Residents of both northern Texas and a suburb of Lancashire, UK are actively petitioning against the establishment of Muslim cemeteries in their towns. Residents of Farmersville, Texas, have been quoted as saying that they did not want the cemetery there because of the fear that it might attract “terrorist elements,” others said that they were opposed because it was not right for the specific parcel of land that has been allocated for the cemetery.
The Farmersville cemetery is to be a private one, to be run by the Islamic Association of Collin County (IACC). The parcel is actually outside Farmersville's city limits, so the city council cannot prevent its establishment – but it can regulate the zoning of the land's use, as it is located adjacent to the city limits, according to local zoning laws.
Local media have quoted residents as saying they are “uncomfortable” with the presence of Muslims. Speaking to KDFW-TV, a Dallas station, the AP quoted Pastor David Meeks of Bethlehem Baptist Church as saying that local residents “have a real anxiousness about Islamic people, Muslim people coming to Farmersville. I don't think they'll tell the truth about this issue. I think eventually, there will be a mosque.
“Eventually there will be a training center there…we don't want to hate anyone. We don't want to be mean to anyone,” he said. “But we see what's happening in the world. It's quite concerning.” Others have been quoted as saying that Muslims “can't be trusted” and that “their goal is to populate the United States and take it over."
In Blackburn, UK, meanwhile, nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition against the establishment of a Muslim cemetery. The town is located in the Ribble Valley, where residents say there is no substantial Muslim population – so a Muslim cemetery is not needed.
The Lancashire Telegraph quoted one petition signer as saying that the cemetery “is not in keeping with the area and the roads are not suitable for the huge amount of traffic this would generate,” while another said “I would oppose this scheme for any religion.”