Judging from the recent City Council meetings, there are a lot of questions Farmersville residents have about the Islamic Associaton of Collin County’s recent purchase of Farmersville property to build a Muslim cemetery.
It’s a real challenge, it seems, to separate cultural, Constitutional, and economic issues from “resistance to change, or not treating everyone equally, or ‘not in my backyard’ “ claims.
Has the Rotary’s 2016 Easter Egg Hunt been cancelled because of Muslim sensitivity? Will future Farmersville residents have to pay for prayer rooms for the influx of Muslim children in our public schools?
Despite recent Islamic Center’s denials that there are no plans to purchase additional property, establishing a burial ground is usually a prelude to either a mosque or Islamic center.
Clearly all Muslims are not terrorists. No one is claiming peaceful Muslims do not deserve a place to bury their loved ones. But Islamic theology is not merely a religion but an entire way of life. We risk much by being naïve in not understanding that aspects of Islamic theology frequently clash with a democratic way of life.
Texas is one of the five states targeted to receive thousands of Muslim refugees under the U.N. agreement’s Resettlement Plan. The recent arrival of hundreds of Muslim immigrants created dramatic cultural and economic changes for small towns in Idaho, Kansas and Minnesota. Collin County residents wonder the same, especially since the recent proposal to establish the first Shariah law court in the U.S. in Irving, Texas was defeated by only a 5 to 4 vote!
Have any health or safety or city codes been overlooked by the City before getting to the “done deal” stage? Though religious cemeteries are exempt from laws that govern perpetual care cemeteries, are we comfortable that no future inspections will ever be required? Should any cemetery be constructed so close to Lake Lavon which is used for drinking water? Should we care if the Islamic Association’s mission statement might state as its goal to spread Islam?
Finally, in a small town, why does everyone hear about everything about almost everybody? Is it suspicious or ironic that only a handful of Farmersville decision-makers knew about this project a year and a half ago? Why was the project only off-handedly announced, only a few weeks ago?
Farmersville is a close-knit, caring, equal-opportunity community. Farmersville wants to grow: it’s a “Main Street” city, its Economic & Business Development Board is conscientious, and it’s proud of its Chaparral Trail. Farmersville wants to be a place that people want to come to, not leave. Future bonds raised to pay for equalizing social differences, and higher taxes residents may have to pay to accommodate special needs can and should be openly discussed, without fear of offending anyone on the basis of religion or any other differences.