Liège searches for burial places for Muslims

25.1.2013

Two cemetries in Liège contain burial grounds reserved for its Muslim residents. One of them has since years surpassed its level of accomodation of Muslim dead and the other is about to reach its saturation level within a year or two.

In order to find space, the authorities have analysed the soil of the cemetry for possible future burial grounds to ensure there are no human remains to be found within them. For several dozen burial places this has been the case and the civil authorities will be able to reopen them after notifying the families.

The 1400 Muslim burial places in the Robermont cemetry have been used up a long time ago. Hassan Bousetta, a Socialist  local councelor says that “the city has been on the forefront of this matter since the 1950s. Muslims from all corners of Belgium have been burried in Liege. It is thus possible to recover the space as in Muslim countries burial grounds don’t remain eternally unopened. The reusage of the soil is practiced there as well.”

In order to avoid the burial places reserved for Muslims in the cemetries of the city to fill up as quickly as before he advises the neighbouring municipalities to also recover its burial grounds.  According to the author of the article, this could also help to diminish the number of repatriation of Muslim dead to their places of ancestral origin as Belgium is their country of origin as well.