I posted this at my blog, but wanted to see reactions here at MM. Over the past few weeks, I have driven by a billboard titled “Remember 9/11” with an image of the collapsed World Trade Center. In smaller print on the right, it said “Stand up and be heard. No mosque at ground zero.” You can see the sign on a video at this website.
A few weeks ago on KSL, Carole Mikita interviewed a Muslim leader here in Utah. She asked him what he thought of this idea to build a mosque near Ground Zero. He said he thought it was a terrible idea. He said they can build a mosque in many places, and thought it was quite insensitive for these Muslims to incite a controversy there.
As a Mormon, we have had plenty of problems with protests about churches or temples being built. The Boston Temple was prohibited from building a steeple for quite some time because the steeple was considered too tall. (It was eventually constructed, but the church was forced to reduce the size of the steeple.) Many groups have protested the buildings of new temples for a variety of reasons. My sister lives in Colorado, and 2 Mormon churches sit side by side because the owner of a subdivision refused to allow any churches to be zoned in a particularly large subdivision. (As I recall, the owner was either a tobacco or alcohol owner that wanted to make sure no Mormon churches were built in the subdivision–so he excluded all churches. How is this legal?)
I appreciate this Muslim leader’s pragmatism. I too wonder why Muslims in New York aren’t more sensitive to the issue. On the other hand, I don’t understand how any Mormon can support a ban on religious construction, given that we have had so many problems with constructing churches or temples. As a matter of principle, I can’t see how it is constitutional to support a ban on a Muslim mosque anywhere. What are your thoughts?