Muslims: Cemetery’s Treatment of Grave ‘Unjust’

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) -

Officials at a Utica cemetery say they’re just following state laws when they remove rocks and other items adorning graves. But members of a Bosnian Muslim family calls the removals “disrespectful, unjust and discriminatory.”

The family members lined a recently deceased loved-one’s gravesite at New Forest Cemetery with bricks and covered it with small white stones. When the family later visited, they discovered the bricks and stones had been removed by the cemetery’s staff.

Officials say they’re simply abiding by state cemetery regulations that stipulate any plant life, fencing, embellishment or structure may be removed by staff if it’s found to be “worn, neglected, broken or deteriorated.”