(DALLAS, TX, 9/12/18) – The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) today welcomed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into whether the Farmersville city council violated anti-discrimination laws when it voted against a Muslim group’s plans to build a cemetery.
The Islamic Association of Collin County announced its plans for a Muslim cemetery in Farmersville three years ago. Since then, the Plano-based nonprofit has met opposition from residents on religious grounds. During town hall meetings to discuss cemetery plans, some participants expressed such sentiments as “I don’t like your religion and I don’t classify it as a religion” and “Go back to Mecca where you belong,” according to news sources.
SEE: Plans for a Muslim Cemetery in Farmersville Still in Limbo
Last month, the U.S. Attorney General’s Office gave the green light for a lawsuit against the City of Farmersville for possible violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits cities from discriminating against groups seeking to build churches or use land for other religious purposes.
“In America, you can’t vote away people’s religious rights — no matter how much you misunderstand or disagree with their religious beliefs,” said John Janney, executive director of CAIR-DFW. “Three years have passed and still no cemetery, which means Muslims who passed away in this time who wanted this to be their final resting place were denied their last wishes because of hatred against Muslims.”
Janney said that he hopes the DOJ can help restore religious freedom in North Texas soon and hopes that the case serves as an example against bogus zoning claims and other techniques used to discriminate against Muslim communities seeking to build, expand or otherwise use land for religious purposes.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
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CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Executive Director John Janney, 469-998-2243, email@example.com
Image Credit: Still from NBC 5 Report, Online Video
See also: Feds may sue after North Texas town thwarts Muslim cemetery plans