Muslim gravestone in cemetery
Despite following proper legal procedure, Muslims often run into roadblocks when trying to build cemeteries.

From protests, to vandalism, to lawsuits, Muslim leaders run into all sorts of obstacles when trying to legally build Muslim cemeteries across the country.

Some have likened it to the anti-mosque fervor that erupted in the years following September 11th. Even in areas of high Muslim population, backlash against cemeteries is often swift – and sometimes even threatening.

Where is this happening, and what are the unique threats Muslims are facing when trying to find a place to bury their dead?

Muslim Burial Traditions

Islamic tradition forbids cremation, and insists bodies be buried as soon as possible after death – ideally within 24 hours. Muslims believe the human body is sacred, and embalming is generally not allowed, unless required by law.

Deceased Muslims are also buried without a coffin, draped only in a shroud, facing towards Mecca. 

The video below gives an idea of what a Muslim cemetery looks like:

It’s these practices that have some opponents crying foul, and they're not backing down easily. 

Kifa Mustapha, an imam at Orland Park Prayer Center in Orland Park, Illinois, recently ran into steep opposition when trying to build a Muslim cemetery outside of Chicago. Despite both county and state officials giving the green light and saying there weren’t any environmental concerns, a petition opposing Mustapha’s planned cemetery has more than 1,500 signatures.

Green Burial For Me, But Not for Thee?

Many of the concerns are about the impact of Muslim burial practices on the environmental.

“What impact does body decomposition do to the surrounding fields, ponds, aquifer and runoff?” the petition asks. “What health concerns should our residents have about our water supply?”

These questions raise an eyebrow for Mustapha. He says an eco-friendly cemetery would likely be celebrated in the community. But “that’s where the scent of racism comes in. If it’s Muslims, it’s a problem.”

So-called "green burials" have become increasingly popular in recent years, but they do occasionally raise concerns about effects like soil contamination. 

Recently, a Michigan burial company was blocked from starting their own sustainable green cemetery: 

A Nationwide Fight

But there are indicators that Muslim communities are facing unique hurdles in trying to carry out their burial practices. 

For one, Mustapha is far from the only Muslim faith leader who ran into local opposition when trying to build a Muslim cemetery.

One study found dozens of incidents across the country involving cemeteries facing community resistance, lawsuits to stop them, or even threatening messages and toppled gravestones.

In 2015, one Texas man even threatened to “dump pig’s blood and [put a] pig's head on a post so they won’t buy the land,” prompting a baffled response from a spokesman for the Islamic Association, who said he “didn’t think there would be this much concern about burying the dead.”

And it isn’t just private citizens trying to keep Muslims from burying their dead in their communities. Stafford County, Virginia, had to pay out half a million dollars to a Muslim nonprofit after county officials tried getting creative with zoning restrictions to stop a Muslim cemetery build.

Muslims say they just want to bury their dead in their communities in the manner that their faith dictates. And even while doing everything right – build permits, environmental impact studies, and more – they say they face legal fights and threats of violence that other faith communities don’t. 

What is your reaction?


  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    How sad that Muslims are being stopped from burying their dead. Even in the grave they can't escape discrimination. Allow them dignity. Build the cemeteries.

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      They're not stopped, if the were we'd see piles and piles of dead Muslims.

      They want their own cemetery so they can discriminate against other faiths and lifestyles.

      1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

        No, they're not doing it to "Discriminate against other faiths and lifestyles" That would be like saying Christian and Catholic cemeteries are having their own deliberately to discriminate.

        They have the RIGHT, according to our nation's constitution, to worship as they wish, and to bury their dead according to their religious practices. It has nothing to do with "just wanting to discriminate".

        The ones trying to stop them are doing it due to outright HATE of against anyone who is muslim. You want to see discrimination, then look toward the ones who are screaming foul about allowing people to bury their dead according to their religious practices.

        1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

          Is there a public-health reason every state in our union requires embalming before burial? If so, then it should apply to all. If not, then it should apply to none.

          1. Mitch's Avatar Mitch

            Embalming isn't required "in every state in our union". It's required in specific circumstances, such as public viewing, entombment in some mausoleums, prior to some transport, and otherwise when some preservation is needed.

