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Feds sue Stafford County over law blocking Islamic cemetery

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Posted at 1:49 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 13:49:51-04

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Federal authorities are suing a northern Virginia county over zoning regulations that prohibit an Islamic organization from developing a religious cemetery on land it had purchased for that purpose.

The Justice Department said Friday that Stafford County violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by enacting overly restrictive regulations blocking the proposed cemetery.

The complaint alleges that an amendment to the county’s zoning ordinance in 2016 blocked the All Muslim Association of America from developing an Islamic cemetery on a 29-acre (12-hectare) parcel of land.

The ordinance was adopted after neighbors raised concerns about well contamination.