France: Muslim association aiming for Muslim-only cemetery

France: Muslim association aiming for Muslim-only cemetery

More and more Muslims want to be buried in France in a Muslim cemetery, which contradicts the law.  Still, one association is making the request.

The initiative is unique in France and risks offending the defenders of secularism.  An association of Muslims in Limoges has been actively seeking already for several months an area in the Haute-Vienne department which would accommodate a cemetery reserved only for Muslims.
The members of AMLF (assocation of Muslims in Limoges for brotherhood) are well aware that  French law prohibits religious cemeteries and allows only plots within municipal cemeteries.  But president Fethi Belabdelli expects to find a legal way to create it.  He says they hope their approach will one day succeed.

Meanwhile the association is approaching the municipalities in the department. They've found an area in Mézières-sur-Issoire.  The mayor of Mézières, Pascal Godrie, says that the area belonged to an individual and that the transaction could not be completed.

In Limoges there's a Muslim cemetery in the Louyat cemetery.  But the old people, like Mohamed Anfouh, refuse to be buried there.  The 62 year old man says that he's lived in Limoges, his children and grandchildren live in France.  He wants to be buried here, but only in an area reserved for Muslims.

The secretary of the AMLF, Mohammed Ouladmoussa explains that many of the older people don't want to be buried next to Jews, Christians and even less, atheists.  Earlier this month, the radical position of this association earned it scathing criticism from Ni Putes Ni Soumises and SOS Racism who accused it of sexism and antisemitism.

Fethi Belabdelli says that for them, secularism means to respect religion, not to reject it.  They don't want to provoke anybody.  They're only responding to a growing demand from the elderly, who've lived their life in France and who increasingly don't want to be buried back home, but rather in French territory, in Muslim cemeteries.

Source: Le Parisien (French), h/t Bivouac-ID

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