            Alternative interment methods, such as human composting are gaining popularity, and necessarily preclude embalming.

            1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

              I stand corrected. Sooooooooooo, leave these people alone. Every church I have ever attended maintained a cemetery for members only.

      2. oy_gevalt's Avatar oy_gevalt

        "They want their own cemetery so they can discriminate against other faiths and lifestyles."

        I wouldn't jump to this conclusion. What is the source for your assertion?

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement


          Thousands of years of consistency that flawlessly matches what we see today is a decent indicator of what to expect.

          Please review any of the unrestrained Muslim countries from anywhere on the planet. See what they do to non Muslims, I hope your stomach is made of iron.

          1. Warren Calvin Wall's Avatar Warren Calvin Wall

            Are there not discriminatory factors involved in being buried on Hallowed Grounds? I may be mistaken as I am not Catholic.

      3. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

        Apparently some people, especially religious people, like to be buried ‘with their own’.

        I went to Hawaii at Christmas and went to a cemetery due to it having a Buddhist temple. But driving in I noticed that there were sections for 7th Day Adventists, Catholics etc. People like to be buried with those of similar delusions?

        Sometimes it’s a family plot. I have a plot in the same grouping as my mom and dad. I’m going to have a headstone put there. I’ll be cremated in Japan so maybe have whoever sprinkle some adhes there? I think I have located a small, wooded ‘cemetery’ where my paternal family members are buried in rural NC. It’d be cool if some ashes got sprinkled there. At the same time, sprinkling ashes is something my ‘alive self’ thinks would be cool. My ‘dead self’ won’t give an airborne rodent’s anal sphincter muscle.

      4. Patricia Ann Gross's Avatar Patricia Ann Gross

        SOJ - Catholics do this every day, and nobody considers it discrimination. For a priest to conduct the funeral, the internment must be in a cemetary (or portion of one) that has been properly blessed by the church. When I worked as a hospice chaplain, I had to perform the funeral and internment for a man who wanted to be buried next to his wife who predeceased him and was buried in an "unconsecrated" grave. The man's priest refused to do the ceremony because of the burial location.

        As for "Muslim bodies stacking up," who's to say they aren't? The alternative is they are being buried in a manner not consistent with their religion.

      5. Dale A Casamatta's Avatar Dale A Casamatta

        I feel the same way. I am deeply concerned about contamination and spreading disease if in-ground vaults are not used. And, I’m not aware of any specific Muslin, Jewish or Christian teaching that states a probation on cremation.

        In any event, quit whining and if any person moves into a new country, learn to simulate. …just a few thoughts.

        1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

          Muslims are not embalmed. Embalming is not allowed in Islam because it conflicts with Islamic law and is not necessary due to the urgency of burying the body. Islam says that the body should decompose naturally in the ground.

          Muslims are not cremated. Cremation is considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam. The Quran is said to prohibit cremation by God, citing verse 17:70, which says that God honors the children of Adam and provides them with good things. This verse is said to require treating the human body with respect, even after death.

          Natural cemeteries, also known as green burial sites, don't use embalming and require biodegradable coffins. The bodies are placed in a shroud or biodegradable coffin and buried without a concrete vault. The sites are managed to encourage local wildlife and allow the body to return to nature more quickly. I live within 5 miles of one of these cemeteries.

          The Catholic Church has allowed cremation since 1963, and it has become common practice. The church prefers burial or entombment, but cremation is acceptable. However, the Catholic Church says it is best for ashes to be buried. Some families still prefer burial because they find it comforting to visit and tend a grave. There is no explicit scriptural command for or against cremation in the Bible. There are no passages that forbid cremation, according to most Biblical scholars. However, some passages describe standard death practices during these times.

          The Orthodox Jewish, Muslim, and Bahá'í faiths prohibit embalming because they view it as a desecration of the body. These religions believe that the body should be buried as close to the time of death as possible, usually within 24-48 hours. Embalming involves removing blood, which goes against these beliefs.

