I’ve written previously about the Islamic doctrine of waqf, or “sacred trust”, which is a scripturally-sanctioned policy that considers all property to be held in trust for the Ummah. Any territory which has ever been conquered, occupied, or held by Muslims is permanently covered by waqf, specifically including cemeteries where Muslims are buried.
Westerner officials do not realize the significance of opening an official Muslim cemetery within their jurisdiction, but the Muslims do: they know that by doing so they have carved out a little piece of Dar al-Islam within Dar al-Harb, in perpetuity.
Islamic cemetery to be opened after end of Ramadan
The long-planned opening of the Islamic cemetery in Vienna is to take place after the end of Ramadan, says Omar Al-Rawi, member of the Vienna city council (SPÖ) and in charge of integration matters at the Islamic Religious Association.
The cemetery was to have opened in 2003, but financial problems delayed the project. The OPEC Fund as well as Qatar were the main financial contributors; many small contributors offered money at the last moment, and others contributed in kind.
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As a result, the inauguration will be ceremonious. “We will not open the cemetery quietly”. This memorable event will be celebrated with an elaborate ceremony. The entire Islamic leadership as well as local and foreign representatives, e.g. from Qatar, but also Austrian political representatives are expected to attend. The celebrations should include Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
The lead time for this project was a considerable. It took almost twenty years for the city of Vienna and the Islamic Religious Association to finalize the plans for the cemetery. There were many reasons for the delay: archeology (artifacts were found on the site), bankruptcy (of one of the construction companies), arson attack (by unknowns).
The city of Vienna provided the site for the cemetery; the Religious Association was in charge of construction. The plot’s size is 3.4 hectares and provides for 3,000 deceased who will be buried facing Mecca. Although no reservations have been made so far, there have been many inquiries. Many older Muslims still possess insurance in order to repatriate their corpses for burial in Turkey. Al-Rawi is confident this will change once the cemetery is in operation.
Ah, yes: No more need to be buried in Turkey, because Turkey has returned to the Gates of Vienna.
Only this time the Viennese have simply opened the gates and said, “Würden Sie bitte besuchen Sie uns im Inneren?”