Tim Pawlenty: Ground Zero Mosque Would "Degrade or Disrespect" 9/11

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 6 2010 10:37 AM

Tim Pawlenty: Ground Zero Mosque Would "Degrade or Disrespect" 9/11

The Bruce Babbitt of the 2012 GOP field—who's not boring, so stop saying that!— comes out swinging against the "Ground Zero mosque" in a low-key interview with Scott Conroy of RealClearPolitics.

I'm strongly opposed to the idea of putting a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero -- I think it's inappropriate. I believe that 3,000 of our fellow innocent citizens were killed in that area, and some ways from a patriotic standpoint, it's hallowed ground, it's sacred ground, and we should respect that. We shouldn't have images or activities that degrade or disrespect that in any way.

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So he's in line with Sarah Palin, who wants "peace-seeking Muslims" to understand that the mosque is a "provocation." But Palin put it better, didn't she? The way she has it, there are good Muslims who should understand that mosques close to Ground Zero might offend people. The way Pawlenty has it, the very existence of a mosque would soil the "hallowed ground" of the Burlington Coat Factory-that's-near-Ground Zero. That's got to come as news to the families of Syed Fatha, Salman Hamdani, Sarah Khan, and the dozens of other Muslims who died on 9/11 totally unaware that they were ruining it for the rest of us.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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