Muslims and Catholics in the Same Ground

“Muslims and Christians in the same ground” is the title of an initiative which will take place in the Marghera cemetery Thursday, April 4 at 4PM. The public meeting is dedicated understanding the funerary rites practiced in both Islam and Catholicism. The initiative is sponsored by the Immigration service of the City of Venice, in collaboration with the City of Marghera, and the Marghera Islamic Center and the Parish of the Resurrection.

Arab-American leader’s grave desecrated at suburban cemetery

The Palestine-born resident of Hickory Hills served in the Arab League, helped build the Bridgeview mosque, and worked as a government diplomat until his death at 73-years-old.

Abdallah was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in 1999, left to rest underneath a stone obelisk bearing his name beside about 500 other Muslim graves in the cemetery.

On Thursday, a Muslim man discovered someone had written “Raghaed Killer,” (sic) homosexual slurs, and gang signs on Abdallah’s tombstone, the sixth time the tombstone was hit since March 2011.

Algeria doesn’t want French gunman’s body

News Agencies – March 28, 2012

 

A young man who claimed responsibility for France’s worst terror attacks in years will be buried Thursday in a Muslim cemetery near the southern city where he was killed in gunfight with police, religious leaders said. Burying Mohamed Merah is a sensitive issue for both his native France and his father’s native Algeria.

His father wanted him buried in a family plot in Algeria. Merah’s body was brought to the airport in the city of Toulouse, and his mother had been expecting to accompany it to Algiers on a flight later in the day. But Abdallah Zekri of the French Muslim Council, or CFCM, told The Associated Press that Algerian authorities refused for “reasons of public order.” Zekri had been liaising with Algerian authorities in Toulouse. Instead, Merah will be buried at the Muslim cemetery in Cornebarrieu, near Toulouse, Zekri said.

Greater Toronto Area to open first cemetery catering to all Muslims this summer

News Agencies – March 7, 2012

The province of Ontario has granted a license to the Toronto Muslim Cemetery
Corporation, allowing it to operate the site in Richmond Hill. The corporation says the
cemetery is a joint project between Sunni and Shia Muslim communities and will open in
June. The group plans to open the 14-hectare cemetery officially in June. It’s expected to
serve the needs of the estimated 300,000-strong Muslim community for at least 25 years.
He says the cemetery will be the first in the area which manages services according to
Muslim custom, operates on weekends and will have all graves correctly aligned toward
Mecca.

The 14-hectare land for the cemetery was bought for $6.8-million from a Jewish
company – Beth Olam Cemetery Corporation – which provided the Muslim corporation
with an interest-free mortgage. A Muslim cemetery to meet the needs of residents in
Ottawa and Gatineau, Que, is expected to open in June as well.

France inaugurates first official Muslim cemetery

News Agencies – February 6, 2012

France inaugurated its first municipal Muslim cemetery in the city of Strasbourg, a move hailed by Islamic leaders as a step in recognizing one of the country’s largest minority groups. Local officials and Muslim leaders attended a ceremony in the northeastern French city to launch the cemetery, which has space for about 1,000 graves. Mohammed Moussaoui, the head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, hailed the cemetery’s opening as a “historic” moment for Muslims in France and said it was “an important symbol of belonging” for the community.

“If a religious community is to feel entirely at home in a city, it must be helped in building places for worship and for the burial of its believers,” said Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries. France’s 1905 law on the separation of church and state forbids the building of municipal cemeteries restricted to only one religion. But the Alsace-Moselle region, which includes Strasbourg, operates under different basic laws dating from its reversion from German to French control after World War I.

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.”

Shia-Sunni cemetery to open in the Greater Toronto Area in the fall

Toronto Star – January 31, 2011

A Shia-Sunni Muslim cemetery — the first of its kind in the GTA — is in the works in Richmond Hill, Ontario and could be operational by fall. The Shia and Sunni communities in the GTA bought the 14-hectare site at the southwest corner of Bethesda Sideroad and Leslie St., from Beth Olam Cemetery Corp., for $6.8 million, says Abdulhuq Ingar, who represents the Sunnis’ Islamic Society of Toronto.

The cemetery will cost about another $2 million in development and overhead costs, says Sabi Ahsan, a Shia Muslim who helped coordinate the deal, which he described as a “positive accomplishment” for the Shia and Sunni communities. The land had “become surplus” for the Beth Olam group, he says, which has other cemeteries. The Shia and Sunni Muslims will operate independently as part of the Toronto Muslim Cemetery Corp. and will share resources to minimize costs and maintain the property.

Most Muslims have been buried in sections of non-denominational cemeteries in the GTA, according to certain key requirements such as being buried within 24 hours of their death and having their body washed and buried in a shroud with their face turned toward Mecca. But because of traditional cemeteries’ operating hours, meeting some of those requirements has been problematic.

Canadian Diplomat’s Grave Moved in Turkey after Muslim Complaints

The National Post – December 14, 2010

The remains of a Canadian diplomat buried in Turkey were reportedly forcibly removed from a local cemetery after a prominent Muslim family said they weren’t comfortable praying next to a Christian grave. Hans-Joachim Himmelsbach, 65, a retired trade commissioner from Vancouver who was living in Turkey, died about three weeks ago after suffering a blood clot to his brain while he was recovering from a throat operation, his stepfather, Heinz Koletzko, said in an interview.
Mr. Himmelsbach was buried in a Christian ceremony at a local cemetery in Bodrum, a tourist resort community on Turkey’s south Aegean coast. Mr. Himmelsbach’s family obtained permission from the municipality for a priest to perform the ceremony, Mr. Koletzko said, as is required in Turkey for religious groups not officially recognized by the state.
But his wife, Ilknur Himmelsbach, a Turkish citizen, told the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review that Mr. Himmelsbach’s grave was recently moved against her wishes to a remote area of the cemetery at the request of a local Muslim businessman who felt Mr. Himmelsbach was buried too close to the family plot.

Most deceased Muslims are repatriated to their home countries

October 25th, 2010

Representatives of the Muslim community in Lorca ask the town council to lend a place in the public cemetery for the burial of Muslims. As there is no Muslim cemetery in the city, the deceased are transported to the close-by region of Valencia or repatriated to their home countries to be buried. This repatriation can cost the families up to 3.000 euros.