Sohaila Nabizada, from left, Yasmeen Chaudhri, Amer Latif and Javed Chaudhri, members of the Muslim community, stand on a plot of land at Morningside Cemetery in Brattleboro that will be used to bury people in accordance with the Islamic faith.

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BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro is moving forward on a plan to allow green burials in a town cemetery, which then will accommodate members of the Muslim faith.

“We’ve been working on a project for a number of years now to open an area of Morningside Cemetery for natural, green burials,” said Brian Bannon, chairman of the Cemetery Committee who also serves as the town’s zoning administrator.

During a first reading for a cemetery ordinance change during the Select Board meeting last week, Bannon explained that green burials don’t involve embalming, vaults or coffins.

“People are shrouded and buried,” he said. “Plots are wider to allow for subsidence as natural processes occur.”

Language for a proposed ordinance update was nearly complete when the committee was approached by a leader of the Muslim community in Brattleboro, Bannon said. The orientation of plots in the cemetery hadn’t been appropriate for Muslim burial, the group was told.

Plots were then reoriented as part of the natural burial proposal being considered now by the Select Board. That will allow “everybody in town a chance for dignified burials with their religious and spiritual practices,” Bannon said.

“It’s intended to be inclusive and meet the needs of folks who haven’t been taken into account,” he added.

Javed Chaudhri of Brattleboro said the plot orientation had to do with custom and culture. The board expressed willingness to a question he posed about installing a marker to show the direction toward Mecca, a city in Saudi Arabia that was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city of Islam.

Bannon said the cemetery is open to nonresidents of Brattleboro.

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“That’s good because there’s nothing around for 100 miles,” Chaudhri said, as the nearest option is in Springfield, Mass. Others include Manchester, N.H., and Burlington.

Before the ordinance is adopted, the board is anticipated to host a second reading at its meeting Tuesday. The only change after the first reading is a name Chaudhri proposed for the area of the cemetery dedicated to green burials: Rawdat Al Salaam, which means Garden of Peace.

Chaudhri encourages other community members who are interested to attend the second reading. In an interview, he said he had been thinking about the need for the accommodations, with the approximately 100 Afghans who recently arrived as refugees and other Muslims who have moved to Brattleboro.

“I figured it’s probably about 150 Muslims in the area, in Windham County,” he said. “So I thought that we should do something to prepare for them, because some of us were getting older.”

Chaudhri said all the cemeteries are open to Muslims, however, members of the religion align their gravesites differently in relation to the direction of Mecca and conduct natural burials.

“The town was doing it,” he said. “I thought it was a perfect idea to combine the two.”

Chaudhri credited Cemetery Committee member Jane Fletcher with connecting him with Bannon for a visit to the cemetery to plan the project.

“It was very well-received,” Chaudhri said, referring to the Select Board.