The Colorado Muslim Society is strongly denying that it has offered to bury the body of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a Muslim cemetery in or near Denver if his family can transport the remains there.
The organization called reports of the offer “absolutely untrue” in a statement posted to its website.
“The individual who has reportedly made this offer does not speak on behalf of the Colorado Muslim Society,” the statement reads. “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.”
Sheik Abu-Omar Almubarac, who the AP reports founded the Colorado Muslim Society, reportedly offered to pay for Tsarnaev’s traditional Muslim burial in a cemetery either in Denver or Bennett, Colo. But the Colorado Muslim Society’s Qusair Mohamedbhai told the Denver Post that Almubarac isn’t associated with the mosque.
“[Almubarac] is not part of the mosque at all,” he told the newspaper. “We would never, ever do something like that — offer to bury someone who has committed an extreme act of violence against this country.”
The Colorado Muslim Society is known for constructing Colorado’s largest mosque in Denver.
Tsarnaev, the elder of two brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon — killing three and injuring 264 — was killed in a shootout with police on April 19. His body is languishing at a Worcester, Mass. funeral home while debate rages over what to do with it.
Tsarnaev’s family reportedly wants his remains taken to Russia, although there is speculation that he could be buried in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Edward J. Markey said he would oppose that plan.
“I think that the body should be controlled by the federal government,” Markey told the AP. “But if the people of Massachusetts do not want that terrorist to be buried on our soil, then it should not be.”
Mohamedbhai told the Post that the Colorado Muslim Society has worked hard to build a strong relationship with the Denver community, adding that the rumor is “incredibly upsetting and destructive to us.”
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