Pamela Geller, founder of Stop Islamization of America, however, objects to that characterization. Her group, which recently purchased New York City bus advertisement protesting the Cordoba House, complete with images of planes striking the World Trade Center has created its own controversy.
For Geller, Islam is fundamentally at odds with American democracy and is not simply a religion but a political ideology, with a system of laws that threaten the United States.
Given what she says is a pattern of trying to implement Sharia religious law on U.S. society, including restricting the behavior of non-Muslims in the workplace, Americans like herself are compelled to act.
"I have no problem with Muslims, but there's a problem with the way they want to impose their religion and Sharia law," she said. "The [Cordoba House] mega mosque is such an insult, an offense and humiliation to all Americans. All Americans were attacked on 9/11. The people who died were the ones who took the hit for all of us."
Herbert Ouida and his son Todd both worked at the World Trade Center. Herbert survived the attack, but Todd did not. Today he supports building a mosque near Ground Zero.
"Sept. 11 is so personal for me," said Ouida. "But there is a silver lining. We're the greatest country in the world. Given all the hatred, we'll come out O.K."