Worried that the debate over the proposed mosque/community center two blocks from the World Trade Center site isn't hysterical enough? Here comes Sarah Palin to stick her oar in. Yesterday the former beauty pageant contestant weighed in on the mosque via Twitter, writing, "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate." But that was just Palin's first draft...
When East Coast liberal elites snickered that "refudiate" is not a word, Palin deleted her tweet, changing it to, "Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real." Of course, as Little Green Footballs points out, while "refute" has the virtue of being an actual word, it doesn't really make sense here. (Repudiate works, but that puts her over the Twitter character limit!) And although she deleted her previous neologism, Palin has used "refudiate" before, and yesterday she defended herself in a Twitter post that reads, "'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"
But back to the topic at hand, Palin also tweeted, "Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing." In response, Bloomberg aide Andrea Batista Schlesinger counter-tweeted, "@SarahPalinUSA whose hearts? Racist hearts?" and, later, "@SarahPalinUSA mind your business." Politico reports that these posts were later deleted, but Schlesinger subsequently wrote:
Deleted post bc I regretted curt response. But fact is, I believe this city belongs to everyone - and no one more than another... Unlike @SarahPalinUSA, I was born here grew up here. Was showing off to a visitor today - look at how beautiful and diverse my city is... I felt pain of 9/11, the trauma. I got through it by believing in my city. Not through fear and hate.
And it's not just NYC that's got mosque mania; Muslims in the Temecula Valley outside Los Angeles have been raising money to build a mosque for years on a vacant lot, but now they're facing opposition from Islamophobic locals. The pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, which sits across from the site of the mosque, tells the L.A. Times the two religions "mix like oil and water" and predicts a "confrontational atmosphere" if the mosque is built. "The Islamic foothold is not strong here, and we really don't want to see their influence spread," says Pastor Bill Rench. "There is a concern with all the rumors you hear about sleeper cells and all that. Are we supposed to be complacent just because these people say it's a religion of peace? Many others have said the same thing." Bill's right, many other religions have said the same thing!
Update: Finally, Bloomberg tells reporters what he thinks of Palin's mosque views and his staffer's Tweeting.