I was driving to work this morning and saw a billboard titled “Remember 9/11″ with an image of the collapsed World Trade Center. Â In smaller print on the right, it said “”Stand up and be heard. Â No mosque at ground zero.”Â Â 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. Â She asked him what he thought of this idea to build a mosque near Ground Zero. Â He said he thought it was a terrible idea. Â 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. Â The Boston Temple was prohibited from building a steeple for quite some time because the steeple was considered too tall. Â (It was eventually constructed, but the church was forced to reduce the size of the steeple.) Â Many groups have protested the buildings of new temples for a variety of reasons. Â 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. Â (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. Â How is this legal?)
I appreciate this Muslim leader’s pragmatism. Â I too wonder why Muslims in New York aren’t more sensitive to the issue. Â 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. Â As a matter of principle, I can’t see how it is constitutional to support a ban on a Muslim mosque anywhere. Â What are your thoughts?
Edit on 10/3/2010
I thought it would be interesting to show photos of 2 Muslim women supporting this project. Â Daisy Khan and her husband are trying to build at the controversial site. Â Azar Nafisi escaped Iran’s regime, and wrote a controversial book.
I know looks can beÂ deceiving, but I think these are the kinds of Muslims we should support. Â From their speech, I could tell they want the same principles I want. Â I think it is a mistake to characterize all Muslims as violent. Â Â They were articulate Americans, and deserve the same rights you and I have. Â I am more in favor of the mosque than I was earlier. Â If we turn these moderate Muslims down, we further antagonize the Jihadists. Â These are the people we should support. Â If we can’t support these people, we hurt ourselves.