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Malapropisms, Manhattan Mosques, And Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin waded into the ongoing debate over the construction of a Muslim Cultural Center that would include a mosque in a building several blocks from site of the September 11th attacks, but not before creating yet more material for the likes of Jon Stewart and Tina Fey:

The Twittersphere erupted Sunday when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tweeted that “peaceful Muslims” should “refudiate” the mosque being built in New York City near where the Twin Towers once stood. Palin found herself the butt of many tweets, as refudiate, of course, is not a word in the English language.

But it wasn’t over yet:

After deleting the offending tweet, Palin replaced it with another calling on “peaceful New Yorkers” to “refute the Ground Zero mosque plan,” which only added to the confusion because it would appear the word she was looking for was “repudiate.” Then came the kicker: To quell the vicious Twitter-ribbing she was receiving, Palin unleashed yet another tweet comparing herself to no less than the Bard of Avon.

Yea, you heard that right, too:

Now, that did lead to several hours of amusing Twitter exchanges under the hashtag #ShakesPalin, but the whole odd Palin Tweet stream also brings to the forefront an issue that has mostly only been covered by a few right-wing blogs:

The building’s planners, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, have said it’s modeled on religious and community centers such as the YMCA, and that the 13-story, $100 million building would also include an arts center, gym and a swimming pool, as well as a mosque. It would be two blocks away from Ground Zero.

The project, which has become an increasingly partisan issue in New York, received a renewed burst of national attention when CBS and NBC rejected an ad from the National Republican Trust PAC that crosscut footage of the 9/11 attacks with the sounds of Muslim prayer.

“On Sept. 11, they declared war against us,” a narrator says. “And to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans, they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at ground zero.”

This despite the fact that there is no connection between the organization that wants to establish the center and anyone associated with the September 11th attacks. The entire controversy has been tinged, unfortunately, with non-too-subtle attacks on Islam in general thanks largely to the fact that the largest voice in the blogosphere against the mosque is Pam Geller, who Muslim Derangement Syndrome is rather well documented:

This best demonstrates the territorial nature of Islam. This is Islamic domination and expansionism. The location is no accident. Just as Al-Aqsa was built on top of the Temple in Jerusalem. And what about the Hagia Sophia, the ancient cathedral of the church of Constantinople, one of the great buildings of the world, the grandest church in Christendom at that time and for 1000 years thereafter — and now a mosque? The Aya Sofya mosque — they didn’t change the name, just Islamified it.

How disgusting. The only Muslim center that should be built in the shadow of the World Trade Center is one devoted to expunging the Koran and all Islamic teachings of the prescribed violent jihad and all hateful texts and incitement to violence. The only center in the heart of the WTC should be devoted to a Vatican II for Islam. That is the only kind of Islamic center that would be appropriate, though it probably wouldn’t last two minutes without being bombed by devout Muslims.

And the anti-mosque movement isn’t limited to this location near Ground Zero, there have been similar protests over a planned mosque on Staten Island as well as in Los Angeles and, back in May, a firebombing at a mosque in Florida that remains unsolved.

There has been no evidence that any of the people associated with the Manhattan community center have committed any illegal acts. They own the property on which they wish to build this facility. For someone who believes in individual liberty, as Palin claims she does, that alone should be enough to not give in to the fear campaign that Geller and others have initiated here. It’s really rather disgusting.

To answer Palin’s initial malapropism-filled tweet, no, it’s not a mosque that stabs me in the heart, it’s people who have no respect for religious liberty, tolerance of others, and property rights.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    I get the visceral reaction against having an Islamic center at the site where nearly 3000 people were killed by Islamist terrorists. I even get the idea that the site should be preserved forevermore as a shrine.

    What I don’t get is the idea that the cost of these choices should be paid for by the people who own the space. You want to build a museum there? Pony up the dough and buy the place. You want to keep Muslims out? Pony up the dough and buy the place.

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  2. sam says:

    I knew William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare was a friend of mine. Sarah Palin is no William Shakespere. Now, that MacBeth fellow’s wife, well…

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  3. Alex Knapp says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how “two blocks away from ground zero” equals “ground zero.” Forget her typos–it’s her grasp of spatial relationships and addresses that are in question here.

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  4. What I don’t get is the idea that the cost of these choices should be paid for by the people who own the space. You want to build a museum there? Pony up the dough and buy the place. You want to keep Muslims out? Pony up the dough and buy the place.

    Yes, exactly.

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  5. Brett says:

    I get the visceral reaction against having an Islamic center at the site where nearly 3000 people were killed by Islamist terrorists. I even get the idea that the site should be preserved forevermore as a shrine.

    Except that it’s not actually at Ground Zero, as Alex pointed out. It is here, at 51 Park Place. Do you think Marty’s Shoes and Dakota Roadhouse should be part of the shrine as well?

    For someone who believes in individual liberty, as Palin claims she does, that alone should be enough to not give in to the fear campaign that Geller and others have initiated here. It’s really rather disgusting.

    It’s typical for religious bigots, and even if Palin herself doesn’t buy into it, she’s always tilting at the “conservative” position.

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  6. Steve Verdon says:

    For someone who believes in individual liberty, as Palin….

    Stop! Stop right there! Palin and liberty in the same sentence? It is like putting cat food on your ice cream…its just wrong.

    (Watching Brummagem Joe’s head explode….)

