New York Town Wants To Dig Up Muslim Bodies
Town leaders in Sidney, New York, 180 miles from Ground Zero, want Muslims to dig up and remove bodies buried in a graveyard on land the Muslims own.
They say the group, a Sufi religious order, is maintaining an illegal cemetery in Sidney, N.Y., – pop. 5,993.
A spokesman for the Osmanli Naksibendi Hakkani order claims the town okayed the burial ground five years ago and is singling them out now simply because they’re Muslims.
“I think it’s out of bigotry,” said Hans Hass, who also is the head of the local EMS unit. “They don’t like us being here, even though we’ve been here since 2002.”
Funnily enough, Town Supervisor Bob McCarthy began raising objections around the time controversy began about an Islamic center being built near Ground Zero.
McCarthy, a Republican, said his objections have nothing to do with whether or not they are Muslim. “People just can’t go bury a body in a field,” he told The News.
Confronted with a December 2005 letter to the group from the town’s code enforcement officer stating that “a cemetery at this location would be an allowed use,” McCarthy said, “I’m not a lawyer.”
There appear to be no laws or regulations that would interfere with what had already been approved.
…last month, the Sidney town board passed “an injunction prohibiting the burying of bodies on private property in violation of” state and town laws.
That injunction appears to fly in the face of the town zoning code, which permits graveyards on private property as long as they’re in a contiguous 15 acre area.
Also, there are no state regulations concerning burial on private property, according to the state’s Division of Cemeteries.
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