Go Fareed!

I can’t say that I read all that much by Fareed Zakaria, but of what I do (Newsweek columns and Post Op-Eds) I am generally impressed.  I had the pleasure of actually getting to meet him last Fall when he gave a talk at Duke.  Actually got to have a really interesting discussion about domestic politics for about 3-4 minutes before more important and impressive Political Scientists came by to take his time.  So, I’m definitely a fan. That fan-dom just went up dramatically after reading this:

CNN show host andNewsweek Internationaleditor Fareed Zakaria has returned $10,000 and an award he was presented by the Anti-Defamation League in 2005 after ADL’s opposition to a mosque at the rebuilt World Trade Center site in New York…

This from a report at Huffington Post:

“Five years ago, the ADL honored me with its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize,” Zakaria writes in next week’s Newsweek. “I was thrilled to get the award from an organization that I had long admired. But I cannot in good conscience keep it anymore. I have returned both the handsome plaque and the $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.”

Can’t say I follow the ADL all that closely, but for an organization supposedly devoted to protecting religious freedom, they have absolutely shamed and embarrassed themselves on the Mosque issue.  I doubt their reputation will ever recover from this.  Steve Clemons writes also:

This is exceptional leadership on an important moral issue that I want to salute. We don’t see people of Fareed Zakaria’s stature taking stands that often as they tend to run from risk rather than embrace it.

Spot on.  Let’s hope more people of stature (especially some prominent Jewish leaders– already got Bloomberg– follow Zakaria’s lead.

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