Muslim leaders gathered at Kemps Creek Cemetery in Western Sydney on Wednesday 6 June 2018 attending a tree planting ceremony symbolising the inauguration of the dedicated Muslim Lawn, an autonomous  section within the Cemetery grounds.

Kemps Creek Cemetery is a not for profit organisation serving the needs of community groups under the management of the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (CMCT).

Sheikh Taj (middle) with other Muslim leaders at the Cemetery. Photo by Zia Ahmad.

The tree was planted by the first Grand Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Tajeddin Al-Hilaly invited by Mr Kazi Ali, a veteran Muslim leader involved in Muslim Burial projects for many decades.

The tree planting event was attended by Mr Peter O’Meara, CEO of the CMCT together with a number of his staff as well as Muslim leaders including Mr Azam Ali, Muslim Burial Coordinator, Dr Muhammad Khan, Director, ICFAL, Sheikh Youssef Hassan, Islamic Relief, Mr Neil El-Kadomi, Parramatta Mosque, Mr M M Ibrahem and Mr Zia Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief, AMUST.

Sheikh Taj was also the one who planted a tree in the Muslim section of the Rookwood Cemetery back in the eighties witnessed by Kazi Ali and other Muslim leaders at the time (See Photo below).

Sheikh Taj planting tree at Rookwood Cemetery during the 1980’s. Photo provided by Kazi Ali.

The symbolic inauguration followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the CMCT a week earlier on Wednesday 30 May 2018 at the Mary, Mother of Mercy Lounge at Rookwood Cemetery, together with an Iftar, breaking of the fast during this month of Ramadan. (See report http://www.amust.com.au/2018/05/catholic-cemetries-provides-new-burial-spaces-for-muslims/).

Dua (supplication) after tree planting: From left: Sheikh Youssef Hassan, Dr Muhammad Khan, Mr Azam Ali, Mr Kazi Ali, Sheikh Taeddin Al-Hilaly, Mr Peter O’Meara and Mr Neil El-Kadomi. Photo by Zia Ahmad.

Sheikh Taj thanked Mr O’Meara for the generous gesture of establishing a Muslim Section at the Cemetery and said that this cooperation between the two faith communities that is only possible in this lucky country we call Multicultural Australia.

Mr Peter O’Meara thanked Mr Kazi Ali and Mr Azam Ali who have been instrumental in bringing the communities together in signing the accord last week. He echoed Sheikh Taj’s sentiments that this is possible because we live in this country with tolerance and appreciation of each other’s faiths and practices celebrating Multiculturalism.

Mr Kazi Ali recalled his experiences of establishing the Rookwood Cemetry’s Muslim Section and tree planting by Sheikh Taj almost 30 years ago. Sheikh Taj said that he was, in fact, plucked straight from the airport directly to the Rookwood Cemetery to take part in the ceremony.

Tree planting at Rookwood Cemetery during the 1980’s. Photo provided by Kazi Ali.

 

For more information, please contact Mr Azam Ali, Muslim Burial Coordinator, Kemps Creek Cemetery & Crematorium on Ph: 0432 169 026; Email: Azamali1005@gmail.com.