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DOJ probing decisions regarding proposed Islamic cemetery

FREDERICKSBURG (AP) The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating claims that leaders of a Virginia county effectively blocked a proposed Islamic cemetery.

The Free Lance-Star reported April 25 that a Justice Department official, Shina Majeed, wrote that the inquiry will scrutinize how the Stafford County’s zoning law treats religious land uses, particularly the proposed cemetery of the nonprofit All Muslim Association of America.

The newspaper reports the Stafford Board of Supervisors approved changes to the county’s cemetery ordinance that effectively disqualified plans for the Muslim burial ground in 2016. The Muslim nonprofit bought the property in 2015.

The department also referred to a local planning commission member, Crystal Vanuch, in a request for documents. Vanuch’s home is across the street from the proposed cemetery. Vanuch says she and the county did nothing wrong.

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