Stockholm northern municipalities face Muslim burial place shortage

Stockholm county's northern municipalities are short of burial places for Muslims, according to a survey conducted by the capital's funeral organization SSIB.

The survey was sent to all the cemeteries in the county in the beginning of June and some have not replied yet, but data collected so far already show a problem regarding Muslim burial places.

"Yes, the shortage is a big problem. There are no available spots in the north, in Spånga. In Råcksta, they will be enough until October. After that, we don't know where people will be able to bury their deceased," says Mohammed Laallam, who runs a funeral parlor in Haninge.

Christer Pettersson, spokesman for SSIB and cemetery head in Huddinge, says that there are enough places in the south to compensate for the shortage in the north.

"We do have enough spots. Here in Huddinge there are available graves for the next 30 or 40 years," Pettersson says.

There are plans to expand the Råcksta cemetery in Vällingby and to build a new one in Järva, with 20,000 new graves, but these projects will not be finished in several years according to Stockholm's cemetery administration. For now, residents of those areas are being referred to Strandkyrkogården, some 10 kilometers south of the city center.