Muslims cemetery plans rejected

28th Nov 2014

Aishah Ali

Plans for a 4,000 plot Muslim cemetery in Catherine-de-Barnes, in Solihull, was rejected by Solihull Council on November 5. But a separate application for a 7,000 plot Muslim cemetery adjacent to this site still has to be determined.

Justin Smith, representing the applicants, Cemetery Development Services, told Solihull Council’s planning committee there was a significant demand from the Muslim community within five to ten miles of Solihull.

The plan received 2,125 letters of support, plus a near-400 name petition.
There were 380 objections.

Solihull Ratepayers Secretary Trevor Eames said there was already adequate burial provision for local Muslims. Councillors unanimously rejected planning permission for the 4,000 plot cemetery.

The proposed plans for 11-acre site in Catherine-de-Barnes village, near Solihull, Birmingham, were resubmitted after withdrawing in March 2014. The developers, Cemetery Development Services, have proposed plans for two neighbouring cemeteries.

The 4,000 burial spaces would accommodate Muslim only plots, in compliance with Islamic tradition, and a further request for an extra 7,000 spaces, would become an adjacent multi-faith cemetery if approved. The site would also include around 90 car parking spaces.

The Muslim community of Birmingham have said they are in desperate need for more burial spaces. Funeral Director, ZUQ Funeral Services, Mohammed Khalil, explained the urgent need for the plot. “The local Muslim population is growing rapidly, but the cemetery Muslims use is mostly Handsworth which is nearly full,” he said.

“Birmingham Council are making some provision but we still need more in the vicinity of the population. Don’t forget, the people who came here in the 1950s and 1960s are now old and dying fast.

“Before, they used to send people back home to their families in Pakistan and Bangladesh. But apparently now all their families are here and they have no-one back home. They are saying ‘this is our country now. We are living here and dying here so we should be buried here,” he added.

But leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Bob Sleigh (Con. Bickenhill), said the needs of local people could be met at the borough’s current plots. “There is no need for this extra site in Solihull. We have identified our population need and made provision for that,” he said.

“This is an extremely large proposal. Obviously people are concerned about the scale of the development and its threat to greenbelt land around Catherine-de-Barnes,” he added.

Both applications will be seen by the planning committee next month.

2 Responses to “Muslims cemetery plans rejected”

Iftikhar AhmadNovember 28, 2014

Muslim community needs cemetery for burials of their loved ones in all parts of the country . Not only cemeteries, Muslim community needs Mosques, state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers and halal meat.

Stop this hate against Muslims. It is not them who are terrorists , but all those who imply they are with the help of media you try bringing others to your side giving false details – twin towers wasn’t Muslim either – that was the Americans – you will not win as Islam Will forever grow and prove it is peaceful through the will of God (Allah SWT)… amen. This is undermining confidence in the Muslim community and increasing Islamophobia. This is another example of the media whipping up hysteria against the UK Muslim community. The way our Govt treating British Muslims is as if all Muslims are terrorists unless they prove otherwise. Govt should focus on its job. Governors of this school worked hard to help a failing school achieve outstanding rating from Ofsted. Please fix Ofsted and stop demonising Muslims. Nick Clegg on LBC radio indicated that the DFE is full of right wing ideologues and extremist loons. Islamic schools protect Muslim children from the onslaught of Euro centrism, homosexuality, racism, and secular traditions. All education systems appear to be indoctrination systems. I went to a good private school. Guess how we were ‘encouraged’ to think about politics! Having a Muslim name in UK is a crime. All UK job application forms have sections ask your race and religions. Most UK employers simply reject your applications just by looking at this section.

Native Brits must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. The needs and demands of the Muslim community are different from those of natives. Muslims are in Britain not to give up their cultural heritage. They must integrate in their new home country, learn new languages and apply for political representation — without forgetting their cultural heritage. It is important to learn Standard English, but their languages should not be neglected. They need Masajid and grave yards. Muslim children not only need halal meat or Eid Holidays but they need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their development period also. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. The whole world belongs to Muslims. He/she must learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time, he/she must learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural heritage and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. For a Muslim English is an economic language and Arabic is a religious while Urdu and other community languages are their social and emotional languages.


NabeelNovember 29, 2014

Dear iftikhar, Wow a response almost as long as the original article. But just to comment on a few points. We don’t need more mosques we just need to better utilise the ones we already have and remove the Mafia style “committees” that run these mosques. Too many mosques are not sustainable without donations and we need to change this model and have mosques that are more self sufficient.

As far as more Islamic state schools. Again why ? Surely it would be better to improve the teaching quality of all state schools and make the curriculum more balanced towards the communities within which those schools are based. Options could be provided to include Islamic studies instead of just RE to accommodate those children that wanted it. But an appreciation of other faiths is by no means a bad thing to have.

I could go on picking up what quite frankly are some extremely pathetic points in your response to the article especially around the Muslim teachers for Muslim schools. But let me finish with this.

Our faith clearly states that if you feel that you cannot practice your faith the way you want to in a certain place or country go find somewhere where you can. Personally I find your views extremely narrow minded and not representative of Muslims in general so you for one sir do not speak for me.


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