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Objection to a non muslim being buried alongside a muslim

(26 Posts)
POGS Wed 11-Feb-15 18:45:40

I wasn't going to raise a thread on this but it has reached the national media and to be fair I am a bit cross.

There has been an ongoing story in my local paper of a Romany gipsy, Shadrack Smith who died at the age of 89. He was a Romany gipsy and has lived in our area for years and he was duely going to be buried in Lychgate Lane cemetery in a family plot , purchased years ago, which faces in the direction of the gipsy site he came from.

It then transpired that the council had received a complaint from the family of the deceased buried adjacent to Shadracks plot , they are a Muslim family and object to having a non Muslim buried beside their plot!

The council are meeting today to make a decision as to whether or not TO DIG UP SHADRACK and move his burial site elsewhere. It has naturally dervasted the family and community.

The Parish Council state the area of the cemetery is unconsecrated ground but does not say it is for Muslim's only, why should that be the case anyway.

Elegran Wed 11-Feb-15 18:52:10

If it is unconsecrated to Christian burial and not specifically a Muslim burial site, then it is open to any non-Christian. If the family of the Muslim(s) buried there don't like it, it is up to them to move their deceased.

Gordon Bennet!

annsixty Wed 11-Feb-15 18:55:49

I also found this very strange but I would have to know more before I decided right or wrong.On the face of it it would seem once more that pc views are slanted in favour of certain minorities although gypsies are also a minority.

Elegran Wed 11-Feb-15 18:58:58

I've looked for the latest on this, and today the Ministry of Justice, the only organisation with the power to grant an exhumation licence, said there was “no way” he would be moved.

And a leading Muslim has made a statement.

" Dr Sheik Howjat Ramzy, Director of the Oxford Islamic Information Centre and an adviser to the Muslim Council of BritMain, said: "There is nothing in the Koran which says that you have to be buried separately, there are some traditions that in the time of the Prophet it was good to be separated.

Graves] are separated in some Muslim countries but Islamic jurisprudence is different from one country to another and in this country it is allowed."

Sanity has prevailed.

absent Wed 11-Feb-15 19:00:14

There are strict laws in the UK about digging up and removing a legally buried body. There have to be acceptable reasons – the police have grounds (sorry for the pun) to suspect murder, for example – sand even then, there are legal protocols. That the family of a dead Muslim doesn't like the dead incumbent next door is not an acceptable legal reason. This sounds like a very jumbled Chinese whisper kind of journalism.

Mishap Wed 11-Feb-15 19:01:30


rosequartz Wed 11-Feb-15 19:43:58

We are all equal in the eyes of God.

If the Muslim family object then they must take proceedings to move their relative somewhere else.

granjura Wed 11-Feb-15 20:21:23

This is sadly the sort of thing which is not helping at all. They cannot object if it is a public burial ground- unless part of the cemetary has been officially designated for Muslim burial. What a shame- Good on the Islamic Foundation to find 'against' them and to the council for sticking to their guns. And I am NOT anti-islam.

POGS Wed 11-Feb-15 20:55:07


This is not as case of jumbled Chinese whispered journalism!

This has been an ongoing situation that has only just been spoke of in the national press.


I was very pleased to read your post as I think those who have spoken have spoken wisely. Our Council on the other hand has totally made the issue worse by trying to please one family over the other and offended the family of the other.They have made themselves look pretty silly even giving this idea a remote thought.It has certainly caused many discussions over how this is being handled by local residents as you can imagine.

The local paper is on sale tomorrow so I will hope they have had time to get the response from the council in time for it's print run.

Penstemmon Wed 11-Feb-15 21:20:56

They are dead! They won't care!

