Lawsuit against Stafford Co. dropped after Muslim cemetery in Virginia approved

The Justice Department is dropping a religious discrimination lawsuit against Stafford County after a Muslim group received long-sought permission to build a cemetery.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced Thursday that it was moving to drop the civil suit.

The dispute began in 2016 when the county passed an ordinance that made it impossible for the All Muslim Association of America to build a cemetery on a 29-acre plot it had purchased.

The Justice Department sued last year under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The county revised its ordinance, but federal lawyers deemed the changes insufficient.

The county changed the ordinance again, and in July the county approved the group’s plan to develop the cemetery.

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