Lobbyists push for more rights under law

Spanish municipalities neglect Muslim dead, locals claim

GMT 12:46 2013 Thursday ,02 May

Arab Today, arab today Spanish municipalities neglect Muslim dead, locals claim

Islamic cemetery in Griñón, Spain
Casablanca - Said Bounowar

Islamic cemetery in Griñón, Spain Muslim Spanish citizens organised strikes and sit-ins to protest Spanish Municipal Councils’ continued refusal to allocate graves to deceased Muslims. Spanish municipalities claim that land is too scarce, and insist upon repatriating deceased Muslims at their relatives' expense. Families incur costs of up to 6,000 euros depending on their country of origin.
In response to Moroccan and Saudi pressure, Spain built a paltry two additional cemeteries for a Muslim population that exceeds two million.
The new cemeteries are located in the towns of Griñón, near Madrid, and Fuengirola, on the Costa del Sol.
Mustafa el Maghrabi, an Alicante resident, was forced to transport his father’s remains to Tetouan in Morocco.
He said: "Muslims are like Catholics. We would love to bury our dead people according to the Islamic ritual, but it is very complicated in Spain."
Riay Tatary, the President of the Union of Islamic Communities in Spain (CCIDE), explained that "administrative complications prevent the establishment and construction of tombs, and this has turned burial into an obsession that haunts the families of dead Muslims."
Tatary has been lobbying municipalities to comply with Law 26/1992, which secured Muslim communities’ “right to reserve plots for Islamic burials in municipal cemeteries, and the right to own their own Islamic cemeteries.”
Spanish Muslims strive to once again shed tears on the graves of Granada, where the bodies of so many Islamic scholars, thinkers, inventors and creators vital to the glory of Europe were interred.

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