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. Alex

    Sarah Palin is an ‘unnecessary provocation.’

    July 19, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Fed Up American

    I would pay every dollar and every cent that I have, if it would go towards getting this dispicable woman out of the limelight....!

    This woman is everything thats wrong with American politics, people with no SUBSTANCE, just sound bites and obsessive criticism of others....!

    July 19, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Steve

    Let's look at this another way. If the majority of you think the following would have happened without a problem, then I guess a Mosque is Ok.
    Imagine a proposal to build a Japanese community center to teach their beliefs and religion in Pearl Harbor in 1951. How do you feel that would have gone over ?:).

    July 19, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  4. Joe, San Diego

    Palin is doing more talking now than when she was running for Vice President altho still nothing more than jibber jabber
    Sarah "Jibber Jabber" Palin won't you please go away, sore loser!

    July 19, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. j

    it would be nice if cnn would stop reporting on her period. she is no longer a significant figure, nor in a political office, she doesn't deserve the attention she gets, cannot separate church from state and now more than ever, she is entertainment folly than real substance. her stance and position is not progressive for this country andi if you are not part of the solution, you are .... you guessed it!

    July 19, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Russ in Benton AR

    Sarah is only saying what her handlers are telling her, but I agree with this one.

    July 19, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. terbrearo

    Why must there be a quote from this hack on a daily basis?

    July 19, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Tony in Maine

    However an independent Baptist church bus full of missionaries should be greeted with rose petals in Riyadh.

    Palin. Get away. You bother me.

    July 19, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. Dante

    Palin on the wrong side of an argument again; what a surprise.

    July 19, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. ccm123

    It's called freedom of religion Sarah. If you take a moment to look at the constitution you and the tea tards so dearly love you will see it is in there.
    We often forget that Muslims too died on that tragic day not counting the hijackers. What better way to demonstrate that we are a free and tolerant society than to let them build the mosque?

    July 19, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. DAW NC

    just think if she was representing the US as its VP, pretty scary isn't it with that kind of thought process and narrow minded thinking

    July 19, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. 2Tired2Care

    Wow, Sarah continues to amaze me with what she sticks her nose into whether asked to or not. I wish she'd focus her attention on swimming down to the bottom of the gulf and fixing the oil leak. That would be time well spent.

    July 19, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. H. Cheves

    It seems to me that this is not a religious issue. Rather, the key element is sensitivity. Whether intended or not, the presence of a Mosque so close to this site cannot only foster continued anomosity. If Muslim leaders truly want to improve the image of Islam in this country, they will rethink their plans.

    July 19, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Mike in Chicago

    If this was a Lutheran, Jewish or Catholic center being proposed, it would not be an issue. We Americans like to think we are tolerant and accepting, but we are not. In particular, when the difference is from our mostly- western European background. What an opportunity for us to walk the talk and learn something about a culture that scares us because it is so different. Oh...........and Sarah is back at her stone throwing from the sidelines again.

    July 19, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. A. Goodwin

    Ms. Palin is doing nothing but perpetuating fears amongst people against those who perscribe to the muslim faith. A mosque, in my eyes, is no different than building a church for Catholics, LSDS, Babtists, etc. Are there going to be crazy people in this world – yes...you cannot stop stupid. But playing to peopele's fears is just WRONG. NY is a great example of our melting pot. If we stop people from living their lives, from being true to their own beliefs – than what kind of freedoms do we really have in America? Take the Catholics – they have systematically covered up abuse, neglect, and rape – probably more than the thousands that lost their lives after 9/11...and yet you still see Catholic churches being built. We need to get over it as a society and not play to fears. It happened...it was one of the saddest days of our country...there will be more...and we will rise again and be strong. We need to embrase muslim faiths – even in NY...even near the WTC. Sarah Palin is simply pandering to your fears!!!

    July 19, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. LouAz

    Does this mean she advocates removal of all the christian churches on Tribal Lands in Alaska and the rest of the US ? What a gal !

    July 19, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Tommy Boy

    Palin is UNNECESSARY !

    July 19, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. PeterS

    She can't ever spell....and yet she gets all of the coverage she wants by just opening her mouth...too bad.

    July 19, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. jay in denver

    GOP, pls refudiate Sarah Palin!

    July 19, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. scott

    Did she also oppose any Christian structures being built in Oklahoma City since Timothy McVeigh was a Right Wing Christian?

    July 19, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Mike S., New Orleans

    And this is Sarah Palin's business because?

    Frankly, I'm more worried about Zsa Zsa Gabor's hip than what spews from Sarah Palin's orifices.

    July 19, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Tall Ed

    So Private Citizens want to buy property and they are choosing to add a mosque. If it zoned for what they want to build why is this an issue? If they bought the land then they have the right to develope it as long as they follow the law.

    I don't think that they are prevoking anything they are just building a community Center and a Mosque. If any other religion were to want to build a church, or temple there it wouldn't be an issue. I don't think that people understand that most Muslums in America come her to get away from that sort of violance.

    I think that the community center could be a ralling point for Muslums that want to practice their religion in peace. I think by trying to prevent the Mosque you are setting a double standard, and you are treating them like Second Class Citzens.

    Also at what point does it become ok? I mean would it be ok if the Mosque was going to 1 mile away from ground zero? 10 miles? 100 miles?

    July 19, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Erin

    So, Evidently Sarah Palin is like most Republicans... she's for "Small Government" except for when it goes against her own personal beliefs. Is she for the Government getting involved and telling this RELIGIOUS Organization who had nothing to do with 09/11 that they are legally prohibited from building there?

    Muslims are peaceful people, and they have extremists. As do ALL Religions. Part of forgiveness means moving on.. and that means everyone – not just those who are most like you.

    July 19, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Gary S.

    And so it begins. Palis is fanning the flames of intolerant Christian republicans to garner support for her eventual presidential run. Right wing religous fervor won it for W (anti-gay marriage) so it only makes sense for her to play to the fears of close-minded bigots.
    A mosque NEAR the WTC site is neither an insult nor provocation. There were many American Muslims killed in the WTC attacks as well as Christians, Buddhists, etc... This is America, where religous freedom was the basis of it's establishment.

    July 19, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. A True Centrist

    It truly hurts me to say this but I agree with Palin on this one. It just doesn't make sense to build a mosque at that location.

    Sane people understand that not all Muslims are radicals, but the reality is that Muslims crashed those planes on behalf (misguided as it may have been) of the same religion to be honored with this mosque. It would be hurtful to many who lost loved ones that day and shouldn't be built.

    July 19, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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