Muslim Cemetery Construction In Idaho Makes Progress
ADA COUNTY -- The congregations of the Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Boise are trying to build a Muslim cemetery in Ada County near Kuna.
Their mosque and community center serve about 380 families from across the valley. Their Imam, Midhat Smajic, said there are about 400 more families who also use their services from time to time.
They hold eight to ten funerals a year, and are running out of places where they can bury their loved ones while observing Islamic religious law. For several years, they have been making due burying people in a part of Morris Hill Cemetery.
"When life ends, death comes so we need to do it and do it according to our culture and our faith," said Imam Midhat Smajic.
Smajic and his congregation have been working with Ada County to get plans approved for a cemetery out near Kuna.
"We didn't ask with this project for any exceptions or variances to be granted to us because this property is already zoned for conditional use as a cemetery," said Smajic.
ADA COUNTY (KTVB) - Their plans were already been approved by the county's Planning and Zoning Commission, but a citizen appealed that decision to the County Commission.
"Any time you're dealing with religious items, there's a lot of passion that goes with that too," said Dave Case, Chairman of the Ada County Commission. "That tends to bring out a lot of people who want to provide their testimony and want to be heard, and that's what the whole process is about."
The County Commissioners voted to deny the appeal with conditions, letting Smajic and his congregation move forward with their plans for the cemetery, with a few tweaks.
Smajic said they have been looking for land to build the cemetery on for several years. The land they plan to use out near Kuna was donated by a member of their congregation.