    Given the attitudes expressed by both Democrats and Republicans over the years as they each try to out “tough on crime” each other, saying either side believes in liberty is laughable.

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  7. grampagravy says:

    Th’ expense of bandwidth in a waste of shame/
    Is Palin in action and til action Palin is/
    Mindless, phony, shallow, and the legacy of John McSame

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  8. James Joyner says:

    @brett

    I haven’t followed the controversy very closely, since I don’t care. So far as I’m concerned, Ground Zero is just the site of a mass murder, not some sort of hallowed ground. Save for the firefighters and cops who went in to save others, those dead are victims, not heroes.

    I’m simply acknowledging that others feel differently about the issue and that I can understand why they would. But, yeah, you’d think being down the road from Ground Zero would be different from Ground Zero proper.

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  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    I’m with James on this: it’s a murder scene. We don’t sanctify murder scenes. It’s also the scene of a massive intelligence failure. We don’t sanctify those, either. I don’t like enshrining victimhood and failure.

    If the Port Authority cops and NYPD and NYFD want to build a monument to their guys, they earned that right with acts of heroism none of us is likely to equal. And of course I would defer to the families of the victims to a reasonable degree. But I rebel at the idea of treating Ground Zero as a shrine.

    We have freedom of religion in this country. We should apply the same standards to a Muslim project we would to a Christian or Jewish one.

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  10. If they ever manage to get the new skyscraper built — and, by the way, the fact that it’s almost nine years and we’ve barely even started on that project is yet another failure — there is going to be a monument to the victims and to police and firefighters who died. That’s appropriate.

    This effort to turn all of Lower Manhattan in to some kind of shrine just strikes me as some kind of weird fetishism

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  11. wr says:

    “This effort to turn all of Lower Manhattan in to some kind of shrine just strikes me as some kind of weird fetishism.”

    Especially since most of those who are trying to do it spend the rest of their time condemning Manhattan as being home to anti-American Islamofascistcommies who hate the real America. I guess the only good New Yorker is a dead New Yorker.

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  12. An Interested Party says:

    It will be so nice if Sister Sarah becomes the GOP presidential nominee in 2012…then a clear majority of voters will refudiate her and her legion of groupies will have to find a new saint to pray to…

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  13. TangoMan says:

    What I don’t get is the idea that the cost of these choices should be paid for by the people who own the space. You want to build a museum there? Pony up the dough and buy the place. You want to keep Muslims out? Pony up the dough and buy the place.

    Don’t want a coal-burning generating plant right next door to your house? No problem, just buy the land instead of bitching and moaning to the zoning board about how the land in your neighborhood should be used.

    You and I may not like community involvement in the land planning decisions of property owners but when there are rules which specify that the community can have serious involvement in private land development endeavors, then your criticism is unfounded.

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  14. Janis Gore says:

    Right. It’s a local, community issue in New York City, so I should butt out. I live in a small berg in Louisiana. New Yorkers are capable of fighting it out among themselves.

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  15. Janis Gore says:

    That would be “burg.”

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  16. Mark says:

    @TangoMan – Well said!

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  17. tom p says:

    Freedom of religion… it’s a beach.

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  18. tom p says:

    ***Don’t want a coal-burning generating plant right next door to your house?***

    FREEDOM OF ELECTRICITY!!!

    I know I read it in the constitution somewhere….

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  19. tom p says:

    Tango, your analogy fails on numerous levels (passing by the obvious that I already pointed out)…let me point out the 2nd MOS’T OBVIOUS reason your analogy fails…

    Nobody is going to build a coal fired power plant in the middle of Manhatten. They are going to build it out here where I live and people are few… and jobs are even fewer.

    Try again…

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  20. tom p says:

    ***Right. It’s a local, community issue in New York City, so I should butt out.****

    I totally agree Janis, the constitutional guarantee of “freedom of Religion” means nothing as long as it is done on a “local, community” level.

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  21. tom p says:

    and to drive the point home…

    Who would object if it was a Christain church?

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  22. Janis Gore says:

    It’s a local issue at this point. What can I say?

    The latest information I found in a quick Google search is here, regarding the building itself.

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  23. Janis Gore says:

    Sorry, here.

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  24. Janis Gore says:
  25. Janis Gore says:

    If you prefer a conservative slant, the New York Post has an article on the landmark hearing:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/rage_unmosqued_372Ws4l7Y9xZJJVsfYEk1L

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  26. [...] no Palin fan, by the way, a fact that should be rather clear given some of the posts I’ve written just in the past month. That said, however, I’m not going to [...]

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  27. Juneau: says:

    I think that Palin should just keep her nose out of the business of all 57 states, and go find some nice navy corpse-man to act as her PR liason.

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  28. [...] easy to just chalk this up to Gingrich being Gingrich, but it’s part of a pattern. Sarah Palin has already come out with her own bizarrely argued anti-mosque screed, and a group calling itself [...]

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  29. [...] yes, that means you Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Filed Under: Doug Mataconis, Islam, Law and the Courts, Religion, US [...]

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  30. [...] he quickly goes off in a direction that makes it clear that, on this issue, he is more in line with Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich than any Libertarian (or libertarian): This proposed building of a mosque on [...]

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  31. [...] he quickly goes off in a direction that makes it clear that, on this issue, he is more in line with Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich than any Libertarian (or libertarian): This proposed building of a mosque on [...]

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