          Hinduism is the only major religion that requires cremation, which is called antim-sanskar ("last rite") or antiesthi ("last sacrifice"). Hinduism mandates cremation for its followers to help shed the physical form and prepare the soul for rebirth.

          All of that said (I know, it's long) people deserve the opportunity to bury their dead as they see fit. For me, cremation is the way to go.

          1. Joe R Day's Avatar Joe R Day

            Well written Rev. Thanks for sharing your insight and knowledge about this issue.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    Appearantly, some people of lesser mental prowess are scared of everything. Rainbows on beer cans and Taylor Swift come to mind.

    1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

      People with more mental powers apparently even spell differently.

      1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

        A spelling error doesn't count the fact the person is quite correct. The ones screaming the loudest are the same ones that throw fits over people like Taylor Swift, and scream like 2 yr olds over a beer can having a rainbow on it.

        1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

          Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly approve of Muslims being buried. I was merely reacting to him characterizing those who don't agree with him as having low mental powers.

          1. Paul Mills's Avatar Paul Mills

            Mental prowess is different to mental powers.

            But it is clearly a term that is anathema to you.

            1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

              Never use a Thesaurus without concurrently using a dictionary It makes you seem a dullard. Your comment was what is known as a distinction without a difference.

      2. oy_gevalt's Avatar oy_gevalt

        What do you mean? Is something misspelled?

        1. Mitch's Avatar Mitch

          I'm betting that there is confusion between "mental prowess" and "mental powers".

        2. Joe R Day's Avatar Joe R Day

          The first word of the message. "Appearantly" is misspelled. A typo should NOT be used to negate the message...

      3. Joe R Day's Avatar Joe R Day

        A typo does not negate the message that Rev Ned was trying to convey... One which I agree with.

        1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

          The message was "If you don't agree with my BS then you are ignorant and stupid." I thought that deserving of a little poke of fun. Appearingly not.

    2. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

      Comment removed by user.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Racism raises its ugly head once more why the opposition for Muslims to bury their dead to other people.Why does it concern other people for d crying out loud if there maybe an enviromental issue then sit down with those concerned and work out the problem for an alternative spot.Let the Muslims build their own cemeteries .Dont poke your nose in to other peoples lives a person has the right to determine what happens to the poor souls

  1. Najah P Tamargo's Avatar Najah P Tamargo

    Najah Tamargo - USA

    I have a t-shirt that I wear a lot. It says "Lord, give me PATIENCE! Because if you give me STRENGTH, I will need bail money too!!" That is how I feel about ANY religion, creed, color, sex, etc., being hindered on how they bury their dead. I have fought to preserve ancient Native American burial sites, burial sites that were for black people....but covered over by parking lots and such. The final resting place for ANYBODY is only the business of the person and his/her family. For goodness sake....have a little respect and LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!! RIP does NOT have any religious connotation! RIP mean just that.....REST IN PEACE!!!

  1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

    Oh pity’s sake, let the dead be. They’re not doing anything immoral setting up a Muslim cemetery. At least they’re taking care of their dead. Unlike us who just pump them full of chemicals and take up unnecessary space instead of letting the body go back to where it came from.

  1. Lady Terra LunaWolf's Avatar Lady Terra LunaWolf

    environmental concerns??? none of the people opposing muslim cemeteries have thought this talking point through to any degree. embalming chemicals anybody?

  1. Robert Spears's Avatar Robert Spears

    Am I missing something here, or is everyone just guessing?

    First, on the no casket thing. Like Islam, Jewish law has the same interment requirements: the decedent body must be complete (as you were born), clean, and allowed to decompose directly into the earth (See Genesis 3:19, Genesis 18:27, Job 30:19, and Ecclesiastes 3:20). No one is complaining. No petitions. No one is worried about their property values. No one is telling jews they're disgusting for letting thousands of bodies decompose into the soil and local water tables? Why? Because it's in the bible! Make sure you know the rules before you cry foul.

    Still about a religion, you say? Green funerals are the same: direct into earth or via a bio-degradable casket; and it's becoming more popular as a way to help save the earth. Many public cemeteries even have green sections and exclusive jewish sections or abutments. The point being, do you know what's leaking out of your local "clean and normal" cemetery? This is not the dark ages. These days we recognize and manage these sorts of city planning risks. We don't run from them.

