Muslim Cemetery Plans in Kuna Move Forward Despite Controversy

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Members of the Islamic Community of Bosniaks are running out of places to bury their deceased loved ones while still observing Islamic religious law, according to KTVB. They've been using a part of Morris Hill Cemetery, but now they're working with Ada County for a new cemetery near Kuna.

The 36 acres were donated by a person within the congregation, with 10 to be set aside for a cemetery and possibly a new mosque. The land will consist of 6,000 graves, with a 2,400-square-foot operations building, according to a report given to the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Once approved, though, the commission came under fire by a citizen who tried to appeal the county commission's decision. According to a report from the Idaho Press-Tribune, controversy arose over Muslim burial practices, where bodies are not buried in coffins, but rather in white cotton or linen cloth, and buried only three feet from the surface. 

A resident from Kuna submitted a letter presenting concerns over animals digging up a corpse and spreading disease, costing community money and hurting Kuna's aesthetic value.

"Any time you're dealing with religious items, there's a lot of passion that goes with that too," Dave Case, chairman of the Ada County Commission, told KTVB.

The commissioners voted to deny the appeal, allowing the congregation move forward with its plans for the cemetery, but with a few minor changes. The mosque serves 380 families from all over the Treasure Valley.