Better than Batman
Matt Lewis, who’s also guest-blogging with me over at Attackerman, tipped me off today about Fareed Zakaria’s general awesomeness. See, Fareed has posted an open letter to the Anti-Defamation League returning the Hubert Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize the ADL awarded him in 2005.
That is why I was stunned at your decision to publicly side with those urging the relocation of the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan. You are choosing to use your immense prestige to take a side that is utterly opposed to the animating purpose of your organization. Your own statements subsequently, asserting that we must honor the feelings of victims even if irrational or bigoted, made matters worse.
This is not the place to debate the press release or your statements. Many have done this and I have written about it in Newsweek and on my television show – both of which will be out over the weekend. The purpose of this letter is more straightforward. I cannot in good conscience hold onto the award or the honorarium that came with it and am returning both. I hope that it might add to the many voices that have urged you to reconsider and reverse your position on this issue. This decision will haunt the ADL for years if not decades to come. Whether or not the center is built, what is at stake here is the integrity of the ADL and its fidelity to its mission. Admitting an error is a small price to pay to regain your reputation.
No kidding. What an honourable thing to do; I’m flat shocked that the Anti-frickin-Defamation League sided against religious tolerance. But like Matt, Fareed is totally my hero.