My understanding, derived from conversations during my mission in Switzerland and from reading various items in the mission home on Pilatustraße in Zürich, where I was assigned for the last six months or so of my service there, is that the original site chosen for the Swiss Temple was the town of Lucerne (German Luzern). Opposition was fierce, and it ultimately forced relocation of the temple to Zollikofen, just outside of the federal capital of Berne (German Bern). There are stories about that, too, but they can wait.
One of the weapons used by opponents of the temple was gross exaggeration and distortion. (That’s never happened since then, right?) Among other things, I’m told — and, though it’s been forty (40) years or thereabouts, I seem to remember seeing an actual press clipping — an article appeared in one of the Swiss newspapers showing an image of the Salt Lake Temple, expanded to easily three or four times its actual size and superimposed upon a photograph of the pretty but relatively small city of Luzern.
The thing was so absurdly huge that nobody in his or her right mind would have wanted such a monstrosity in Luzern. Heck, it would have looked out of place and overly large in Manhattan. It probably would have interfered with central European weather patterns.
It was as a kind of ironic homage to that bit of propagandistic disingenuousness that, in my post from last night entitled “A Mosque in Orem?,” I published a photograph of the Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan, with those Wasatch-like mountains behind it, and captioned the photo “The proposed design for the planned Orem mosque.” (I identified the real mosque of the photograph at the end of my post, and said that such a building would definitely not be erected in Orem.) The number of Muslims in Utah Valley is far, far too small to need, construct, or sustain so large a structure. But such a grandiose image would certainly be helpful to those opposing the project!
My basic point is that Latter-day Saints who lament the opposition that springs up every time we announce a new temple — and, not infrequently, when we propose a simple chapel or stake center — should be very, very careful about objecting to the construction of places of worship for those of other faiths.
I can think of no good reason whatsoever to object, in principle, to a mosque in Orem.
There is a slight chance that I’ll be able to make it for at least a portion of tonight’s meeting at UVU regarding the proposed mosque. If I can be there, I will. And I’m particularly interested in what the opposition might have to say. If anybody manages to attend, I would love to hear a report.