    On who can be interred where. Like Islam, Jewish law prohibits jews from being buried with non-jews. This also applies to spouses not fully converted. Yes, even a legal spouse.

    Even Catholic cemeteries can require permission from a local authority (eg, Ordinary of the Archdiocese) to bury a non-Catholic with catholics. As the others above, this can, in certain circumstances, even apply to spouses or family members.

    Having said all that, it's entirely beside the point. We are a church that is explicitly inclusive; based on diversity of beliefs and unconditioned respect for a person's faith AND how they observe and express that faith. Instead, some are drinking the kool-aid... so to speak. Let's arm ourselves. "We are ALL children of the same universe" and one God, right?

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    Hate and anger adrenaline rush has become very popular.

  1. Timothy C Stone's Avatar Timothy C Stone

    Racism, plain and simple

  1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

    The entire reason for all backlash about Muslim cemeteries is racism/religious rivalry. Their burial practices are WAY healthier for the environment than most modern burial practices. They also take up less space. Literally the only reason anyone would fight them having their own cemeteries is hatred.

    Those citing Muslim intolerance, and especially bringing up the Taliban, perhaps didn't read the article. This was about AMERICAN Muslims, in the USA. They don't get to kill anyone here. They don't get to abuse anyone here. And they haven't even tried it here, unlike some other abusive, overbearing and bloodthirsty sects I've seen in the news.

    People need to mind their own damn business.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Ari, your post had some good thoughts about our space here. What you wrote about Muslims was interesting indeed. Speaking of American Muslims you wrote that they "don't get to kill anyone here." It seems your subconscious was telling you that they'd like to if they could. Then you said that they haven't even tried. Perhaps you forgot about Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik who killed 14 people and injured 22 others in San Bernardino. According to Amnesty International:

      The UN estimates that around 5,000 women and girls are murdered each year in so-called “honor killings” by members of their families

      “Honor” killings are widely reported in regions throughout the Middle East and South Asia, but these crimes against women occur in countries as varied as Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, and the United States.

      Like other forms of violence against women, “honor” violence against women may be considered a form of torture, whether enacted by the state or by an individual.

      While “honor” crime is committed predominantly against women and girls, “honor” crime is also on the rise against LGBT people, particularly gay men.

      In many countries, the punishment for “honor” crimes are inadequate or non-existent—laws either do not recognize “honor” crime or have insufficient sentencing for such crime. And in countries where laws have been passed to curb “honor” crime (for example, in Jordan), such laws often go un-enforced. According to the Iranian and Kurdish Rights Organization, “Honor Killings are on the rise”, especially in Europe and the US.

      Please note it reads that these killings are on the rise in the US. They have happened, that are happening, and will continue to happen by Muslims NOT Christians.

      Just Google honor killings which don't include terrorist attacks like 9/11 which killed 3,000 Americans also carried out by Muslims.

      So your statement that Muslims don't abuse people here (presumably in the US) is demonstrably false. It is true that it's worse in countries where Islam is the dominant religion, which should tell a thinking person all they need to know about Islam, but it's also happening here and is rising. But don't look to legacy media to report these facts. It doesn't fit the new narrative.

      1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

        My apologies for the lack of clarity in language. What I meant to say was that as a religious institution, American Islam does not promote violence or abuse any more than American Christianity (again, as an institution) does. There are always going to be members of any group that represent badly, and we don't take their behavior as a reflection on their religion. I did Google honor killings in the United States and researched the connection between honor killings and American Islam, and found that the recorded cases have not been condoned or encouraged by religion but rather by traditional cultural attitudes of the perpetrators. I also researched the murders of children by Christian parents, several of which have recently involved children admitting to being gay, and these murders were also considered outliers and not indicative of American Christian tenets.

