Home National Politics Juan Cole on Sarah Palin’s Real Error

Juan Cole on Sarah Palin’s Real Error


Sarah Palin’s ultra-moronic, ungrammatical tweet is getting a great deal of (much-deserved) ridicule, as is her followup Tweet trying to claim she’s William Shakespeare. Uh, Mrs. Palin? I’ve read William Shakespeare. I saw “Shakespeare in Love.” I’ve been to the Shakespeare Theater. Mrs. Palin, you’re no William Shakespeare!

Anyway, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s turn to the substance – if you can even call it that – of Palin’s original tweet, which is that Muslims should not build a “mosque” (actually, it’s a cultural center which aims to promote tolerance) at “Ground Zero” (actually, it’s not at “Ground Zero”). Juan Cole explains what’s so wrong about this.

The further errors in the tweet have to do with substance. A tiny fringe cult destroyed the Twin Towers in New York, not Islam in general (a religion of 1.5 billion human beings which could well be the religion of 3 billion human beings by mid-century). A monument to Usama Bin Laden or al-Qaeda would be in poor taste. A mosque, built anywhere in the United States, is not.

The classical Islamic law of war forbids sneak attacks. It forbids the killing of non-combatants. It forbids the killing of women and children…

Al-Qaeda cultists reject these principles of Islamic law and they have been roundly condemned for doing so by all the major Muslim authorities– the rector of Al-Azhar Seminary in Egypt, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Iraq, television preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi in Qatar, Tahir al-Qadri in Pakistan, etc., etc., etc.

Finally, forbidding the building of a mosque in New York is inconsistent with the ideals of the Founding Generation of the United States of America, who explicitly mentioned Islam among the cases when they spoke of religious freedom


That is, the September 11 attacks were not the work of a foreign head of state supported by his state religion. No Muslim government supports al-Qaeda. But even if the attacks had been of that sort, the Founding Generation had already made a key distinction between religious practice and political loyalty, and had granted freedom of religion to non-Tory Anglicans.

Refudiate, Sarah. Refudiate.

In other words, aside from Sarah Palin’s completely faulty reasoning; her pathetic spelling, grammar, and syntax; and her blatant Islamophobic bigotry; she is 100% un-misrefudiatable (hey, I coined another new word!!!) regarding the “mosque” at “Ground Zero” (random thought: is this a “mosque at Ground Zero” just like “Joe the Plumber” is really named “Joe” and really is a “plumber?” – lol). Seriously, though, what’s truly terrifying about Palin and her hateful ignorance isn’t that she holds such views personally. That’s not surprising, sadly.  Instead, what’s truly terrifying is the fact that 76% of Republicans hold a “favorable” view of this cretin. Instead, Republicans should be busy “refudiating” her. That they’re not doing so speaks volumes, albeit perhaps not volumes of William Shakespeare.

  • Dan Sullivan

    She is the new Everyman, who allows all her followers to believe that, being just like her, they can achieve the same incredulous success and fame.  

  • blue bronc

    I cannot understand why intelligent and reasonable people fall for her spiel.  I can think there are cavemen around whose only thinking is done not by the skull protected area but the much lower head.

    A woman I worked with announced to me when we first met that she thought Palin was the most intelligent woman she knew of.  After a few months around me she dropped her R voter registration and began to correlate Palin with idiot. Very nice.

    Why a few women think of her as a leader is way beyond me.  She has delivered to the world a herd of idiots too.  Many of us women are ashamed of what she has done to her family.  

    KO says it very well “That woman is an idiot!”.

  • TomPaine

    First off, they are too erudite — even with the misuse of fictional words — to come from Palin herself.

    Second, she obviously has a right wing ammanuenis who conjures up poltical crap for her tweets that he/she knows will appeal to her Neanderthal constituency. The only thing authentic about these tweets is the ignorant Palinisms that they represent.  

  • On this particular instance (and this is a VERY perticular instance), I’m sympathetic to Palin.  I’m also a “talker” and I often make up words on the fly.  The most famous one in my family is “triumphantalism” (which isn’t in any dictionary, but WAS used in a paper by some professor at Harvard, so there are at least two of us who like it!)  And all those who read these blogs know about my often idiosyncratic spelling!  But it’s something that I’m good humored about, because I’d rather keep doing it rather than watch my words at every moment and worry about what people will think.

    On the other hand, I’ve never compared myself to Shakespeare….and I AM a writer!