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Graves In UK Cemetery Graves To Face Mecca

From the UK's Daily Mail:

The council cemetery where Christians are given Muslim graves

By JO KNOWSLEY

23rd September 2006

A new cemetery is to have all its graves aligned with Mecca – making it the first council graveyard in the country to bury the dead in Islamic tradition, regardless of their religion.

Headstones in the new £2.5million High Wood Cemetery in Nottingham will face north-east – as Muslims believe the dead look over their shoulder towards Mecca. This is the way in which all followers of Islam in the UK are buried…

The decision was made by Steve Dowling, Nottingham City Council's Services Director for Environment and Public Protection, after liaising with the city's multi-faith Cemeteries Consultative Committee.

He said: "For people of the Muslim faith this fits in with a religious requirement, but it will also ensure a tidy appearance for the site. People can choose to be buried facing another direction but if they do not specify that, they will be buried facing north-east. The vast majority of people do not express a preference." …

The clergy and critics of the policy at the new 40-acre cemetery are supported by Raza Ul Haq, Imam at the Madni Masjid Mosque. He said: "It is part of our religion for the dead to be aligned with Mecca. It is very important. But for Christians, if they want to face somewhere else we support them."

Last night a spokesman for the Institute of Cemeteries and Crematorium Management said it was the first time he had heard of any public cemetery in Britain choosing to have all its gravestones facing north-east, in line with Muslim tradition.

"It is unusual,' he said. "It would seem appropriate if there was a large population of Muslims."

In Nottingham, however, Muslims make up less than five per cent of the region's 500,000 population

Brian Grocock, a councillor who took part in the consultation process, said: "I don't know how this has become such a big issue.

"The consultations went on for three or four years. We had people of all faiths represented at the meetings – or they certainly had the chance to attend. Nobody I know had any objections to the plan."

So far at Highwood there have been just six burials – of which three were Muslim.

Every day the caliphate comes another step closer.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, September 24th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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