The Garden of Peace cemetery opened when the Islamic community in Flint, Mich., needed a place to bury their dead in accordance with their religion. After operating for only a couple of years, the cemetery has already welcomed a diverse group of American Muslims.
Tucked in the left corner of an open field, on a breezy, buggy, warm summer morning in Flint, lie parallel rows of identical headstones. There are roughly 30 of them, all facing the same direction.
"When we put the body in the grave, we put them in a way that they are facing the same direction, facing northeast — which is the Kaaba, from here," says Abed Khirfan, managing director of the Flint Islamic Center. The Kaaba is the cube-shaped structure at the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.