        So, when I say "Muslims don't abuse people here" I mean that the Muslim religion found here (and therefore outside of terrorist organizations like the Taliban) does not teach its people to abuse, and any Muslims who commit abuse are not acting on Islamic principles. The same goes for Christian murderers or perpetrators of "corrective rape"--when I say "Christians don't abuse people here" I mean that abuse and murder are not sponsored activities by Christianity in the United States (and outside of terrorist organizations like the Army of God). Even if a little under half of the states in the country still permit conversion therapy, which is overwhelmingly perpetrated by Christian abusers, I still don't believe that Christianity itself is an abusive religion, the same as I don't believe that Islam is an abusive religion.

        I also looked up Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife. I wouldn't consider them "American Muslims", they specifically immigrated in order to commit terrorism, like that was their entire motive for coming. So also terrorists.

      2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Ari, thank you for the kind and thoughtful response. Islam is based on the Koran (Qur'an) and the hadiths. Those documents do support honor killings and killing gay people. The situation in the US is one of a growing threat. We are have seen these developments already and will see more.

        "According to, 24% of people referred to as "mixed, unstable or unclear" have Islamist ideology, and 22% have right-wing radicalisation. 72% of those referred are under 30, and 88% are male." What the UK is experiencing now is what we will soon experience

        "A survey found that 5–10% of American Muslims justify suicide bombing of civilians in defense of Islam. A survey also found that about half of U.S. Muslims have heard of the idea of a "United States of Islam", and about two thirds support this idea." The above statistics comes from

        With roughly 2.5 million Muslims in the US 10% would make 250,000 who believe terrorism to further Islam is okay. I've read articles that that number is likely low because most Muslims are unlikely to admit their true feelings. Also noteworthy is that this is more prominent among younger, male Muslims. My read is that Muslims who immigrated in the past accepted and lived by our Western values, but their descendants do not. Most likely because of the mosques built by Middle Eastern money which provides clerics who are radicalizing younger Muslims. However, you seem to be great at research and could probably find to what extent this is true.

        You are truly a thoughtful person. I do disagree with you about the true teachings of Islam about these issues based on its own documents and it's history. But I do agree with you that in US history Islam has shown its more peaceful side for the most part. However, we leave one another's company, I think, when we look to the future. I think you see it continuing to be peaceful, but I think it will be radicalized and dangerous.

  1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

    Would a jew be permitted to be buried in a Muslim cemetery or even stand in one?

    What about a gay guy, could he be buried there? A Satanist? Any other religion?

    We all know the answer.

    1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

      Yes, a Jewish person would likely be able to go to one to honor their Muslim relatives. But tell me this. Would a Gay person be welcomed in a Christian / Catholic cemetery? How about a Satanist? What of other religious practices in a Christian / Catholic cemetery?

      We know the answer to THAT one as well.

      1. Ahmed Abduljabar Al-Hujazi's Avatar Ahmed Abduljabar Al-Hujazi

        My mother, who converted to Islam, because she preferred it to her parents' Episcopalian practices, cannot be buried in the church yard where five generations of her ancestors are buried. Why? Because she isn't considered a Christian anymore, and is thus excluded by the church administration.
        Muslims (generally) don't have a problem being buried with people of other faiths, as long as the Muslims are allowed their burial practices. The problem with a lot of cemeteries (not all) is that they are not oriented properly to allow for the grave alignments. Muslim cemeteries provide that accommodation.

      2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Yea we do and it wont be the answer you are looking for. I would bet there are quite a few gay people buried in Christian graveyards but I DARE you to show me one Muslim Cemetery that has a Jewish person buried in it. I wont hold my breath waiting for you looking

      3. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Bridget, anybody can be buried in any cemetery right now.

        That will change once the Muslim cemetery gets the go ahead. Then you'll have your bigotry and racism you're looking for.

    2. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Yep, they all be crazy as outhouse rats!

    3. Patricia Ann Gross's Avatar Patricia Ann Gross

      A non- Catholic is not allowed in a Catholic cemetary either, so where is your outrage there?

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    Why assume that the controversy is really about burying the dead? Perhaps it has much more to do with Muslims working to make Islam more visible and, hence, society more comfortable and accepting of Islam. Muslims could be buried in Green cemeteries that would meet their religious requirements.

