 9/11 to deliver a prayer in the U.S. Congress, and the only one to have done so twice. For his pointed criticism of religious and political extremism, he has been banned from multiple authoritarian countries, including his native Turkey. He speaks six languages and has used them to build bridges between disparate communities, most notably Jews and Muslims. He also leads a program on Jewish-Muslim relations at the Shalom Hartman Institute with noted Jewish scholar Yossi Klein Halevi.
“It is a distinct honor and pleasure to accept this award from ADL,” said Imam Adbullah. “In the name of Daniel Pearl, of blessed memory, I hope that his soul in the highest levels of Heaven is delighted that he is honored in this way and that we may work to further lift up his legacy.”
Previous recipients of the ADL Daniel Pearl Award include Mohammed Al Samawi, Yemeni refugee and author; The Aladdin Project; journalist Henrique Cymerman; Spanish journalist Pilar Rahola; Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, founder of Jewish World Watch; Robert Satloff, executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Jeffrey Goldberg, journalist with The Atlantic; Maziar Bahai, filmmaker and human rights activist; and Thomas L. Friedman, columnist for The New York Times.
ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. More at www.adl.org.