Local residents are questioning the Islamic Association’s intentions to build the Muslim cemetery.
The residents of Farmersville, Texas packed their city hall recently to protest a proposal made by the Islamic Association of Collin County. The group, which is composed of Muslims from five local mosques, wants to place a cemetery on 34 acres of land that the association already owns, the Blaze reports.
Local residents have various reservations about such a plan. Some believe the Islamic Association wants to build a mosque on the property. Others believe they are planning to build a training ground for terrorist activity.
Khalil Abdur-Rashid, who is a scholar with the Islamic Association, has heard of all these fears about what they plan to build. “We want to be very clear that this is a cemetery”.
Even the Farmersville residents who understand that the plan is to build a cemetery have issues. They point out the Muslim ritual of burying their dead immediately after death. The locals worry that such a hasty burial would not allow medical officials to determine a cause of death, which would allow disease to be put into the soil.
Further, residents are concerned that the bodies and contaminants could enter the water table after a heavy rainfall.
However, Abdur-Rashid contends that much of the fear is driven by misinformation both about the Islamic Association of Collin County’s plan for usage of the land and about Muslim tradition overall.
— Lauren Silverman (@lsilverwoman) July 23, 2015
Alia Salem from the Council on American Islamic Relations of Dallas agrees, stating that the residents of Farmersville are afraid because they don’t understand all of the facts and “hopefully it’s an opportunity for us to come together and learn a little more about each other and hopefully dispel some of those misconceptions”.
The uproar exists before Farmersville’s zoning board has even approved the Islamic Association’s plans, a step that must occur before the city council can vote on the proposal.