    No, it's the message they want to send to the rest of society that they are here and gaining in power as well as numbers.

  1. Theresa C. Marquess's Avatar Theresa C. Marquess

    Live and let live... without prejudice.

    1. ORDM Genie G's Avatar ORDM Genie G

      They could lead by example, but, guess what? They will be upset about prejudice against them, but will freely discriminate against you.

    2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      The Taliban just started up the public execution of women again. It's been 20 years but I figure it must be like riding a bike, right?

      1. Tecla Caryl Loup's Avatar Tecla Caryl Loup

        Most Muslims are not like the Taliban. Those guys are not a whole lot different from fanatically right-wing Christians, who wouldn't mind having some of those same Biblical religious practices made legal.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Tecla, there is a vast difference between the Taliban and even so called right-wing Christians. In fact, there is a huge difference between Islam and Christianity. Perhaps you should listen to a recent interview of Richard Dawkins, a very famous atheist in the UK, who commented how glad he is that the UK he grew up in was culturally Christian and not Islamic. Most Muslims would ban homosexuality and make it punishable by death. Islam teaches that a woman doesn't need an education to perform her housework and wifely duties. It was the humanity brought by Christianity that made it possible for woman to start public (American private) schools in Britain in the 1800s which lead to its graduates writing feminist publications and a complete change in society by the 1960s up to today because Christianity teaches the worth of every person regardless of sex.

  1. Erik Joesph Samys's Avatar Erik Joesph Samys

    How long has the human race been on this planet? And in all those years how did we bury our dead? They didn't use caskets and such. They just stuck them in the ground. You're not concerned about the wildlife that dies near or in our water supplies, so why should we be concerned about a dead human? We all rot away anyways so what's the big deal? If our ancestors didn't have a problem with it, why should we?

  1. Krystal Lynn Rains's Avatar Krystal Lynn Rains

    I have done a lot of investigation of green burials, and their tradition seems to be an very ecologically sound practice. Unlike the multibillion dollar funeral industry with cement containers around expensive caskets and the nasty poison that is embalming.

    The complaints are all based on 'who' is doing the talking and it's a shame that they can't bury their dead without this racism.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Ok ENOUGH!It makes no difference what the Muslums want, if the law requires a body to be embalmed then it gets embalmed. You dont want to follow the laws of the state or community you are in then go find some other place to bury your dead. Quite a while ago each family used to have their own graveyard and it was usually out in a pasture someplace away from the house. Even then they knew it was not sanitary nor was it healthy to bury bodies close to your water source. Even now 99% of all graveyards are placed next to streams or drainage to run through natural clarifying and cleansing sections before being allowed to run into the local waterways and then when the water is drawn from the water source the water is purified even further. Which is why there are so many laws on dealing with a dead bodies.

    Now in saying that, IF the Muslums will abide by the laws on dealing with dead bodies, I see no reason for them to not be able to have a cemetery of their own if thats what they want and they should be left alone.

    1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

      The law does not require embalming except under circumstances where the body will be on display/above ground indefinitely. No states in the USA require embalming for burial. It is perfectly legal to be buried unembalmed in a cardboard box if that's what one wants.

      It's also very common for funeral homes to outright lie to people about this because embalming, concrete grave vaults and so forth mean more money for them.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Um no. If you are not going to bury the body within 24 hours, then you are required to place it in a refrigeration unit until you are ready to bury it and even then you must place it in an environmental friendly container. You cannot just dig a hole and drop the body in it anymore. that is banned in 49 of the 50 states

        1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

          All 50 states allow green burial. Yes, refrigerated storage is necessary until burial, but not embalming unless you're using an above-ground vault or display burial. Yes, you can be buried in any biodegradable container, including just a shroud. As I said, you can indeed be buried in a cardboard box if you want. You must have a license and burial certificate. Burial sites are regulated, and state laws on establishing green sites can be wonky because they were designed to accommodate the commercial burial industry, but there are changes being made as more people opt for green burial.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            Wrong. As of December 2023 the ONLY states that Green Burial is legal are California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Which is basically the west coast. And there are only 220 Green Burial graveyards in whole US. And this source is from the US Department of health.

