Burial of non-Muslims made easy

Updated 23 September 2012
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Burial of non-Muslims made easy

A recent order issued by Riyadh’s Deputy Gov. Prince Muhammad bin Saad has eased the rules and regulations for the burial of the dead of expatriates, especially non-Muslims, said Ali Abdullah Bawazir, head of the Forensic Medicine Department in Riyadh.
In accordance with Prince Muhammad’s order, expatriates now only need to obtain approval of the police department to complete procedures for burial. “This will help the Forensic Medicine Department to speed up the procedures of burial and deportation and reduce the time of body preservation in mortuaries,” Bawazir said.
“The decision will ease the process for the relatives of the dead and their sponsors in preparing papers for the burial or deportation of bodies,” he said.
He explained that mortuaries of hospitals in the Riyadh region retain the bodies until they are buried or deported to their native countries, pointing out that the committee for burial and deportation of dead bodies in the Riyadh region plays a prominent role in overcoming the difficulties associated with burial.
“If deportation is not possible due to family refusal or the death of the sponsor, the body of non-Muslim expatriates is buried in a cemetery designated for that purpose,” said one official at the department for special rights in the Riyadh Mayoralty, who requested anonymity.
The source noted that the burial of non-Muslims is undertaken in the Kingdom in cases of failure in informing the family back home or finding no claimants for the body, or in the case of death sentence.
He said air cargo authorities do not transport a body without knowing the identity of the recipient.
The source declined to mention or locate the cemetery for the burial of non-Muslims, explaining that the mayoralty, in collaboration with official departments, has provided a piece of land in the Saudi capital for the burial of non-Muslims.
“Fetuses with incomplete growth and non-deportable bodies are also buried in the same cemetery,” he added.
Speaking about the legality of burying bodies of non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdullah bin Muneeh, a member of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars, said the government has the discretionary power to take decisions on such matters.
“Bodies can be buried in the Kingdom if there are bilateral agreements between Saudi Arabia and other countries on burials,” he pointed out. He cited a hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) saying: “Two religions shall not meet in my Peninsula whether dead or alive,” while referring to the ban on burial of non-Muslim bodies.
There are a number of prerequisites for the deportation of deceased expatriates in Saudi Arabia, which include filling out a deportation form from police, gaining the approval of the embassy, acquiring a death certificate, confirming the identity of the deceased and paying a fee of SR 3,000 toward the cost of the coffin, embalming and freight, which varies according to the weight and size of deceased.
If the deceased was a worker in Saudi Arabia, the sponsor is to bear all costs of deportation to his home base.


Saudi researchers join T20 summit in Japan

From left to right: Dr. Fahad Al-Turki, head of Saudi delegation; Kenichiro Sasae, president of The Japan Institute of International Affairs; Dr. Julia Pomares, co-chair of T20 Argentina during Argentine G-20 presidency; Kyoto Tsuji, vice-minister for Japanese foreign affairs; Naoyuki Yoshino, dean and CEO of the Asian Development Bank Institute; Gustavo Martinez, Argentine T20 executive director; Hiroshi Watanabe, president of the Institute for International Monetary Affairs pose during the event. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 49 min 49 sec ago
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Saudi researchers join T20 summit in Japan

  • Ways to fill economic infrastructure gaps, the US-China trade crisis analyzed

TOKYO: The world’s leading think tanks gathered for the G-20’s Think20 (T20) Japan Summit on Sunday in Tokyo, ahead of the upcoming G-20 Osaka Summit next month.
In the opening address, the president of the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), Kenichiro Sasae, spoke of the importance of technological advances, governance and multilateralism. 
“Technology is a tool,” he told assembled delegates. “We need two guiding symbols to harness modern technology to continue to pull economic growth. Technology has a wade-ranging impact, not only on business but also on privacy, protection.”
The T20 Summit comes amidst the backdrop of a four-day visit to the Japanese capital by US President Donald Trump.
Of the main topics discussed in closed sessions were finding innovative ways to fill economic infrastructure gaps, the US-China trade crisis, how to promote entrepreneurial ecosystems and climate change.
The host country has the privilege of selecting task forces specifically for the T20. Under the theme “Seeking a Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient Society,” Japan’s T20 recommendations were based on theoretical and empirical analysis, and consist of 10 separate task forces.
They include sustainable development, climate change and environment, cooperation with Africa, Global governance and Future Politics.
Heading the Saudi T20 delegation, Dr. Fahad Al-Turki spoke to Arab News and told of the delegations’ various roles and expectations for the summit.
“We’re working with the Argentines, the Japanese and the Italians to ensure continuity on policy recommendations that will go to the G-20,” he said.
Five Saudi think tanks are being represented at the summit.
“The purpose is to have a collective effort from Saudi Arabia to represent the Kingdom at the T20. The first day went great, we talked with the authors of many of the policy briefs about our views and our recommendations,” he added.
Dr. Hossa Al-Mutairi told Arab News Saudi participation was essential, in anticipation to the 2020 G-20 Riyadh Summit.
“We participated last year as observers (at the 2018 summit in Buenos Aires), we went to learn from the Argentines, attended their sessions to understand the process of organizing T20 as well as how to select the task forces, but mainly to maintain a network with T20 members,” she said.
“One of the presentations that we had was on climate change, as Saudi Arabia cares about climate change, but we also care about economic stability. There is a connection between economics, environment and energy, you can’t separate them and we look into all energy sources.”