One of the nation’s leading Mormon elected officials has cited the battle over a Mormon temple in Belmont in arguing that Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque near ground zero.
Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said mosque proponents “have every right’’ to carry out their plans in New York, just as Mormons had a right to build their temple, despite neighborhood opposition.
“I have a tendency, when it comes to religious liberty issues, to always uphold the rights of legitimate churches and legitimate religious groups to be able to meet and to build their mosques or their chapels or their cathedrals on property they own, and I will fight for their right to do that,’’ Hatch said, speaking to a FOX News reporter in Utah.
“I remember when the Belmont, Mass., temple was going up . . . the local people got up in arms,’’ he said. “They didn’t want a Mormon church there to begin with. They couldn’t stop that, but then they tried to stop the steeple with the angel Moroni.’’
Ground Zero mosque organizer speaks out