Muslim group wants to build cemetery on abandoned farmland, faces backlash from Massachusetts town

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DUDLEY, Mass. (AP) – Negotiations between a Massachusetts town and an Islamic group are at a standstill after officials rejected the group’s latest proposal for a Muslim cemetery on abandoned farmland.

A lawyer for the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester said Thursday the group will now pursue the plan in the courts.

The group ended talks this week with Dudley’s Board of Selectmen after it turned down the group’s proposal to use 55 acres of farmland for the cemetery. The town’s counter-offer wasn’t accepted.

The town’s attorney says the issue has always been about the size and impact of the cemetery, not whether it would be allowed.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in August launched an investigation into whether civil rights violations occurred. A lawsuit filed by the society is pending in Massachusetts Land Court.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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