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Islam

Opponent of NYC Islamic Center becoms advocate for mosques nationwide

An artist’s rendering of a proposed mosque in Temecula, California that has met local opposition but is supported by the Anti-Defamation League.
When the Anti-Defamation League – a leading Jewish group devoted to fighting anti-Semitism and “all forms of bigotry” – came out against the construction of an Islamic center and mosque near New York’s ground zero last year, some critics alleged that the organization had lost its way.

“I would have expected the ADL to support the building of this Muslim community center,” wrote Alan Dershowitz, an influential legal and Jewish voice. “…At the very least I would have expected it to remain silent and not to lend its powerful and distinguished voice to an opposition that includes many bigots.”

Stephen Prothero, a prominent religion professor and CNN Belief Blog contributor, said the ADL’s opposition to the Lower Manhattan Islamic center showed that the group and its leader, Abraham L. Foxman, “no longer occupy a moral high ground.”

CNN host and Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria returned an award and honorarium he’d received a few years earlier from the ADL, saying he hoped the move would “spur them to… return to their historic, robust defense of freedom of religion in America.”

But several months after the controversy over the New York Islamic center has died down, the Anti-Defamation League has quietly emerged as a leading advocate for mosque construction projects that have run into local opposition across the country

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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Opponent of NYC Islamic center becomes advocate for mosques nationwide
Source: CNN Belief Blog

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