July 19th, 2010
10:33 AM ET
13 years ago

Palin: Ground Zero mosque an 'unnecessary provocation'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/19/art.palin.0515r4.gi.jpg caption ="Sarah Palin said Sunday that plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero are an ‘unnecessary provocation.’"] (CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the proposed construction of a mosque and community center near "Ground Zero," the site of the 9/11 terror attack in New York City, calling it an "unnecessary provocation."

"Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts," Palin wrote in a Twitter post Sunday. "Pls reject it in interest of healing."

The former Republican vice presidential nominee also posted a plea to "peaceful New Yorkers," asking them to "pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real."

Plans to build a $100 million, 13-story center - focused on what backers describe as Islamic, interfaith and secular programming - has sparked an emotional debate.

New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to hold a key vote in August on whether an 1850s structure currently on the site of the proposed center should be granted landmark status. Even if landmark status is approved, however, it may not necessarily halt construction of the center.

Voices opposing the mosque dominated a hearing on the subject last week.

"It would be a terrible mistake to destroy a 154-year-old building in order to build a monument to terrorism," one woman said.

The heckling and intense nature of the hearing got to be too much for some participants.

"I'm ashamed to be an American today," said Rakif Gathwari, a Muslim-American, who reminded the crowd that people from many countries and religions died in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

"I want to prove to this hall that I am a citizen," Gathwari said, holding up his passport.

Some Muslim community leaders say the mosque could provide an opportunity for improving interfaith relations.

The project, according to a Muslim outreach group called the Cordoba Initiative, calls for the construction of a mosque, a performing arts center, a gym, a swimming pool and other public spaces.

- CNN's Deb Feyerick, Julian Cummings, Ed Payne and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report

Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. once upon a horse

    CNN is normally an even handed news broadcasting channel, not giving anymore favoritism to the right as it would to the left. I find it quite ironic that this is the very type of media that Sarah Palin refers to as the "evil left wing media" and prefers to give interviews and work for the heavily right leaning FoxNews. Yet CNN at least on the web, devotes ALL this attention to everything she says from her daughter getting married to what she posts on her Twittter and Facebook. In other words WHY SHOULD WE CARE WHAT SHE THINKS???

    July 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. lee

    Why do we HAVE to keep hearing anything from this woman???

    July 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |

    The Organization planning to build this Mosque and Education Center is an organization that has been in New York City for more than 20 years. They have through the years moved from one location to another because of their need for growth. Even if they were 20 blocks or more from Ground Zero these complaints would still be made. There have never been any complaints about their behaviors at any of their other sites so what then is provoking the general public now? It is the Bigotry brought on by "Right Wing Fanatics".

    July 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Jason M.

    This article seems to have conveniently left out her original use of the nonsensical word, "refudiate."

    July 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. inisheer

    Why do you people keep writing about what this woman says as if it's actually newsworthy?

    July 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. Pink Hijab

    Sarah Palin should just shut up. Her ignorance is well known and this time is no different. Go back to your little igloo Missy. Muslims have the same rights as any other religions to build wherever they want.

    July 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. WhatIsTheDifference

    I thought there was already a monument, park and firefighter memorial at ground zero. Are they looking to put up this mosque as close to ground zero as possible ? I haven't been following this story as closely so I don't know these details.

    July 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. tim

    I'd appreciate greatly if she didn't ever mention Ground Zero again. She has no clue what happend there. She has no idea what's happening here now. I was there– lost way too many friends. Why this person feels the need to weigh in on a subject a million miles from both her brain and her heart is absolutely shocking.

    We celebrate the lives of our friends and loved ones on the 9th anniversary in September. Let's do it in peace. Not with moronic politicians grabbing soundbites.

    This is the most important day in modern American history. Please let us keep it sacred. No Palins and No jean sales! It should be a national day of reflection.

    We will not forget. EVER.

    And by the way– my friends and former co workers who died were some incredible people– thoughtful, intelligent, caring, generous and humble. Not a bigot or zealot in the group- just guys trying to improve both their lives and those of the family and friends around them. We miss them tremendously.

    July 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Brian

    Mildly ironic when the party urging the government to stay out of everyone's personal lives and exercise restraint is pushing for a blatant attack on the rights of American citizens. Was there a moratorium on church construction in OK City? Negative. What about in Waco? Be sensible. It is a house of worship. Not a gun range. Not a bomb making school. There are no banners praising the 9/11 hijackers. Respecting the rights of citizens is not political correctness, it is simply the right thing to do.

    July 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Tom

    As strange as it is, you would think a Conservative would not try to inject government into religion. If she is concerned about a mosque by ground zero, she should be petrified about having a catholic church near a school? Where do you draw the line? To stereotype the entire Muslim community like this is EXACTLY what the fanaticals want. Palin is simply helping to drive the wedge of division. Disgusting comments from a person with her influence.