            1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

              "Green burial" describes a number of different practices. Each state has their own rules regarding the different types of green burial and which they allow or disallow. You may be confusing green burial, in general, with some specific type of it. For instance, only California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota and Oregon allow aquamation. Only seven states allow human composting. The five states you mentioned are the only ones that allow natural burial as home burials, i.e. not in a cemetary but on your own private property. Each state sets their limitations as to what can be done, but in general, there is some form of green burial allowed in all 50 states, within the parameters outlined by that state. There are few designated Green Burial cemetaries as okayed by the Green Burial Council, and 278 hybrid cemetaries, but that's not counting memorial forests, conservation burial sites, and natural cemetaries. There is some form of green burial available in every state. As of 2024, there is no federal law requiring embalming or casket burial, that's left to each state. There is no state or local law requiring caskets, that's left to individual funeral homes and cemetaries. There is no state law requiring routine embalming, just specific circumstances when embalming may be required. There is always the opportunity for some form of green burial, just not all forms. This information comes from the Federal Trade Commission, the Green Burial Council, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. Links below. I recommend the Green Burial Council especially as they have collected a wealth of information resources for green burial and set the standard for certification of green burial sites.


              1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                Nope sorry, under state laws, the ONLY ones that allow a green burial are the ones I mentioned earlier. So tell you what, hows about you go and try and get a green burial and see how fast they shut you down.

              2. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

                Wow, so all these funeral home organizations and insurance companies and county and city governments and people who are specifically advocating for green burial so they have to know what laws they're fighting are ALL wrong? That's quite interesting.

              3. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                Wow so all the funeral homes and such that want it are now upset because only the west coast allows it and you refuse to accept this?

              4. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

                Oh dear, I really don't know where you're getting your information from, but we are having no issues getting green burials here on the east coast. I don't know why all the site links I've offered you, including government statements, are not enough to convince you, but I can only guess you might have some personal stake in believing what you believe. Nevertheless, I assure you that no one here is upset, we are covered by our state laws.

              5. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                By asking a simple question of State legislators. And the question is "is or are green burials allowed in your state" and the reply was that the ONLY ones who legally allow this are the same ones I already mentioned.

                So Oh dear, one has to wonder why you would even bother to mention funeral home associations when they are not the ones who make the regulations that either allow it or deny it.

              6. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

                Funeral home associations absolutely must stay abreast of the legal regulations of their locality. They will not only be shut down but subject to stiff fines if they don't. Being as their livelihood is on the line, it is againt their interest to say something is legal if it isn't, especially right on the internet where any government entity can see it and come down on them like an anvil. That's why.

                Here's what my state legislators say about green burials in North Carolina, one of the states you have stated does not allow green burials:


              7. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                And since when has an association said something that isnt true just to get money....say what you want but I have already posted the only states that allow a Green burial and not one of the other 47 states are moving in any way to allow it.

    2. Tecla Caryl Loup's Avatar Tecla Caryl Loup

      I remember reading maybe 40 years ago about how some of our burial requirements came about. As usual for a number of regulations, they were not put in -place due to sanitary concerns. Cui bono? Well, the entire undertaking industry. The crypt-makers. The embalming supply manufacturers. The coffin makers. The funeral parlor industry.

      I personally favor excarnation, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards,

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Um sorry but no, according to the NIH sanitary burials were required clear back 1895.

        excarnation is what we Native Americans call "Sky Burials" in which we build a platform and place the dead body on it and let the sun and wind and animals take their course. Then the bones are removed and buried.

    3. Todd Leslie Miller's Avatar Todd Leslie Miller

      Daniel, here’s what all this anti-Muslim stuff is all about: The Muslims are taking over! This is exactly what people said about Catholics back in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and today we know it’s not true. Same thing with Islam. Most Muslims in this country want people to convert to Islam peacefully and willingly. What stirs people in this country up is what they see on the internet and hear on the news. Americans view Islam through the lens of groups like ISIS and Al Quaeda just like we saw Catholicism through the lens of the Jesuits. It’s all fear and paranoia.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        And as long as they abide by US law, then leave them alone. When they start demanding that we abide by Sharia law, then they get slapped down

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Daniel, by the time society figures out that we will all be forced to abide by its laws, it will be too late. Better to see how it has already taken over elsewhere and prevent it from happening here.

