First Muslim cemetery opens in Strasbourg, France

News Agencies – January 5, 2012

The first Muslim cemetery will be inaugurated in Strasbourg on February 6, 2012. The cemetery will have place for 1000 graves. It is the first to be established by a French municipality, and was made possible by the special local laws of the region, which do not recognize separation of Church and State. Elsewhere in the country, there are Muslim plots in other cemeteries.

Anne-Pernelle Richardot, deputy mayor of Strasbourg, says that Islam is not a recognized religion, but that they try to bring it up to the same level as the recognized religions, using the local laws. The municipality invested 800,000 Euros in the cemetery. There are eight Muslim plots elsewhere in Strasbourg cemeteries, but they’ve gotten to full capacity in recent years.

Saïd Alla, president of the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg, says that the Muslim community had settled permanently in France and want to bury their relatives at home, not a thousand kilometers away. “It’s the ultimate gesture of good integration, it shows that you belong to the country in which you live.”