NEWTON COUNTY, GA. - It’s a hot-button issue that has blown up social media and become the talk of Newton County.
What has some outraged and others embarrassed by comments? A proposal centering around an Islamic cemetery and possible mosque. It would sit on 135 acres of land on Highway 162 and County Road Line.
Johnnie and Grace Weaver said they're worried about the traffic that may come if the proposed cemetery and mosque came to Newton County.
“The traffic would be sort of dangerous,” Newton County resident Johnnie Weaver said. “We need to do some work on the roads.”
Grace Weaver agreed.
“I know we all God's people and we have all types of different religions. (But) The traffic would be terrible I know, “ she said.

Imam Mohammad Islam of the Al Maad Al Islami Mosque in Doraville is behind the proposal.
“Our religion says you should respect the deceased,” he said.
The Imam said that’s the reason for his proposal. He said there are currently a handful of places near the Doraville Mosque which bury the Islamic deceased the proper way. By adding a cemetery on the property in Newton County, Islam said the process would be consolidated by cutting down high costs, time and hassle to grieving families.
“Our main objective is we want to have a place where we can properly bury our people,” the Imam said.
The plan has been met with strong opposition.
On social media, opponents said they are shocked and don't want the cemetery or the mosque.

Imam Isam said he is not surprised by the backlash.
“Our enemies is not what we think our enemies is our ignorance, “ he said.
Even again, he said once the locals get to know the mosque, he’s positive they will think differently.  There’s no word on when Phase 1 – the cemetery or Phase 2, a possible mosque, would begin.
Newton County Manager Lloyd Kerr released a statement in part it says,
“Currently, places of worship are permitted in every zoning category provided the site meets the minimum requirements of the Newton County Zoning Ordinance, and the applicant obtains an Administrative Use Permit. Although this type of approval does not require public notice or public hearings, Newton County Development Services followed correct procedures and protocol and has not attempted to withhold information from the public. Similar project inquiries are routine and applicants typically do not move forward to submit plans or obtain development permits.”


19 Minute CBS Interview with Imam of Al Maad Al Islami Mosque

CBS46’s Julian Johnson sat down with Imam Mohammad Islam of Al Maad Al Islami Incorporated. Islam, along with his proposed mosque and cemetery, are at the center of a debate raging on in Newton county. 

In this full, unedited interview, Islam explains what his plans are for the 135-acre property off GA Highway 162 and County Line Rd. He also explains why the push back the mosque is now receiving was not a surprise.

Posted: Aug 17, 2016 4:03 PM EDT

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