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Small Texas Town Residents Voice Concern Over Potential Muslim Cemetery

Residents of Farmersville, Texas are upset over the purchase of a 35-acre plot of land by the Islamic Association of Collin County for a Muslim cemetery. The plot is only 25 miles away from the site of the Garland, Texas shooting in May--which, residents feel is an attempt by Muslims to gain traction in the town. The town of 3,500 mostly white residents already has a Buddhist center and a Mormon church, but many residents do not care for a Muslim-affiliated cemetery. In fact, hundreds attended a Farmersville Planning and Zoning meeting to protest the cemetery.

David Meeks, the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, told the Dallas Morning News “The concern for us is the radical element of Islam. How can we stop a mosque or madrassa training center from going in there?” Gwen Kakaska, told the Planning and Zoning Commission she does not want her “child indoctrinated toward their religion. I do not want to be constantly in view of a mosque. We do not want this to be a Muslim dumping ground.” One man told CBS Dallas-Fort Worth that if residents “dump pigs” blood and put pig’s heads on posts then the Muslims “won’t buy the land.”

Mayor Joe Helmberger said “There’s just a basic concern or distrust about the cemetery coming into town." Khalil Abdur-Rashid, a spokesman for the Islamic Association of Collin County said “Some thought it was a mosque going to be built, others thought it was a training ground. We want to be very clear that this is a cemetery.” There are around five Muslim cemeteries in North Texas, and they are running out of space. The state’s rules limit where new cemeteries can be made and Farmersville was one of the few choices.

Photo: Farmersville Times

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