Tamerlan Tsarnaev funeral: Colorado cleric offers to bury his body in a Muslim cemetery in Denver or Bennett
Sheikh Abu-Omar Al-mubarac, founder of the organization that built Colorado’s largest mosque, is offering to bury suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a Denver-area Muslim cemetery.
Sheikh Abu-Omar Al-mubarac said he will pay for a traditional Muslim burial – no headstone, monument or casket – at a plot at a Muslim cemetery in Denver or Bennett.
He refused to say which one out of concern for “undue publicity”. He says he’ll bury Tamerlan Tsarnaev as long as his family can get the body to Denver.
Sheikh Abu-Omar Al-mubarac incorporated the Colorado Muslim Society in the late 1960s but made his offer independently of the organization. He says only God can judge Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
However, the Colorado Muslim Society issued a statement on Monday night distancing itself from its founder, Sheikh Abu-Omar Al-mubarac.
“It has recently been reported that the Colorado Muslim Society has offered to provide burial services for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the individuals who perpetrated the grave and destructive bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
“This report is absolutely untrue. The individual who has reportedly made this offer does not speak on behalf of the Colorado Muslim Society,” the statement says.
It continues: “The Colorado Muslim Society strongly condemns all acts of violence and grieves with all of America after the attacks in Boston.
“The conduct of Tamerlan Tsarnaev is abhorrent and contrary to every principle and belief that underlies the purpose of the Colorado Muslim Society.”
The Colorado Muslim Society’s general counsel Qusair Mohamedbhai told The Denver Post: “We would never, ever do something like that – offer to bury someone who has committed an extreme act of violence against this country.”
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s uncle Ruslan Tsarni, of Montgomery Village, Maryland, has been unable to bury his nephew in Massachusetts because of protests.
The funeral director who currently has the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in his possession has made a plea to the State Department to help him settle what will happen with the remains.
The city of Cambridge, where the suspected bombers lived prior to the attack, refused to bury the body.
Peter Stefan, whose business in Worcester, Massachusetts has been picketed by protesters, said that everyone deserves a dignified burial.
The impasse over 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body came as a local man started a fundraising campaign to have the alleged terrorist’s body returned to his family in Russia.
William Breault, from Worcester, has kick-started the campaign with $500 to send the body back to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s parents.
Peter Stefan said on Monday that he understood the reluctance to deal with the remains following the atrocious attacks last month.
However he told NBC: “Everyone wants him sent back to Russia. I’m gonna get on the phone with the necessary people and say, <<We need help with this>>.”
He added: “It also makes us look bad. In this country, we bury people. We don’t leave them hanging around.”
Peter Stefan said that he believed that alleged terrorist’s family wants his body returned to Russia. Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva has repeatedly claimed that her son’s were framed for the Boston bombing.
A State Department spokesman said that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family should contact the Russian Consulate for help while Massachusetts Governor Patrick Deval called the burial a “family issue”.
Cambridge city manager Robert Healy said on Sunday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body was not welcomed in one of its cemeteries.
“I have determined that it is not in the best interest of peace within the city to execute a cemetery deed for a plot within the Cambridge Cemetery for the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev,” Robert Healey said.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s uncle Ruslan Tsarni visited the funeral home over the weekend to claim his nephew’s body.
Ruslan Tsarni chose to step in, he said, because “no one wants to associate their names with such evil events” and because religion and tradition call for his nephew to be buried.
Every cemetery in Massachusetts has turned down the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev but Peter Stefan remains insistent that this death be handled like any other.
He has also reached out unsuccessfully to cemeteries in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Some protesters outside the funeral home believe the bombing suspect should be buried at sea, similar to what was done with the body of Osama bin Laden.