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. Funzo

    How can any decent person be against building this? If this is wrong Christians should not be allowed the build churches in Israel. After what Christians did to Jews, Muslims and other Christians during the crusades, building churches in the holy land would be an unnecessary provocation.

    July 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Jim Brodie

    I think the majority of Americans –regardless of political stripe–feel that the planned location of the mosque is grossly inappropriate and insensitive. But thanks for piling on, Sarah! Surprised it took you so long to grab this freebee!

    July 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. NJ Mom

    CNN, you should NOT be giving this person ANY airtime! Can't you just freeze her out? She is not interested in healing anything. She wants to continue to pick open the scab that is 911 and keep the hate and fear alive. It serves her well, not the country. Time to move on.

    July 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. max

    This woman represents everything that is bad about America politically

    July 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Marlene

    As much as Palin and other conservatives want the government to keep its nose out of our lives, they sure don't seem to mind this particular intrusion.

    July 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. obsthetimes

    NYC muslims. Have a heart and shelve this project.
    The opposition is not about islamophobia. Yes, we know Islam is a religion of peace, harmony and only the occasional attack on major landmarks, but this is not the right project at the right time.

    July 19, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. John in Brooklyn

    In other words...freedom of religious expression only applies to people like Sarah Palin.

    July 19, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Bill

    Thanks for that great "freedom of religion" comment Sarah.

    If anything is a threat to t his country – it's you.

    July 19, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. mdn

    If we were taking about a church, or synagogue or Buddhist temple, etc., there would be no controversy.

    If we were taking about building a restaurant, bar, gas station, stripp club, or a peep show, ther would be no controversy.

    It appears that the NAACP is right to point out the racist elements in American politics.

    July 19, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. chris b

    $100 some "Christian" will bomb the mosque =(

    Hey Palin... don't you know many of the Founding Fathers weren't even Christian and several Presidents weren't either??!! This country was founded on freedom from religion principles!

    July 19, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. John

    I cannot believe this, what happened to America being a free country? Is it only a free country if you are a catholic or baptist Christian? Our country was founded on the principle of religious freedom, anyone can worship in any way that they choose, whether you agree with it or not. Let's not lower ourselves to a 3rd world country here, where only certain religions are allowed and others are persecuted. There may have been Muslims involved in the 9/11 attacks, and of course they were very wrong. I am not arguing that 9/11 wasn't a terrible thing, because it was. But to shun an entire culture of people because of a few extremists just isn't right. If we prohibit an Islamic mosque from being opened because of a terrorist attack that happened years ago, the terrorists have effectively made us go back on our own founding principles. Do we really want them to have that control over us?

    July 19, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Elizabeth

    Why doesn't that Palin creature just go away??? We do not need to hear HER opinions about anything! McCain certainly did a disservice to his country when he brought "that thing" out of obscurity.

    July 19, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    I think building a mosque and community center near Ground Zero is a great idea.

    What better way to show people America's ability to engage those who, despite their lunatic fringe elements, want to pursue peaceful co-existence with others?

    To act out of hope and support understanding and progress is always better than to feed fear, division and hate.

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Dina

    You can't have it both ways, Sarah. if you really believe yourself a "true patriot", then stand up for religious freedom, even when it's not so PC.

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. S Callahan

    Oh my...I agree.
    It is heartless to build a mosque near the 911 site....where it is essentially sacred ground.
    It seems like a psychological war.....and really, isn't that what it is?

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. paul

    If this happens – it will be the sadest day in US history – worse than 9/11,

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Marry

    As far as I remember where the attackers TERRORISTS, some of them Muslims; not Muslims, some of them Terrorists. It is absolute horrible to accuse every American Muslim to be also a Terrorist. Because, that is exactly what that is: Accusing someone to be a “Killer” just because of his faith. Let’s judge people by their individual character. On that scale, many “Christians” especially the bible thumping crowed including Miss Palin, should search their own character before denying “other” people anything! (They would probably be too afraid to look at their own character because they see it infested with Lucifer around every corner)

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Peter

    As an atheist I don't have a problem with the proposed mosque as long it is not been funded by terrorist groups. A better proposal is to ban all religious facilities from within a designated radius of Ground Zero. No one will have a right to complain then.

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. carrie

    Palin is also an UNNECESSARY provocation and also causes pain to those who hear hear speak, and as for "peaceful New Yorkers" , does that there are "unpeaceful" New Yorkers, I suppose that means pitting the Republican party New Yorkers vs Democrat New Yorkers, or as she has stated before "real Anerica" vs unreal America! She should not speak about New Yorkers as she has no clue!

    This lady is a real piece of work!

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. in other words

    Peace seeking Muslims, pls understand, the non-peace seeking amongst us have trouble with your entire religion, not just the crazy bunch who use your religion to do horrible acts. By the way, please don't use this same rubric to judge us Christians because we would not want to be associated with people who bomb abortion clinics or who protest military funerals because America is being punished for accepting gays in our midst. Those are a crazy few who use our religion to do horrible acts. We are not at all like them, and therefore are of course worthy of building places of worship wherever we choose.

    July 19, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. Oompa Loompa

    With palin saying theres going to be no mosque at Ground Zero. Thats ok but what will we have there if theirs not going to be any religious houses there!

    July 19, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  22. kklein

    Why is this still a debate? America better get on its ass and start doing the right thing because I'm really getting sick of the terrorists having more rights than the tax paying citizens of this nation.

    July 19, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. jessy springer

    To build the mosque there would be a slap in the face to America

    July 19, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Sandy

    I think the mosque going near ground zero is a perfect place to be. Will teach tolerance of others and a place to go to learn. What better way to honor the deaths.
    People just want to keep spreading the hate. When does it stop!!!!

    July 19, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. Bob Foetsch

    Oh Sarah, Shut up. We honestly don't care what, and hardly ever know what you are saying

    July 19, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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