NY Town Tells Muslim Community to Close Cemetery, Remove 2 Corpses: Leaders Say it’s Bigotry

SIDNEY CENTER, N.Y. (AP) — Officials in a rural upstate New York town are trying to force a group of Muslims to dig up two bodies in their cemetery, saying the burials were illegal.

But the Sufi group, which has documents that appear to support the cemetery’s legality, says the town board’s actions were motivated by a wave of anti-Islamic sentiment fueled by the uproar over a planned mosque near ground zero.

Hans Hass of the Osmanli Naksibendi Hakkani community, 130 miles northwest of New York City, said Tuesday that the Sufi community learned only recently about the Sidney Town Board’s vote in August to pursue legal action to shut down the community’s cemetery.