Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Refudiate" Palin -- support mosque near Ground Zero

In an effort to show her disgust over a Muslim mosque being built near Ground Zero in New York City, Sarah Palin -- the half-term former governor of Alaska and possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate -- used her Twitter account to voice her opinion to her...sigh...hundreds of thousands of followers:

"Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate."

"Refudiate," however, is not a real word. It doesn't exist. When bloggers caught wind of this, ridiculing her in the process, Palin removed her tweet and tried again. She also added another tweet, one in which she compared herself to William Shakespeare:

"'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

So that's her excuse -- she's not an idiot, just an innovator! Like Shakespeare! The most important person in English literary history!

The thing is, William Shakespeare made up words on purpose, usually to fit his prose. Palin's contribution to the "living language" of English, however, is derived from her own ignorance on the subject.

Pushing aside her butchering of the English language for a moment, Palin's anger towards the mosque being built near Ground Zero is misguided. It's essentially saying, because a small handful of Muslim men attacked us nine years ago, that we must punish all Muslims, that we must lump them all together and refuse them the same rights afforded to other religions.

Thousands of people died; that should never be forgotten. But imagine the message it would send to the world to say, "Hey, we know those men were Muslim extremists, but you know what? We're not afraid to put a mosque here. We know it wasn't ALL Muslims who attacked our country -- just a group of militants." Can you imagine how powerful that message would be? How many Muslim minds we could change in one move like this?

Saying we can't build a mosque near Ground Zero is like saying we couldn't build a church near the Oklahoma City bomb site. If such a proposal had been made, I doubt anyone would have had any problems with it. So why do we care so much about a mosque? If it were a mosque full of hateful, vengeful, militant jihadists, that'd be a different thing altogether. But it's not -- it's a group of law-abiding Muslims who would like to show he world how tolerant, how strong the United States can be.

This is a test of our resolve, of how we can "refudiate" the world's expectations. If we follow Sarah Palin's suggestion, we'll be failing it miserably.

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