Muslim cemetery opens in France

France’s first Muslim cemetery has opened in Strausbourg. Roland Ries, mayor of Strasbourg, will sign the contract for the cemetery with Mohamed Moussaoui, President of the French Council for the Muslim Faith and Driss Ayachour, President of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith.

In 1973, spaces for those who wished to be buried in the Muslim tradition were created within existing cemeteries in Strausbourg. But as more Muslims migrated to the area, needs outgrew the space.

In 2003 the town’s Conseil of Muslims proposed a plan to create an all-Muslim cemetery, but it was not until summer 2008 when Roland Ries put together a working group that real progress was made to make it happen.

Ries worked together with representatives of Muslim associations in the town: Deputy Mayor Delegate of the civil state Anne-Pernelle Richardot, and Deputy Delegate of Culture Olivier Bitz to create a plan. Eighteen months later, a contract was drawn up and was signed on Wednesday, October 7.

Rules and regulations governing the space are similar to those used for cemeteries of other religions. Care for graves/tombs will rest with the families.