POSTED: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 4:10pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 2:59am
Controversy continues to surround the planned location of a new Islamic cultural center near the site of the September Eleventh attacks in New York City.
Despite being given the green light months ago by city leaders, a nationwide debate has risen over its proximity to the hallowed grounds of 9-11.
It's a heated debate of tolerance and religious freedom versus the open wounds of left by the attacks.
City leaders say not allowing the mosque would be a mistake.
"If we say that a mosque and community center should not be built near the perimeter of the World Trade Center site, we would compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom," says Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "We would hand a valuable propaganda tool to terrorist recruiters, who spread the fallacy that America is at war with Islam."
Supporters of the mosque point out the building is already being used for Friday prayer services, something Muslims are able to do at a chapel inside another 9-11 attack site: The Pentagon.
Efforts for a compromise are underway.
In lower Manhattan Wednesday more than 40 civic and religious groups rallied to show their support for the mosque.