In 2014, the Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Boise (ICBB) submitted a proposal to use 10 acres of land for a cemetery outside of Kuta, ID. At the time, the ICBB served approximately 380-400 families from across the valley. The project was spearheaded by Imam Midhat Smajic, who pointed to the need of his growing community to bury loved ones according to Muslim burial practices. For several years, the community had buried their deceased in a separate section of the Morris Hill Cemetery, a government-funded cemetery complex in Boise. The ICBB proposal ICBB stated that their Islamic burial practices would not violate any of Idaho’s regulations governing cemeteries (Muslim cemetery proposed, 2014, Sep 1).
Smajic and other members of the ICBB worked with the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission to approve their cemetery plans. The proposed cemetery site was zoned for conditional use as a cemetery and did not require any special exceptions or variances. Thus, the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved it. Following approval, a resident appealed the decision to the County Commission via a letter citing concerns about sanitation and aesthetics. A public hearing was scheduled to discuss the appeal. Any time you're dealing with religious items, there's a lot of passion that goes with that too," said Dave Case, Chairman of the Ada County Commission. "That tends to bring out a lot of people who want to provide their testimony and want to be heard, and that's what the whole process is about" (Zepelin, 2014, Sep 10). During their public meeting on September 10, the Ada County Commissioners voted to deny the appeal but imposed minor conditions on the cemetery project.
- Muslim cemetery proposed for Kuna creates stir. (2014, September 1). Idaho Press-Tribune (Nampa, ID), p. 4. Available from NewsBank: Access World News – Historical and Current: https://infoweb-newsbank-com.proxy.library.emory.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/1501109D0E8C9C00.
- Zepelin, S. (2014, September 10). Plans move forward for Muslim cemetery near Kuna. NBC - 7 KTVB (Boise, ID). Available from NewsBank: Access World News – Historical and Current: https://infoweb-newsbank-com.proxy.library.emory.edu/apps/news/document-view?p=WORLDNEWS&docref=news/15045A8A06098840.