CLAYTON TWP. - Local Muslims are hoping a tree-dotted field here will become a final resting place for their loved ones.
Three years after Flint Township officials rejected Dr. Khaled Shukairy's proposal to build an Islamic cemetery there, he has plans for a similar project north of Corunna Road that could potentially hold 2,453 gravesites.
The 56-acre farmland with the rust-red barn and patches of violet florets on Morrish Road could be replaced by rows of grave sites of the first Islamic cemetery in the county and second in the state.
Some say the rare project - whose conceptual plan includes an area for a prayer building, cemetery and about 30 acres for 1-acre-lot, single family homes in a future phase- is a sign of a growing Muslim community carving a place in this end of the state.
"We respect the dead and want to have a place for them," said Dr. Abdelmajid Jondy, president of the Islamic Center in Clayton Township. "It's pretty simple. We have our own burial (rites) as do the Christians, as do the Jews. I think it's time for us to have a cemetery here." . . .
"Muslim cemeteries are extremely rare throughout America at this time," said Dawud Walid, executive director for the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "But with the growing population, the community's needs grow as well."