  1. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

    They should have to follow the same rules as everyone else based on location. In my state you have to be put into a concrete vault in the ground. If the rest of us in my state have to do that, then muslims should have to follow it as well.

    1. Rev. Peter's Avatar Rev. Peter

      Really? Cremation in your state is illegal? Individuals cannot be buried in a plain wooden casket? I suspect local funeral directors know better.

  1. Thomas Edwin Peterson's Avatar Thomas Edwin Peterson

    Imo this is much a-do about little. As for me cremation is my preference and allow my ashes to rest in a place to help white oak / walnut /pecan trees be healthier. I think this is so much better for the earth than resting in a cemetery taking up space having been embalmed forever ruining the ground.

  1. ORDM Genie G's Avatar ORDM Genie G

    It’s OK to give them a little taste of their own medicine. Muslims hate and discriminate and are baffled when someone does to them what they do to others. Also, I’m sure the discrimination is overstated. Given their numbers, if they were not allowed to bury their dead, it would be much wider publicized.

    1. Paul Mills's Avatar Paul Mills

      Many Christians also hate, but I am not going to call them all haters. Your post makes it clear that discrimination is alive and well.

  1. Thomas Tj Williams's Avatar Thomas Tj Williams

    Every religion should have and do have their own cemetery. It's not discrimination, it has always been this way. My grandmother was full blood Choctaw Native American. She was not allowed to be buried in a "White" cemetery until my grandfather signed papers stating she was not an Indian. Every city has different burial sites. At one time I lived next door to a "Jewish" cemetery, across the street is the "Christian" cemetery. My late Father's farm still has a "Black" cemetery on the property. That's just the way it is and has always been, you can't delete or change history. The "Governments" try to control everyone and everything. If someone doesn't like what's happening in their state or neighborhood, move!

  1. John Albert Daniel's Avatar John Albert Daniel


  1. Jennifer Leigh Franklin's Avatar Jennifer Leigh Franklin

    Tell them that to screw it, it saves money in funeral costs where we get robbed her in the U. S. because it's the "right thing to do"

  1. Nathaniel Joseph Merritt's Avatar Nathaniel Joseph Merritt

    Technically, Islam itself is illegal all across the USA, by Federal Decree. Yet, that Law is ignored. Americans don't like Islam because it breeds extremism and violence. (I have read the Koran in several translations, and it calls many times for violence against those it refers to as "apes and pigs" aka Christians and Jews) and Americans do not like Muslims because they are very often violent extremists. (if you think not, investigate Dearborn Heights and Hamtramck, two very Muslim cities in my home state of Michigan. Be ready to have your "woke" eyes awakened to reality not merely your political silliness.) Islam is not merely un-American but anti-American. Its ideals are diametrically opposed to the American Ideals of religious liberty, equality, fraternity, respect, and our wonderful LIVE AND LET LIVE mindset.)

    ISLAM: A bad idea whose time will never come. I hope.

    1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

      Islam is not illegal in the United States. Like every other religion, its practice is protected by the First Amendment.

  1. John's Avatar John

    I don't see what the problem is. Jewish people have their own cemetery.

  1. Peter Senderowitz's Avatar Peter Senderowitz

    Rev. Peter S. A "stuff"s remains in a coffin decompose differently and more ecologically sound then one in a shroud!? Those non-Muslims protesting and contesting Muslims' burial practices are just racist, ignorant, a**h*les.

  1. Deborah Lynn Strafuss's Avatar Deborah Lynn Strafuss

    Personally I don't see why we have separate religous burial grounds anyway. It's so silly - we none of us know what really happens after death. Having a little compassion for each other's belief systems is merely common courtesy in the face of the appalling unknown that we cannot explore and the completely unsubstantiated ideas we have about death. It is appallingly possible we all go to the same place and we all get along with eachother once these bodies are gone. I think God Laughs...

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