Who is Adeel Raja? CNN fires contributor after anti-Semitic tweet 'world today needs a Hitler' sparks outrage
In the past, Raja had posted extremely offensive anti-Semitic tweets during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Freelance CNN contributor Adeel Raja, who reported from Islamabad, Pakistan, has been fired by the media house for his anti-Semitic tweet in connection with the Israel-Palestine conflict. In the now-deleted tweet posted on Sunday, May 16, 2021, Raja wrote, "The world today needs a Hitler." The tweet received immense backlash, eventually prompting him to delete the same around three hours later.
According to Washington Examiner, CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic initially denied knowing about an Adeel Raja in their network of contributors from across the world. However, he later said that the journalist would not be allowed to work with CNN anymore in the future. "Adeel Raja's 'reporting contributed to some newsgathering efforts from Islamabad. However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity," CNN reportedly said in a statement.
Who is Adeel Raja?
Raja has been working as a freelance contributor with CNN since August 2013 until his termination on Sunday. Though his last byline for the outlet dates back to September 16, 2020, according to Washington Examiner. His LinkedIn profile lists him as an Executive Producer for AryNews, aside from contributing to CNN. In the past, the graduate from Bahria University has worked with national outlets like DawnNews, Dunya TV, and Aaj TV.
"A creative producer/director with experience in television, current affairs and live event. Extensive experience working with political talk shows," his LinkedIn bio reads. In 2016, he received the Investigative Journalist of the Year award by Agahi Awards - an annual series of journalism awards in Pakistan.
Won Investigative Journalist of the Year 2016 award pic.twitter.com/UPOxN5SbYe— Adeel Raja (@adeelraja) December 10, 2016
His successful career as a journalist was marred in the past as well for his anti-Semitic views. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Raja reportedly tweeted, "The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals — Hitler was a German and he did good with those Jews." He followed the offensive tweet by posting 'Hail Hitler' the following day.
It is believed that is latest tweet was posted in the context of the ongoing Israel-Palestine violence which has claimed many lives. His tweet prompted Twitter users to urge CNN to fire him immediately. They also appealed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend him from the social media platform entirely.
Twitter users Craig Strathearn shared the screenshot of a series of shocking and extremely offensive anti-Semitic tweets from Adeel Raja, which was deleted by him after the latest controversy. "He really likes Hitler. He's written for CNN since 2013, I guess CNN likes to employ Nazis," Strathearn wrote.
"This guy has 54 articles under his byline at CNN. They should probably fire whoever does their background checks," tweeted Greg Price from Daily Caller. "Horrifying tweets by CNN freelancer @adeelraja," tweeted Yashar Ali from Huffpost.
He really likes Hitler. He's written for CNN since 2013, I guess CNN likes to employ Nazis. pic.twitter.com/5jTFulPEYP— Craig Strathearn (@CraigStrath2883) May 16, 2021
This guy has 54 articles under his byline at CNN. They should probably fire whoever does their background checks. pic.twitter.com/yNr7iT29nD— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 16, 2021
Horrifying tweets by CNN freelancer @adeelraja!— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 17, 2021
“As a freelancer, his reporting contributed to some newsgathering efforts from Islamabad. However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity.” pic.twitter.com/CfxQrSKyqY