Six-year fruitless search for a Muslim burial ground in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The Finnish Islamic Council has been searching without success since 2008 for a burial ground in the southern Finnish region of Uusimaa, according to YLE in English. Up to know, Muslims are buried in the “Muslim section” of Lutheran Church cemeteries.

Pia Jardi, deputy chair of the Finnish Islamic Council, told Migrant Tales that a questionnaire was sent to 16 municipalities about the matter but only four responded: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Tuusula.

She said that she was surprised by the large number of municipalities that didn’t respond.

“Are they worried about voters [if there is a Muslim cemetery in their municipality]?” she said. “Muslims do the same thing in graves as any other people.”

Näyttökuva 2014-8-11 kello 16.08.26
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Jardi said that cooperation with the Lutheran Church has been good.

“We’ve been sometimes asked why don’t we bury our dead in the Tatar Cemetery of Hietaniemi [in Helsinki],” she continued.  “This isn’t possible since you have to be a member of the Tatar community to be buried there.”

The six-year search is a good example of how some sectors of Finland persist in the belief that very little will change as our society becomes more culturally diverse.  Our laws and values speak of integration, or two-way adaption, but what happens in too many cases is assimilation or expectations of the latter.

“You would certainly think that we would find an area in Uusimaa that could be rezoned for cemetery use,” Jardi was quoted as saying on Yle in English. “Perhaps is has to do with a lack of political will. If you even scan web forums they are extremely anti-Muslim…”

There are some 60,000 Muslims estimated living in Finland.

  1. Yossie

    If the reporter wasn’t being lazy, He might have actually asked around from municipalities why nothing has happen. Now we just hear muslims show their prejudice: It must be because we are muslims! Bohoo!

    There was a similar piece of news couple of years back. Back then one of the problem was that none of the religious communities was ready to pay for the land. Also muslims were not the only community to apply for a cemetery.

    But hey, lets just make news about how its always muslims that are “oppressed”. Always, not matter what muslims portray themselves as victims:

    -When a muslim does something bad, then the cry starts how it is raising islamophobia. The whole case gets spinned around and in the end muslims become victims and whites are the bad guys.

    -Muslims want something for free and when they don’t get it. Everyone are being anti-muslim.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      I disagree, Yossie. When on Muslim does something to attract the attention of the media, the whole community is labelled. Are you a Muslim? I thought not.