Possibility of Islamic Cemetery in Danville Causes Controversy - WSET.com - ABC13

Possibility of Islamic Cemetery in Danville Causes Controversy


Danville, VA - The possible creation of an Islamic cemetery in Danville is creating a lot of controversy.

The Danville Masjid and Islamic Center wants to form a cemetery at the end of Kingoff Drive, next to the Danville Expressway. But some folks are not happy.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to allow the cemetery's plans to move forward, but that doesn't mean it is in the clear yet.

A local Muslim man, Kalil Khan, spoke in favor of the cemetery. He explained that the closest Islamic Cemetery is over an hour away in North Carolina. But in their religion, they bury the deceased within 24 hours. Being so far away, it really makes it difficult.

Khan says they would follow all laws and procedures, including using a casket and burying 6 feet underground. In fact, they wouldn't even use a headstone or markings.

Still, several neighbors we spoke with said they are very against the cemetery. They didn't want to go on camera but told us they were concerned about the burial procedures, the disruption of having funerals in their neighborhood, and the noise.

However, the only family who lives on Kingoff Drive is Muslim. They say they would love to have an Islamic Cemetery so close.

"We want to leave something, something some type of institutions in Danville for the future generations. Just like other people. We're not here to disturb anything or bring the housing values down, it's something that we would like to do," said Abdul Rauf Ansari, For Islamic Cemetery.

The next step is for the issue to go in front of City Council next month. Then, if approved, they would have to purchase that land.


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