Newton County dodged another attempted debacle this week when the county planning commission discarded a request to adopt burial restrictions based on junk science and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
The request for new regulations by Commissioner John Douglas was a barely veiled attempt to discourage a proposed mosque and cemetery development that has upset scores of local residents and stoked fears of a wave of radical Islamic resettlement into the suburban Atlanta county. The theory is that the Islamic custom of burying a departed loved one without a casket is a threat to the county's water quality.
"Many of our citizens ... still use wells for their daily water usage," Douglas explained in a commission meeting earlier this month, as reported by the Newton Citizen. "We are blessed with abundant water supplies in our rivers, streams and lakes. None of that will count for anything if we do not aggressively protect what we have."