Press Releases

Tennessee Muslims Denied Right to Cemetery


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/22/04) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) is calling on elected officials in Fayette County, Tenn., to grant
local Muslims the right to construct a cemetery.

The Muslim Society of Memphis, which brought a proposal before the Fayette
County Planning Commission to rezone an area of land for an Islamic
cemetery, told CAIR that while the commission approved the rezoning, the
proposal was later rejected by the Fayette County Development Committee.
Tennessee Muslims believe that decision was swayed by a packed courtroom of
area residents who expressed anti-Muslim sentiment in their opposition to
the proposal.

One resident equated Muslims with Nazis. Another claimed that many people
he knew had been killed by Muslims.

SEE: “Committee Recommends Zoning Change Denial”

“This seems to be the first time a similar planning commission
recommendation has been turned down by the development committee,” said
CAIR Civil Rights Coordinator Khadija Athman. “The Muslim community’s
proposal should not be denied because of the bigoted attitudes some
residents have toward the Islamic faith.”

The Fayette County Commission will make a final decision on the proposal on
Tuesday, November 23.

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 29 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue,
protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions
that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:;
Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:


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