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Call for ban on Islamic events at Pleasington ceremony
A MUSLIM community leader is asking Blackburn Council to ban loud, midnight Islamic events from Pleasington Cemetery, warning he will move his late wife from the graveyard if they continue.
Ishmael Lorgat, an elder from the Sajeedeen Mosque, in Little Harwood, is writing to the authority’s environment director Sayyed Osman following the lock-out of the Dawat-e-Islami group from the prayer hall at the cemetery earlier this month. Council chiefs are investigating how hundreds of people celebrating the “Shab e Bara’at” festival found the shelter locked with an extra padlock.
This happened near midnight, despite organisers having agreed with officials they could use it after permission was refused to erect a marquee for an outdoor celebration with a PA system.They had to move the festival to the Madni Masjid Mosque, in Lancaster Place.
Now Mr Lorgat, a member of Black-burn’s Muslim burial committee, said he wants all such late-night events banned as inappropriate to the quiet and reverence of a cemetery. He said: “If Dawat-e-Islami want to hold these celebrations, they should do it in a mosque. To use a graveyard for this is an un-Islamic activity.
“I buried my wife, Zubida, in the cemetery eight months ago. I am beginn-ing to think that was a mistake. If these events do not cease, I shall have her moved and re-interred somewhere else.
“I have a dozen close relatives in the cemetery. It is an inappropriate place for such celebrations, but I do think putting an extra padlock on the prayer shelter to stop it going ahead was a step too far.
“Pleasington is a place for quiet reflection. People do not want celebrations with marq-uees, lights, music and PA systems.”
A council spokesman said: “We are still investigating.”