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Muslim civil rights group applauds unanimous vote following federal intervention

(DALLAS, TEXAS, 9/21/2018) – The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Farmersville City Council’s unanimous vote to approve a settlement agreement with Islamic Association of Collin County that paves the way for the religious group’s Muslim cemetery.

The Association first proposed its Muslim cemetery in 2015 but was met with resistance from “some Farmersville residents who were worried about the spread of Islam,” according to media reports. In 2017, the City Council unanimously voted against the cemetery claiming concerns over drainage issues — although no such report was produced to back such claims.

SEE: Muslim cemetery plan approved by Collin County city after feds intervene
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/collin-county/2018/09/20/muslim-cemetery-plan-approved-collin-county-city-after-feds-intervene

Last month, the U.S. Attorney General’s office gave approval* to sue Farmersville under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice told local media that it was starting an investigation into Farmersville Muslim cemetery denial bias claims.

SEE: CAIR-DFW Welcomes DOJ Probe of Farmersville Muslim Cemetery Denial Bias

CAIR-DFW Welcomes DOJ Probe of Farmersville Muslim Cemetery Denial Bias

“Yesterday’s vote marks a welcome turning point for our community,” said John Janney, executive director of CAIR-DFW. “It’s time we move forward and embrace religious diversity — not just in North Texas, but in every American town and city.”

Janney said that this is just the latest victory over a nationwide trend to deny Muslim groups access to land to build Islamic schools, community centers, cemeteries and houses of worship. Anti-Muslim groups often misuse zoning or other technical claims to stop Muslims from establishing religious facilities.

North Texas Muslim community members experiencing anti-Muslim bias can submit an incident report on the CAIR-DFW website: https://cairdfw.org/incident-report/

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, john.janney@cairdfw.org

Photo Credit: Robert Nunnally

*Correction: In an earlier version, it stated the U.S. Attorney General’s office gave IACC approval to sue, which was not correct. The U.S. Attorney General’s office gave itself approval to sue on behalf of the United States of America.