Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strasbourg Open Place General Cemetery for Muslims in France

Strasbourg Open Place General Cemetery for Muslims in France French-Muslim Hope to have a public cemetery finally materialized, with the opening of a Muslim cemetery in the city of Strasbourg area of ​​1.5 hectares, reports the Deutsche Welle (13/02/2012).
"Excellent, this is a historic moment," said Habiba Al-Aabqary of Muslim Regional Council Alsace (Alsace CRCM) at the opening ceremony attended by Muslim leaders and local officials.
"This is the dream of the Muslims over the years. We are really proud and very happy," said the veiled woman.
With an area of ​​about two football fields, the cemetery land with a capacity of about 1,000 graves were covered with grass and decorated trees. High wall fence around it with an impressive iron gate. Cemetery overlooking Mecca was equipped with a prayer and ablution.
Like the other cities in France, Strasbourg has a number of special blocks of Muslims in the public cemetery, but this particular sector is full.
French law that calls for separation between church and state means, the majority of the general cemetery which is funded by the tax could not be affiliated with any religion. Public cemeteries shall be open to anyone who wanted to be buried there. But this law does not apply in the eastern Alsace region in which Strasbourg is located, because the province is not part of France in 1905, when legislation was enacted.
Alsace is one of the most conservative region in France, where the extreme right National Front party to continue to receive up to 30 percent of the vote in the election. In 2010, the province witnessed a series of actions against the Muslim and Jewish attacks. Muslim tombs in this area often with slogans and neo-Nazi graffiti. However, the new council of Strasbourg which since 2010 is dominated leftist groups trying to accommodate the needs of Muslims. In 2010 the municipal council unanimously agreed to fund the Muslim cemetery of 800,000 Euros, or about 9.5 billion rupiah. A year later, the council approved the design and construction of two new mosques.
"If a religious community felt totally at home in a town, they should be assisted in building a place to worship and to bury his people," said the Mayor of Strasbourg Roland Ries.
Other Muslim cemetery, in Bobigny on the outskirts of Marseille and Paris, is more of a personal initiative and not the local government.
Needs of the Muslim cemetery in France increased, according to the chairman of the Regional Council of Alsace Muslim, Erkin Açikel, because the next generation of Muslim immigrants in France is more like to be buried in France, while their parents prefer to be buried in his home country.
"I plan to get married and raise my children here. That way, I hope my children can visit the grave of me," said financial consultant Chargui. "I do not want them to feel compelled to return to Morocco, for religious visit to me."
Based on the research, the Muslim Council of Rhone-Alpes Regional estimates need to increase the number of blocks of the French Muslim graves as much as 300% to meet the demand for burial. *


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