    July 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  11. T S Olean , Ny

    Wow ! This is the first time I ever agreed with anything Sarah Palin has ever said.

    July 19, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. ANN from ny

    Ms Palin...New Yorkers don't need your two cents...unlike other states, we don't go for your rhetoric..we think for ourselves...so stay out of our business here in NEW YOR!!! We can handle our own business in our state!! Thank You!!

    July 19, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Laurie

    Peace loving people of all races, sexes, creeds, religions, sexual identities, please reject the Twitter queen in the interest of healing from her total ignorance. She is a stab to the heart of the tolerance and openess of American people and the society in which we live and thrive as one people.

    July 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. Bob Graybill

    Incomplete sentences without prepositions to your own apostles are a good way to address millions of Americans and create change...

    July 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. T

    Ms. Palin please go to the back of the class, because you have not done your HOMEWORK. She is unnecessary. CNN why are you doing this promoting her? WHY

    July 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Hank from Missouri

    Funny how those that are so incredibly loud in their defense of freedom are usually the first to abandon it when challenged by someone else exercising it in a different way.

    July 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Phil

    A mosque is not a monument to terrorism, no more than a church is a monument to systematic colonialization or a synagogue is a monument to military occupation. A mosque is a place for people to meet and pray. The criticism over its construction comes from people who know nothing of Islam. So many people are ignorant over what Islam is all about and Sarah Palin is among the most public of them. I hope that this denunciation by her is a reminder among intelligent people that she is a politician using populist speak to spark emotions among her conservative base in order to further her own personal agenda, not the advancement of the U.S.A.

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. rulbp21

    Stay out of New York affairs Ms Palin.We don't need your opinion

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Devon

    I think Sarah Palin is an idiot and I don't care what she thinks. In my humble opinion, Sarah Palin is about equal to Adolf Hitler. Who are we to judge people base off their religion? Who are we to judge a whole group of people based off the actions of just a few? I am a Roman Catholic American and I am ashame of America right now. Yes, we have been through some hard times. But it is not right, or just to blame an entire group of people. And this isn't just happening to Mulsims. Similar injustices are happening to several groups of people and it is about time that we start examining ourselves. We need to get over the past and move forward, that is the only way that we can bring peace. If we keep living in the past, the only thing that we will achieve is a never ending war.

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Bob

    I wish people would note that the proposed Muslim Center is NOT at Ground Zero, it is a few blocks away. Unless one is going to suggest that all of NYC is ground zero it is ridiculous to try and stop anyone from putting up a building.

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. asche Ackerman

    Building a mosque near the site of Ground Zero at best is a badly misconceived idea and at worst a cruel joke. Why on earth is anybody seriously considering this idea to begin with? Have Americans that short a memory or are they just plain stupid/? Building a Mosque anywhere near Ground Zero is an insult to all those Americans who lost their lives on that faithful day. I can'. believe that New yorkers are actually considering doing this. Has "political correctness'" become this pervasive in our societal culture that we can't even recognize a bad idea when we see one? We are Christian centered nation, IE: "One nation, under GOD" in case anyone forgot this fact. We always have been & we always will be. Why do you politically correct pundits feel the need to try and change this? You want to build this Mosque then may I suggest a place more fitting like the Arizona desert or Death Valley, CA. Either setting would be more in keeping with the original intent of said Mosque.
    So to to all you political correctness advocates who not only think that this is a good idea but also that we as a nation need to apologize for past transgressions, I say you all can take a long walk off of a short peer. We Americans don't have to apologize for nothing and we don't have to accept nontraditional religious buildings being built where they shouldn't be!

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. Steve in Texas

    I live in Texas, one of the politically reddest states in the union (at least until Rick Perry leads the secession from the union) and I see Mosque being built in many areas that you would not figure to have a Mosque. I generally support their construction. But not at ground zero. It would become a target for both domestic and radical islamic terrorist.
    I can't stand the half term governor of the most sparsely populated state in the country (another one that wants to secede), but I agree with her on this one.

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  23. Nancy, CA

    Although I basically have to agree with her on this issue, I am so sick of hearing about Sarah Palin!! The media is obsessed with this woman and, contrary to what she always claims, she loves it and takes full advantage of the situation to make money for herself and keep her name in the news. Frankly, I hope she runs for president. If she does, she will easily fall flat on her face, and then perhaps everyone will finally be "over" her. I will never forgive John McCain for picking her as his running mate!

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Steve in CT

    She's 100% right. If not trying to slip in a masked trophy what were they thinking?

    July 19, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. KMAN821

    What is actually unneccessary ... IS Sarah Palin opening her big fat hate-filled mouth about any topic outside of her own sick little household.

    July 19, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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