Officials in the town of 11,500—95 percent of residents are white—deny any wrongdoing, Bidgood writes. They say "they have been unfairly portrayed as biased against the Muslims, and say the society did not have standing to seek a permit for the cemetery because of a provision giving the town the right of first refusal for the tract, which belongs to a private landowner."
The Muslim group "says it would most likely bury 10 to 15 people a year (although an early estimate mentioned 16,000 plots) and has agreed to comply with applicable burial regulations and to accommodate some of the town’s concerns, like using only a small part of the land for the cemetery," Bidgood writes. "But at a meeting in June, the Zoning Board refused to grant the group a permit, saying that the town had a right of first refusal on the land, which had once been used for agriculture, and that proper procedure for the sale had not been followed." (Read more)