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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Muslims want distance put between them and "unbelievers" in cemetries

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A Muslim burial ground will not exist in Oberhaching, at least in the next few years. The main town council committee decided in its latest meeting.

Oberhaching - The town council focused on the harmonious shape of the cemetery in Oberhaching during the 1970s. This is true today and not just for the external form. Tolerance towards other denominations is a self-evident foundation. This also means that there should be no confessional trenches. Also no whole areas from which other believers are excluded. It was precisely this desire that an Islam-confessing family had now expressed to Mayor Stefan Schelle (CSU). The main and financial committees of the Town Council made a clear refusal to this request.

The cemetery of Oberhaching is circular and oriented towards the center as a circle. Each grave field has its own orientation. In one field, urn burial is possible, in the other an anonymous burial, in the third a burial under a tree, as Mayor Schelle clarified to the Münchner Merkur.  The wishes of the mourning relatives for the ritual of burial are, of course, met in Oberhaching. A Muslim funeral with its own rituals (provided that they are compatible with the applicable laws) is just as possible as with any other religion. The deceased, as the Mayor of Schelle knows, are so buried that they look to Mecca on their side. "This is not a problem either. In our graveyard, graves can be freely aligned. "

"Is there a metre specification in the Koran?"

All for the best. The Muslim family, however, claimed a whole burial ground. In this, everything should be aligned in the direction of Mecca. This contradicts the basic concept in Oberhaching with an open structure, as the committee argues. Moreover, according to Schelle, no unbelievers should be buried in the immediate vicinity of this burial ground. "Then it will be difficult."

The family had a Muslim funeral director at the appointment in the mayor's office, who demanded a certain distance from the remaining graves. The mayor had no understanding for this. Schelle asked, "Is the distance to the Jewish fellow-citizen wider than to the Christian or to someone who has left the church? Or is there a metre specification in the Koran? That about 2.80 meters deep must keep a corresponding distance of 2.80 meters? "

Own grave areas for Muslims in Munich and Ottobrunn

The family did not allow itself to be budged from their request and referred to similar arrangements of burial grounds in Munich. Muslims have their own areas at the Wood Cemetery as well as at the West and Southern Cemeteries. For two years there has been a Muslim graveyard in Ottobrunn. There are over 1,200 Muslim believers in the area. The local authority wanted to demonstrate with this gesture, the separate field, that the Muslims belong to it. However, the offer was hardly in demand. According to the local authority, only one grave has been occupied for the past two years.

The Mayor of Oberhachingen understands something different about "belonging" in the community. He considers the demand for their own grave field to be exaggerated: "If only Muslims are buried in a whole district, then we get a problem. Then I have the Buddhists on the cheek tomorrow. And, in the end, it is said, "There is the Catholic part behind, and the evangelical next door." Moreover, the Muslims are not necessarily one among themselves, for example the Shiites with the Sunnis, the Alevites and the Wahabites.

Schelle summarized: "It is not possible to make any claims to graveyards. It is part of the freedom of religion that the other religion is tolerated alongside itself. The Christian must also tolerate that there is a Muslim beside him. "

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