Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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athens: Muslim refugees in Athens search for very own cemetery – Instances of India


SCHISTO (Greece): Standing by the tiny grave of his 5-year-aged son in the Orthodox Christian cemetery of Schisto on the outskirts of Athens, Esfandiyar Fagkiri claims he feels a “dual pain”.
Not only has he shed a person of his five small children, but the Afghan family simply cannot mourn him according to Muslim spiritual ritual due to the fact the cemetery is Christian.
Hasibollah Fagkiri was strike and fatally injured by a truck in January 2021 even though actively playing with other little ones in close proximity to the entrance to the Malakassa migrant camp, north of Athens, the place he experienced been residing with his family members considering that September 2020.
NGOs and area authorities blamed the accident on the camp’s very poor protection circumstances and stated it really should be shut down.
Right after burying their son, the Fagkiris were shocked to be explained to that his entire body have to be exhumed right after three several years — in 2024.
This is typical process in Greek cemeteries thanks to a serious lack of house — in particular in the greater Athens spot exactly where much more than a third of the country’s populace of about 10 million reside.
But for Hasibollah’s grieving household, it is unthinkable.
Islam does not make it possible for exhumation or cremation and in the Muslim religion, the physique stays buried without end, Fagkiri pointed out.
But for people today with out a paid spouse and children grave, “exhumation after 3 years is obligatory”, insisted Dimosthenis Stamatatos, head of an association of municipalities close to the cemetery of Schisto.
Developing figures
The continues to be of the useless are typically retained in a specific annex of the cemetery church.
Greece is a predominantly Orthodox Christian state, and Muslim cemeteries can only be discovered in Thrace, a location in the northeast of the state in the vicinity of the Greek-Turkish border, 750 kilometres (466 miles) from Athens.
The space is property to a hundreds of years-previous Muslim minority, a legacy of the Ottoman Empire’s presence in the location.
In Athens, the number of Muslims utilised to be negligible, but this has transformed in the wake of the 2015 refugee disaster.
There are now about 50 percent-a-million Muslims in the Greek money just after successive migration waves and the arrival of thousands of households from the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent fleeing war and poverty.
Thrace is far too significantly absent for most people to bury their useless there, and the cost of transferring the bodies is prohibitive.
“Provided the superior price tag of transferring the dead to Thrace, the number of burials of Muslims in Orthodox cemeteries in Athens has increased in latest a long time,” Rezai Mohtar, president of the Afghan local community, informed a push convention final week.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created items even more durable for grieving people, he explained.
In accordance to Javed Aslam, a main member of the Pakistani community in Greece, Muslim migrant communities have extended been calling for a cemetery in Athens.
Municipal formal Stamatatos pointed out that in 2016 the Orthodox Church of Greece donated 20,000 square metres (five acres) of land at Schisto cemetery for a segment reserved for Muslims.
But a authorized dispute with the contractor has delayed the completion of the undertaking.
A senior official at the Greek ministry of instruction, which also oversees spiritual matters, said the undertaking has been presented the go-forward and “will be carried out supplied the big selection of Muslims in Athens.”
But rights groups and the principal opposition leftist get together Syriza are not so optimistic, pointing to the existing conservative government’s robust anti-migration rhetoric amid recurring allegations of unlawful migrant pushbacks at the country’s borders.
“When it comes to regard for the legal rights of migrants and refugees, the context in Greece is damaging,” reported Syriza MP Giorgos Psychogios.
The initially formal mosque in Athens opened in November 2020, getting additional than a ten years to entire soon after functioning into sturdy opposition from the Orthodox Church, as effectively as from nationalist teams.





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