A plan to build a mosque two blocks away from the Ground Zero site in lower Manhattan has opened a fiery debate that raises questions about religious freedom, tolerance and sensitivity.
Plans drawn up by a group called the Cordoba Initiative call for a 15-story, $100 million building to replace an existing structure, which was damaged on 9/11 when part of a plane's landing gear smashed through the roof.
The building is already used by Muslims for Friday prayer service, and the new structure would be a cultural center open to the public, with a theater, classes and exhibits which organizers say would promote religious understanding.
"There would be no better place because the tragedy of 9/11 affected us all," said Daisy Kahn, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative. "It is our job as Muslims to clear ourselves and create a space where this kind of dialogue can take place."
But others, including some family members of 9/11 victims, see the plan as a poke in the eye.
"They can have their mosque but have it somewhere else. I don't want it overlooking the site where my son was murdered that day by 19 Muslim terrorists," family member Jim Riches recently told ABC's Linsey Davis.
Critics of the plan call it a "flag of conquest" at Ground Zero, but others say such fears amount to religious intolerance or ignorance.
Whether the plan goes forward is still an open question. The Landmarks Preservation Commission may consider protecting the existing building, and a community board will vote on whether to support the plan today.
We want to know what you think: Should the plan for a mosque near Ground Zero be approved?