Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — Neighbors have lost their fight against a proposed Islamic cemetery not far from McCarran International Airport.
On Wednesday, Clark County commissioners allowed plans for the project to move forward, despite widespread opposition from people who live nearby.
The empty plot near Warm Springs and Bermuda roads is partially surrounded by homes, one of the big reasons why neighbors say the space should not become an Islamic funeral home and cemetery.
“The main concern has always been that a cemetery doesn’t fit in our neighborhood,” said one resident.
Plans call for up to 1,200 plots to serve the area’s Muslim community. Signs are posted throughout the neighborhood opposing the project.
“I have no prejudice against any religion or any denomination but I just don’t feel this residential area is a proper location,” said neighbor Tim O’Reilly.
The site is not far from an Islamic school and mosque. The county’s planning commission already approved the project but neighbors lined up to appeal the decision. They expressed concerns about property values, contaminated water and possible flooding.
“It would be appalling and gruesome to have any bodies washed away and this would be devastating to their families,” said neighbor Michelle Almassy.
Commissioners unanimously denied the appeal, allowing the project to move forward.
“I don’t have a justifiable reason to say no, other than the fact that obviously a lot of neighbors would prefer it be put in a different and separate area,” said commissioner Steve Sisolak.
Sisolak said the land’s current zoning allows for a cemetery.
The applicant said Muslims have few burial options in the valley that meet the needs of their faith.
“I will build them a cemetery that will improve the value of houses and land in that neighborhood,” said Dr. Osama Haikal.
Dr. Haikal said he’ll agree to conditions to address traffic and parking. He said a lack of understanding is fueling neighbors’ fears, “I have done everything imaginable to make sure that none of them will hurt.”
Commissioners approved the plans with roughly two dozen conditions. Organizers hope to have the project completed in about a year.
More and quite a different tone:
According to Dr Aslam Abdullah, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, the opposition by the residents was a result of a theological problem. “We don’t have a place. We need a place. But we don’t want a place at the expense of our neighbors,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah also said that an earlier effort by a different group to build a Muslim cemetery in the northeast valley in 2012 ended with a fire at the construction site, which he believes was intentionally set and considers it as a hate crime since the cause of the fire was never determined.
We know that more often than not such purported “hate crimes” are committed by Muslims.
While it might be zoned for a cemetery, it’s a very residential area.
If the Islamic society in Vegas is anything like the one in Kansas City, and follows the Koran, it won’t be pretty. Read the account of one woman and how even Muslim women are treated right here in the good ole USA: Islamic Society of Kansas City Leaders Yell and Force Hijab on Non-Muslim Women.
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