Heckmondwike Muslim burial plots planned

Councillor David Sheard

Councillor David Sheard

First published in Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

A cemetery could get its first Islamic burial ground if a plan gets the go-ahead tomorrow.

Currently, Muslim families in Heckmondwike have to travel to Dewsbury or Batley to bury their loved ones.

But for more than a year, worshippers at the Al-Haramain mosque in Jeremy Lane have been calling for a Muslim area to be incorporated into Heckmondwike Cemetery.

Mosque secretary Liaqat Mirza said there was a desperate need for the new facility.

He said members of the mosque had so far been using the burial ground at Dewsbury.

He added: “I think they’ve only got a few burials left, then it’s going to be full up. At the moment it is very desperate, we are looking for a place.”

Mr Mirza said these days fewer local Muslims were being taken to Pakistan for burial.

He said: “Most of them don’t go back to Pakistan. Most of them have their loved ones here – their mum and dad, husband or wife and children.”

Kirklees Council has suggested creating the new area as part of a wider expansion plan.

Its £40,000 project would see new infrastructure built to accommodate up to 450 new plots in an unused section of the cemetery, which would include the new council-run Muslim burial ground.

The plan is set to be approved by Kirklees Council’s cabinet at Huddersfield Town Hall tomorrow.

It is Islamic tradition for burials to take place as soon as possible after death, with the deceased buried facing Mecca.

Councillor David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike), who championed the idea, said it seemed only right that local Muslims should get their own burial ground, as the cemetery already had consecrated and unconsecrated areas.

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