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.
Zakaria Returns ADL Award Over Ground Zero Mosque
Betwa Sharma/New York
THE LATEST ISSUE
- Coronavirus: Cases In India Rise to 616; Maharashtra Remains Most Affected
- Naming Covid-19 After China Could Damage The Global Battle Against Coronavirus
- The Real Soldiers Fighting Cornoavirus Can't Even Get To Hospitals With Dignity
- 'Coronavirus Is Sneaky But India Has Done Better Than Others': Leading Public Health Expert
- Outlook Goes Digital, Temporarily Suspends Print Edition
- Dipak Misra Was Reviled As CJI But Ranjan Gogoi Beguiled His Way To Power
- Taking Up Hijab Against Coronavirus
- Seemingly Happiest People Often Suffer From Depression
- Blog | Not Music Or Art, But It's 'Fear' That Binds Us Together
- Restructuring Indian Railways’ Cadres: Is The Proposal Good For The Nation?
- In Chasing Away Maoists, Odisha's Malkangiri Village Delivers Telling Message This R-Day
- 'People In White Coats Are Gods Right Now': PM Warns Against Discrimination
- OLY Postponement Was Phogat's 'Worst Fear'
- Britain's Prince Charles Tests Positive For Coronavirus
- 'It Flew Past Like Breeze': Living Two Months Under Coronavirus Lockdown In China
- Evicted By Landlord, Qatar Returnee Man Has No Place For Quarantine
- Coronavirus: E-learning In Schools Is The Only Way. But Is India Prepared?
- Journalist At Kamal Nath's Resignation Presser Tests Positive For Coronavirus
- 'Game Zero' Linked To UCL Match: Did COVID-19 Explode On Feb 19 In Europe?