A Mosque in Orem?



The proposed design for the planned Orem mosque


The Interfaith Club at Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem is sponsoring a panel discussion (tomorrow, Wednesday, 10 October) to provide balanced information and to counter local opposition to the construction of a mosque in Orem. If you’re up for some community activism and desire to support your Muslim friends and neighbors, this is a great opportunity. Here is the information you need to participate:


The discussion will begin at 7:00, and will be held in room 206A in UVU’s student center. Because of the construction, you’ll have to park on the south side of campus in the visitor’s lot (off of the roundabout). There will also be signs up to guide attendees/panelists to the classroom, but you just have to make your way through the Woodbury Building and cafeteria to the Student Center. It’ll be on the second floor.


I was invited to participate in this discussion but, because of a conflict, cannot.  However, I fully support it, and — I want to make sure that I’m clearly and plainly on the public record — I support the construction of a mosque in Orem.


(And, by the way, the mosque above will probably not be built in Orem.  Nor, alas!, anywhere else in Utah Valley.  The photograph shows the Masjid Shah Faisal, the Shah Faisal Mosque, in Islamabad, Pakistan.)



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  • Stephen Smoot

    I plan on attending. Ever since a Muslim friend of mine invited me to her Mosque in Salt Lake City when I was in High School, I have had a deep respect for Islam and feel it my duty to defend Muslims from scurrilous attacks just as much as I feel it my duty to defend Mormonism from scurrilous attacks.

    Prof. Peterson, do you know what kind of opposition has been voiced with regard to building the Mosque? I can only hope that it isn’t coming from Church members.

    • danpeterson

      Truthfully, I haven’t heard any. But I’m told that there is some. I’ve been out of the country a very great deal since 1 May, and it’s very likely that I’ve missed it.

      I wish I could be there tomorrow night, and there is, in fact, some slight chance that I’ll be able to drop by before the conclusion of the program. Perhaps some of the opponents will show up and make themselves heard.

  • Colin Ramsbottom UK

    This is no different to us expecting Parisians to accept our Temple next to Versailles. We expect tolerance when it relates to our buildings and get somewhat irked at voices of opposition against us. It seems only right that we accord those around us the same religious tolerance that we expect from others.
    Perhaps it would do for anyone LDS member who is opposed to this building to re-read our 11th Article of Faith. We have a mosque in the town in which I live. I have always found practicing Moslims to be good friends and neighbors. We as Latter-day Saints need to practice what we preach.

  • Autumn Cook

    I wish I could attend tonight. I would be pleased to see a mosque in Orem, and surprised if there’s much serious opposition. If there turns out to be some, please blog about it, and let us know what we can do to smooth the way for those who want to build it.

  • http://www.Facebook.com/DaveGarber1975 David Edward Garber

    Despite what modern political collectivists might claim, we have no communal right to our neighbors’ property to dictate how they will or won’t use it. By contrast, I support people’s innate God-given rights to their persons and their property and (to a limited extent) their children, as well as to interact either contractually or defensively. And this includes their derivative right to worship as they please. Mosque construction should never be a political issue. If local residents have concerns about a mosque being in their respective neighborhood, then it would be good for all parties to voluntarily choose to try to work out such concerns amongst themselves through respectful arbitration, whether formal or informal, but this should never be compelled.

  • http://ironrod.wordpress.com/ John W. Redelfs

    Since the Word of God as expressed in our scripture, The Articles of Faith, requires that we Latter-day Saints allow all men to worship according to the dictates of their conscience, we cannot deny Muslims the same rights of worship that we enjoy. To deny Muslims their right to worship, we would have to modify the amendment to the Constitution that guarantees religious freedom. In that case, all mosques and all Muslims would have to be outlawed across the board, not just a mosque proposed for Utah Valley.