It is a nonsense for any group of people to object to another group of people using a burial site! I understand in churchyards that it might be reserved for members of the church but in council cemeteries you need to 'love thy neighbour'!!

granjura Wed 11-Feb-15 21:29:38

Well, in parts of Catholic Switzerland (the Valais region in the Alps, for instance) the village cemetaries are only for practising CAtholics. A friend of mine actually became a CAtholic in her 60s- so that she could be buried there (later, both OK still !) - together, when the time comes. Really don't get it myself- but hey ho, her choice.

absent Wed 11-Feb-15 22:03:14

Sorry POGS. I thought it must be a misguided journalist because it is so difficult to believe that a local council would think that it had any right to move a legally buried body in the first place. Just goes to show how detached from reality councils can become.

Eloethan Wed 11-Feb-15 22:20:20

My feeling is that if this was a major issue for the family, they should have secured a plot in a Muslim cemetery.

In my view it would be totally unacceptable to even consider removing a body because of this objection - and, as absent says, I doubt it would be legal anyway.

Hopefully this matter has now been resolved after the statement made by the advisor to the Muslim Council of Britain.

thatbags Wed 11-Feb-15 22:26:48

In my view it should never have been an issue. The council should just have said no straight out. The request to move a body that offended their Muslim senstivities was completely ridiculous. I'm glad this has been made clear.

Elegran Wed 11-Feb-15 22:48:05

The council should have said at the beginning that this was a public burial ground, open to all. When the first lot wanted the second grave removed they should have said that it was not something that they could pronounce on because only the Ministry of Justice could order an exhumation and passed it on to the appropriate authority.

They have now alienated one minority in favour of another minority.

absent Thu 12-Feb-15 06:20:55

And it's just daft because both the protagonists are dead.

Iam64 Thu 12-Feb-15 09:08:05

This issue reminded me of the recent thread about "crap" on graves. Several posters commented there about the way in which the Romany/Irish gypsy travelling community decorate graves and visit their loved ones to share a drink, at times.

I wonder if this was the issue behind the request from the Muslim family to move their loved ones grave.

absent - the deceased are dead, it seems the key protagonists are alive and complaining grin

annsixty Thu 12-Feb-15 09:25:45

I thought exactly that Iam when I saw the photographs of the grave in the DT. At least the flowers were all fresh but the number and "designs" were unusual to put it mildly.

Anya Thu 12-Feb-15 10:00:52

Your last sentence Iam sums it up brilliantly!

Stansgran Thu 12-Feb-15 10:20:05

In Japan you can take a pic nic and a bottle of saki and go to your family grave for a rollicking party. It's not the done thing though to sit on someone else's family grave even if there's a bit of a squash.

Jane10 Thu 12-Feb-15 10:35:39

Sounds great stansgran Wonder how the family would take it if I included that in my will- must be buried in Japan. More seriously I absolutely don't want to be any hassle to my family or to take up space. I'd like to be cremated and ashes scattered in the sea to dissolve. Just hope the fishes don't object!

KatyK Thu 12-Feb-15 10:41:12

What next! angry

POGS Thu 12-Feb-15 19:07:32

A quick update, this has been resolved, as expected.

The outcome of the council meeting was 'unanimous' and the policies remain the same.

'" Burbage Parish Council has sought to resolve this matter in a fair and transparent manner and has had extensive dialogue with both families concerned. We have taken extensive legal advice on all matters associated with the issues raised.

Burbage cemetery has a non-denominational, multi faith facility and requests from all communities living in and around Burbage will be treated equally and fairly in line with our policies"

Pity they didn't just say that to the family in the first place! I wonder how much the council has spent on the 'extensive legal advice'

loopylou Thu 12-Feb-15 19:33:06

In another words 'Like it or lump it'!
Quick cremation and scatter my ashes in the sea is my request, as another GN said, I rather like the thought of travelling further than when alive - pleasant thoughts of ending up on an exotic beach somewhere.....

durhamjen Thu 12-Feb-15 21:44:36

POGS, all councils have their own lawyers, so we are paying for the legal advice anyway.
Or they did have before the government cut their grants.
It would be interesting to find out.
What they have done is defuse a potentially volatile situation, which is good.