Recently the Muslim Council of India sent an important message to the world’s Muslims. It asked one of the country’s largest Muslim graveyards, Marine Lines Bada Qabrastan, where unclaimed bodies are often interred, to deny burial rites to the nine men who died after terrorizing Mumbai. Refusal to bury the terrorists in a Muslim cemetery signifies not just that terrorist attacks are un-Islamic, a contention often heard, but that their perpetrators become, by carrying out these acts, non-Muslim. “They cannot be Muslims or followers of Islam,” declared Muslim Council President Ibrahim Tai, “so they cannot have a final resting place anywhere on sacred Mother India.”
The question then arises, what should India do with the dead bodies?
Cremating the dead and scattering the ashes in international waters, as Israel did after executing Adolf Eichmann in 1962, is the best option. Because Islamic law opposes cremation for Muslims, who believe in the physical resurrection of the body, incineration alone would signify a non-Muslim way of disposing of the dead.
Continue reading Leor Halevi, professor of history, Vanderbilt University:
What an interesting story. I like Professor Halevi’s compromise suggestion.
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