We edtorialized this week on the Swiss vote to ban the building of minarets – tall, slender towers next to mosques. The ban put me in mind of a similar happening many years ago.
I was a reporter for a general-interest newspaper, doing all the scutwork, covering meeting after meeting in several Bergen County towns: council meetings, board of education meetings, planning board meetings, zoning board meetings.
It was at one of those meetings when a proposal to build a Sikh temple came before the board.
Now, that particular town is – or was – very old-fashioned and with a predominantly Christian population. The proposal drew many opponents. Finally it was decided that the Sikhs could build their temple but not on the street. So they built it behind a gas station, where it was visible only in the distance.
A few years ago, I drove by the site. The gas station was gone, and the lovely white temple was in full view.
I cannot think it hurt the town.