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Space for 40 more Muslim graves at Hortus Cemetery

Sat 01 Nov 2008
It has been widely known for several years that the burial space for Muslim in the Hortus Cemetery in Southall has been running out fast and a reasonable alternative solution was necessary.

Since then lengthy discussions have been taking place between the Councils cemetery/burial team and Mr Bashir Ahmed who is associated with the Central Jamia Mosque in old Southall. It is the only place in Southall to offer a full Muslim burial service.

As a direct result of this joint venture between the Central Jamia Mosque and Elaine Robinson of the London Borough Ealing, extra space was allocated for a further 40 to 50 graves at the cemetery which should suffice for the next 2 years.

The graves were marked on Tuesday 21 October 2008 at 11am in a low profile non-political gathering at the cemetery. The direction of the graves is important to Muslims as it should point towards the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia.

This was authenticated by Imam Bismillah in the presence of Mr Bashir Ahmed, a representative from the Abu Bakr mosque on Southall Broadway, Mr Afzaal Bhatti, Mr Tariq, Mr Dalawar Chaudhry and Elaine Robinson.

All those gathered praised the joint effort of Elaine Robinson and Central Jamia Mosque and endorsed the fact that this was due to the dialogue and not any political initiative.

The Muslim community are very appreciative of the efforts of Mr Bashir and the members of Ealing Council in achieving this temporary breathing space.

As the cemetery falls in the Norwood Green ward, Councillor Mohammad Aslam has been involved in these efforts.

Mr Bashir Ahmed is the spokesperson for the CJM and responsibility for the funeral services.

Around 10 years, when the Hortus Cemetery on Merrick Southall was originally opened up, it was due to the joint efforts of Mr Bashir Ahmed and Mr G. Sayed that 471 spaces were allocated for Muslim graves.

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