MASSACHUSETTS: Town could use its ‘right of first refusal’ to buy land that Muslims want for a Muslim cemetery

The Islamic Society of Greater Worcester’s plan to purchase a plot of farmland in Dudley for a proposed cemetery has drawn opposition in the town over the past several months, since a local landowner said he was going to sell 55 acres to them.

CBS  Dudley residents don’t want their water supply to be contaminated from rotting corpses as Muslims do not use caskets to bury their dead, just white shrouds.

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According to Dudley Town Administrator Greg Balyukonis, there could be a whole new twist in the story, as the town may buy the land instead.

“We have an article on our Town Meeting warrant this evening, and the purpose of the article is to give the town the opportunity to acquire the property under a section of state law called chapter 61A,” said Balyukonis.

That law gives the town of Dudley the right of first refusal for the sale of agricultural land. Balyukonis has previously said that the town’s opposition has nothing to do with religion. (But everyone knows it has everything to do with religion – Islam – though they can’t say so)

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In April, Islamic Society attorney Jason Talerman said of the opposition to the proposed cemetery, “Unfortunately…bigotry has reared it’s ugly head.”

“What’s been picked up has been, unfortunately, some of the anti-Islamic statements that have been made by individuals maybe not even necessarily with the town of Dudley–from a wider area,” said Balyukonis.

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