East Renfrewshire council have unanimously approved funding of around £170,000 for a new Muslim section in Cathcart cemetery.
The Woodfarm education centre trustees and the muslim community in East Ren worked together to secure the WEC building and grounds from the council.
A £169,000 investment across the next 12 months has been made to clear and remediate a currently overgrown patch and establish it as an area of around 1,800 lairs suitable to carry out burials for the Muslim community.
Works commenced on April 19.
Council leader Jim Fletcher told The Extra: “WEC trustees, Mr Mohammed Rashid and professor Amir Hussain approached me late last year, on behalf of the board of trustees and the ER Muslim community.
“They made a proposal for a new section to be created and prepared within Cathcart cemetry for burial use by the Muslim community. I am pleased to say the council will invest £169,000 to address the major problem with this site in removing the tree roots and settling the ground.”
Professor Hussain described the move as an “historic achievement for the Muslim community”.
He added: “We have not been able to bury our loved ones closer to our homes in East Renfrewshire ever since the Muslim section in Cathcart Cemetery became full.”
WEC chair Mohammed Rashid added: “The Muslim community are very grateful to the council, and in particular Jim Fletcher, our local MSP Ken Macintosh and MP Jim Murphy for their continuing kind support.”
Jim Murphy MP and Ken Macintosh MSP have welcomed the announcement of 1,800 extra burial lairs.
“This is great news and finally allows our local Muslim community to bury their loved ones on suitable ground and, importantly, closer to their homes in the local area”, said East Renfrewshire’s man in Westminister.
“The investment was badly needed as previous facilities were too far away.”
Ken Macintosh is pleased at the council “listening to local opinion and acting on it.
“Jim and I have supported this project from its inception and it will come as welcome news to many local Muslim families.”