As Muslims today begin Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer, one local group is hoping to raise funds for a Muslim cemetery.

The Bosniak-American Islamic Center, formed by Muslim refugees and immigrants from Bosnia-Herzegovina, hopes to raise the needed funds by the end of Ramadan, said its president, Semsudin Haseljic.

“That’s our big project for the month,” he said. “This is a key issue now in the community.”

There are no Muslim burial grounds in Louisville, he said.

Several years ago, a doctor purchased about 50 plots for use by Muslims at the Walnut Ridge cemetery in Jeffersonville, Ind., but space is running out there, he said.

Other local Muslims have been buried in other cities or returned to their native countries for burial.

Muslims traditionally have separate burial grounds, with the graves aligned so that each body, placed on his or her right side, faces the pilgrimage city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Haseljic said he hopes other mosques and Muslim groups in the city will join in the effort, but the Bosnian group decided to take the lead on the project. He said the group recently opened its mosque on Six Mile Lane and is free of debt, while some other mosques are busy with building or renovation projects. (MORE)


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