Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cheers to Fareed Zakaria on Taking a Principled Stand

Like Zakaria, I was disappointed in seeing that the ADL opined against the mosque/community center in lower Manhattan, and I agreed with Zakaria that the ADL leader's defense of his position was both weak and reflected the antithesis of the mission of that great organization. That Zakaria went further was even more impressive. Both his letter to the ADL, as well as his call to have the Cordoba House built, were great. That Zakaria returned both an award and an honorarium from the ADL proved to me that Zakaria someone that would put almost all of our politicians and political pundits to shame. Zakaria showed conviction in the principles that most Americans profess to believe: freedom of religion.

Out of fear and willful ignorance, too many Americans are succumbing to the very things that we rightfully loathe in lesser societies: reactionary actions against an unpopular minority, fallacious justifications for already present prejudices, and disdain for intellectual and reasonable debate. Listen to the likes of Palin and Gingrich on this issue. Note that few mention that the mosque at the center of this debate has been a part of the lower Manhattan community since 1983, and simply seek to move to a larger location in their neighborhood (and with the full support of the elected officials in New York City).

It seems that for Zakaria the ADL's tacit endorsement of this pitiful position was the last straw.


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