Thanks to Mark for sending us this story from Huffington Post:
A town in upstate New York is trying to force a local Muslim religious community to dig up a small cemetery on its property and never bury anyone there again because it says it’s illegal.
“What we would not want is an unauthorized cemetery,” says Bob McCarthy, town supervisor of the Delaware County town of Sidney, population 5,993. “We’re taking care of a bunch of cemeteries, and they just came in and buried the bodies, and didn’t go through…there’s no funding there, it’s not a standard kind of deal, and it’s going to become a liability to the town.”
So what steps have the Muslims skipped? “I don’t know what the exact law is,” he says.
Which is the problem; because whether or not the town government likes it, there are no laws in Sidney — or New York state, for that matter — covering cemeteries on private land — religious cemeteries included. Plus, the town approved the cemetery in 2005.
In any event, the cemetery, in the tiny hamlet of Sidney Center, was never a secret — and couldn’t have been: When the first body arrived in November, 2009, it had a 3-car escort from the Passaic, New Jersey Police Department, which necessarily told local authorities it was arriving.
And there’s certainly nothing illegal about it as far as the State Troopers are concerned. “We looked into the cemetery and it was determined what they were doing is lawful,” says Captain James Barnes of the New York State Police, Troop “C,” based in Sidney.
This apparently isn’t stopping the town board…
[continues at Huffington Post]
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