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.
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.
Roberto Maroni, the Italian interior minister, has ordered the immediate repatriation for security reasons of two Moroccan students at the University of Perugia. According to the investigations, the two foreigners were declared highly dangerous since they were ready to commit acts of terrorism in the country. Although the students were not in contact with the international terrorist net but were “self-trained” via the Internet, they were nonetheless deemed a serious threat for our country and therefore expelled.
The Islamic community in the city of Santiago de Compostela is composed of approximately 2,000 people, but currently the city doesn’t have a place for Islamic burial rituals. The cost of a funeral in Spain is about 2,500 Euros, a cheaper price compared with the cost of the repatriation of a body (estimated between 6,000 and 8,000 Euros). The Muslim community of Santiago, taking advantage of the planned enlargement of the municipal cemetery, is claiming the building of a space reserved for Islamic burials in the municipal cemetery. At the moment, the council of the city hasn’t declared their position on this question.
Dutch author Leon de Winter talks with SPIEGEL about his new novel, which is set in 2024, the threats mounting against Israel and the assimilation of Muslims in Europe.
SPIEGEL: Mr. de Winter, your new book — “The Right of Return” — is a novel, but it actually describes a political vision. In the book, it is the year 2024, and Israel has shrunk to just a few square kilometers around Tel Aviv, which is surrounded by enemies. Are you simply playing with some ideas here or is this a serious prediction?
Leon de Winter: Both. Israel is menaced by two threats. On the one hand, by the hatred of its enemies, which today is primarily stirred up by Iran, and on the other hand, by the erosion spreading throughout Israeli society. There are three groups that have little in common: the Orthodox Jews, the Israeli Arabs and the secular Jews, who currently make up the majority of the population. But this majority is dwindling. The conflict between these three lifestyles is every bit as much of a threat — if not even more dangerous — to the existence of Israel as its outside menaces […]
Hundreds of Egyptian minors are being held in detention in Italy, according to the Egyptian government. There are 520 Egyptian minors among the illegal immigrants in temporary Italian reception centres and facing very difficult conditions” the government reportedly told Arab newspaper, al-Sharq al-Awsat. Italian law blocks the forced repatriation of illegal minors, as long as they want to stay in the country, in contrast to adults. A delegation of officials from Egypt is interviewing the minors one by one checking their identity, informing their families, and hoping to convince them to return home. However, according to the newspaper, since authorities have held the minorities for such a long time, they should be eligible for foster care and eventual adoption by Italian families.
Paris: Minister of the Interior, Mich_le Alliot-Marie encouraged mayors to develop confessional burial spaces in their municipal cemeteries. Currently, the majority of Maghrebi immigrants continue to be buried in their countries of origin. While Algerians often assisted one another for the onerous financing of burying their loved ones in Algeria, the Tunisian government financed the return of ashes while Moroccans often have some insurance to cover such costs through their banks. According to a recent study conducted by FASILD (Fonds d’action et de soutien pour l’int_gration et la lutte contre les discriminations), 85% of Maghrebians continue to be buried in their countries of origin. Times are changing, however, as second and third generation migrants seek to have their parents exhumed and brought to France says Mohamed Bechari, a director at the Conseil fran_ais du culte musulman (CFCM). Bechari sees this change as a sign of integration. While city officials must attempt to find solutions for Muslims who seek to be buried in pairs faced toward Mecca, they are not obliged to find to accommodate them.