Now that a South Carolina Zoning Board has rejected a plan for a Muslim cemetery in Rock Hill, perhaps they will find a way to keep living ones from moving in.
Herald Online After a contentious public hearing where several residents opposed a Muslim cemetery in a Rock Hill neighborhood – including one woman who admitted she was not being “politically correct” or “nice” but said she was scared of what would go on inside a proposed Muslim cemetery fence – the cemetery was shot down Tuesday night by the city’s zoning board of appeals.
Members of the Islamic Center of South Carolina, which operates a mosque in Rock Hill, want the cemetery to perform burials in traditional Islamic fashion(no caskets allowed), but the zoning board voted three for, three against, which left the measure defeated.
The decision drew big applause from a packed City Council chambers filled with people against the cemetery. Muslim leaders were dismayed by not just the vote but what they said seemed like prejudice against Muslims. (Seemed like? No, IS)
Nazir Cheema, a Muslim Rock Hill resident and leader of the effort to build the cemetery said, “If this cemetery did not have the word Muslim, it would have been different. Are we not Americans? Do we not love America? (Nope)
Muslims, rebuffed by both the city’s zoning appeals board and neighbors when trying to purchase property in a neighborhood and use it for a cemetery, said Friday they had talks with city officials about a portion of one of the city’s three cemeteries being sectioned off for Islamic burials.
However, whether that will happen – or even could – remains unclear. City officials have not confirmed the possibility of a Muslim spot on city property. The city has so far agreed to no solution involving city property.
A compromise on city property could solve a potentially thorny legal problem for the city, as the city’s zoning board rejected a Muslim cemetery on Bird Street near Anderson Road last month. Federal laws generally prohibit zoning decisions based on religion. Despite city planning officials being in support of issuing a zoning variance for the Bird Street property – and a warning from a city lawyer during a public meeting that later included private attorney/client meetings in closed session – the zoning board denied the Bird Street request.