Journalist covers controversial issues at UM convocation

As part of the New Student Convocation activities during Orientation 2010, Fareed Zakaria, Indian-American host of CNN’s GPS, editor of Newsweek International and a columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, was invited to lecture at the University of Miami Friday.

At the convocation, Zakaria spoke about his best-selling book, “The Future of Freedom,” which analyzes the various political and financial aspects required for a true liberal democracy to flourish. He also discussed the key differences between the tenets of American democracy and liberty and those of other countries. Zakaria further delved into the current conflicts between markets and mass politics.

Toward the end of the lecture, students asked questions ranging from the continuing U.S economic crisis to the validity of the statement categorizing the United States as a “superpower.”

On the current controversial issue of building a Muslim community center two blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City, Zakaria has taken a stance in favor of the construction of the center. He believes that every individual residing in the United States has been guaranteed the freedom to practice his or her religion by the First Amendment, hence the individual should retain the right to do so, regardless of the place of worship.

Open to the University of Miami community, the event had over 2,500 attendees and was described by UM Media Relations Coordinator Barbara Gutierrez as “a successful event”.

Sanakausar Shamji may be contacted at