The Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals last night approved a cemetery on the Veals Road property of the Murfreesboro Islamic Center.
Mosque leadership appeared before the board in December seeking permission to bury their dead on the land. But on a three-to-two vote board members postponed making a decision. Some members expressed concerns about traffic congestion at the site and about possible environmental impacts.
The Daily News Journal reports that, after hearing a presentation by a Mosque attorney highlighting on soil depths and traffic studies, the board approved the cemetery by a narrow 3 to 2 vote.
Mosque spokesman Saleh Sbenaty says having the cemetery on the property will make it easier for members to practice their faith. “Muslims believe that visiting the dead, visiting the graves, will comfort their souls, and therefore this kind of like obligation to us to visit the graves and imagine if it is one-and-a-half hours away.”
Sbenaty says member burials have been taking place at a site north of Nashville, making interment unnecessarily difficult and expensive.
See also “Murfreesboro imam: ‘We have a cemetery'”, Daily News Journal, 9 January 2013