Plans to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City is stirring a heated back and forth between two prominent political figures.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is speaking out against the project as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is defending the plans against her comments.
Palin has joined the opposition against the Cordoba House mega mosque center set to be built in New York City.
This week on the social networking site Twitter, Palin charged the mosque plans were an emotionally slap to the 9/11 victims.
"Peace-seeking Muslims, [please] understand, [the] Ground Zero mosque is unnecessary provocation; it stabs hearts," she said.
The post brought a response from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who defended the project.
"Sarah Palin has a right to her opinions, but I could not disagree more. Everything the United States stands for and New York stands for is tolerance and openness," he said.
"And I think it's a great message for the world that, unlike in other places where they might actually ban people from wearing a burqa or they might actually keep people from building a building, that's not what America was founded on. Nor is it what America should become."
Since approval for the Cordoba House center passed, New Yorkers already had plenty of passion about the idea of a mosque at Ground Zero.
"This house of evil will be the birthplace of the next terrorist event," one New York resident said.
"Why should there be a Muslim place here? No, I don't support it," another added.
"In some ways it raises the very question of what is at the heart of all of this furor and that is ignorance," said Daisy Khan, spokeswoman for the Cordoba Mosque project.
Retired Gen. Jerry Boykin believes American ignorance about Muslim history could come back to haunt the U.S.
"When Mohammed conquered Mecca, he built a mosque on their most holy and prominent site. The message was Islam reigns supreme," Boykin said.
"When he conquered Jerusalem, he did the same thing [at] the most prominent site in Jerusalem, the most holy site," he said. "Now, we are going to build a mosque at Ground Zero, where once the Twin Towers were a great monument to America. Now there will be a mosque there."
"What's the message in that and what's the impact it's going to have on the Islamic world?" Boykin went on to ask. "It will increase the recruiting to the jihadist cause exponentially."
The Cordoba House is named for the city in Spain where Muslims began their conquest of the West in the eighth century.