Yesterday, Sarah Palin wrote an inflammatory tweet about the planned Islamic Center at Ground Zero, which she then promptly deleted:
She actually doubled-down on the sentiment later, in a fashion that was only slightly less embarrassing.
I remember in 2006, when Rep. Silvestre Reyes, then the new Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was justifiably mocked by conservatives for being unaware of the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Now the most popular figure in the Republican Party makes little distinction between average American Muslims and terrorists, with the exception of Muslims who "refudiate" their own religion. They're the "peaceful" ones. This sort of intolerance just serves to reinforce the extremist narrative that Islam is at war with the West, and being an American and being a Muslim are irreconcilable. Given that the former narrative is the one consistent theme that motivates terrorists regardless of background or affiliation, the U.S. has a concerted national-security interest in countering it, not reinforcing it.
Personally, what "stabs me in the heart" is the idea that it's 2010 and one of the two major political parties in America is still trying to tell people where they can and can't build places of worship simply because of what religion they are.