Anger over plan to dig up 350,000 bodies in historic London cemetery for Muslim burial site.
By BETH HALE – Last updated at 01:20am on 12th October 2007
Under threat: Historic Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park could be dug up to make way for a 21st century ‘multi faith’ burial site
It is a peaceful resting place for 350,000 souls – an historic graveyard which now serves as a nature reserve.
But plans are afoot to dig up the ancient graves at Tower Hamlets Cemetery – and reopen it as a 21st century burial site.
Officially it would be known as a “multi-faith” cemetery but it is likely that it would principally answer calls for a Muslim graveyard in the largely-Asian East London borough.
The local newspaper has been bombarded with letters from historians and nature lovers declaring: “There is no way we’ll allow them to dig up our ancestors.”
But the Labour-controlled council’s environment spokesman Abdal Ullah appeared to be in no doubt about the feasibility of the plan when he said: “To preserve the respect and dignity for everyone, I think most of the graves would have to be cleared out and we’d start afresh.”
He said a corner of the cemetery would be reserved for Muslims who are buried in shrouds at a depth of 6ft and on their side facing Mecca. Source.