UK: 'Positive Discrimination' in cemetery strike

A COUNCIL was accused last night of responding to the local government strike by barring burials at its cemetery for anyone who was not Muslim.

Funeral directors who attempted to arrange Christian interments at the council-run cemetery in Blackburn, Lancashire, were told that it would be closed throughout yesterday due to the industrial action.

Families were forced to re-arrange funeral plans and other mourners were told that they would not be allowed to visit the cemetery to read its book of remembrance.

Undertakers were subsequently outraged to discover that the closure would apply only to Christian burials. The local authority had ruled that an emergency service would be provided for Muslims, who — by religious tradition — must be buried as soon as possible after their death.

A council spokeswoman said that it did not discriminate. “We will bury anybody, irrespective of religion, if that's their request,” she said.

Unlike Blackburn, most local authorities yesterday adopted a policy of either entirely closing all their cemeteries — as in the case of Bradford and Darlington — or running them as normal, which happened in Sheffield and Birmingham

Source: Times Onlines (English)

No comments: