Netherlands: Cemetery turned

The municipality of Hengelo has re-arranged the new Muslim area of the cemetery, rotating the paths and hedges a quarter turn.

The new landscaping was done after a Muslim woman was buried there recently not according to Muslim tradition, despite the municipality's assurance to the family that the cemetery followed Muslim custom.

The municipality has not turned to Muslim organizations before setting out the plots. According to Ibrahim Wijbenga, president of the Muslim burial society, it's essential for the deceased's relatives to know what will happen with her grave and there is clearly no flexibility in the issue of burial direction.

The Muslim graves in Hengelo were laid out facing Mecca. However, according to Islamists, the graves should be turned a quarter of a turn so that the head of the deceased would be facing Mecca, with the deceased lying on their side.

The woman, though, will not be reinterred.

Sources: Tubantia 1, 2 (Dutch)

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