The building of a mosque in downtown Manhattan created a significant controversy in the media due to its proximity to the World Trade Center site. The discussions were produced by and productive of a certain conception of contemporary Islam within the US public sphere that recast the tradition of Islam itself as a possible threat to the security of the United States. On September 8, 2010 the leadership of the Cordoba House Initiative released a statement naming the project in downtown Manhattan the Park 51 Community Project in reaction to its labeling by the media as the “Ground Zero mosque.” I argue that the Park51 debates are linked to the physical space of “ground zero” in such a way that the placement of the mosque within Manhattan affects the discourse surrounding the placement of Muslims in the US by claiming “ownership” of “ground zero” and its surroundings by various groups. This “ownership” is not limited to the physical space; these are also claims to the emotions surrounding the events of 9/11. I examine how the appeal to emotion is a foundational element of these debates and I understand this in relationship to the religious language that has emerged.