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Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakaria returned an award he received from the Anti-Defamation League due to
the group's opposition to the proposed "Ground Zero Mosque."
"You have fought discrimination against all religions, races, and creeds and have built a well-deserved reputation," he wrote. "I was stunned at your decision to publicly side with those urging the relocation of the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan. Your own statements subsequently, asserting that we must honor the feelings of victims even if irrational or bigoted, made matters worse."
"ADL has and will continue to stand up for Muslims and others where they are targets of racism and bigotry, as we have done at the request of and on behalf of Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf," wrote Foxman, saying ADL is not against an Islamic center. "What we did was to make an appeal based solely on the issues of location and sensitivity...taking into consideration the feelings of many victims and their families, of first responders and many New Yorkers, who are not bigots but still feel the pain of 9/11.
Zakaria argues that "if there is going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed institute. We should be encouraging groups like the one behind this project, not demonizing them."
Foxman says he is is still holding on to the award in the hopes that Zakaria will come and reclaim it.