The "good people" of a the tiny upstate NY town of Sidney, Delaware County, are lobbying to dig up the bodies of two local Muslims buried in a Sufi cemetery that the town approved in 2005, much to the horror of the departeds' loved ones. Town supervisor Bob McCarthy cites a nonexistent law requiring permits for cemeteries on private land (although the town has, in fact, given this cemetery a permit). McCarthy also claims that the cemetery's owners "just came in and buried the bodies" -- despite the fact that the first burial involved a police motorcade.
An email forwarded to a Huffington Post reporter purportedly from McCarthy to another party cites phone conversations with someone with Tea Party affiliation who "...wanted to know how he could help with 'the Muslims.'"
And there's certainly nothing illegal about it as far as the State Troopers are concerned. "We looked into the cemetery and it was determined what they were doing is lawful," says Captain James Barnes of the New York State Police, Troop "C," based in Sidney.
This apparently isn't stopping the town board. Town attorney Joseph Ermeti wouldn't speak with us, but two other town officers indicated that in the absence of specific laws forbidding the cemetery, the town may try for a court order to force the Muslims to dig up the graves, based on a New York law against cemeteries on mortgaged land -- a technicality that covers the Muslim site, sitting in a hillside glade no larger than a Manhattan studio apartment.
Tiny Upstate New York Town Wants Local Muslims to Dig Up Their Cemetery