The Muslim Council of India is telling the nation's cemeteries that the bodies of gunmen killed by commandos in the Mumbai terror siege should not be buried on Indian soil, The Times of India reported Monday.
The religious organization told The Times that they were acting on complaints from several Muslim groups demanding that the bodies not be laid to rest in any Indian cemetery.
According to Leor Halevi, professor of history at Vanderbilt University and author of "Muhammad’s Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society," the council is sending a message to the terrorists by calling for Muslim cemeteries to refuse to bury the bodies.
"It's a very strong statement against terrorism," Halevi said. "What they are saying essentially is that by virtue of the terrorists acts, the terrorists who died do not count as Muslim anymore."
Halevi said that while whichever group was behind the attacks may consider the terrorists martyrs — which are to be buried on the battlefield in the clothing they wore when they died instead of being cleaned and wrapped as is the custom for normal burials — the Indian council does not categorize them as martyrs.
"In fact, they're probably calling them infidels," he said.
At least 172 people were killed in last week’s 60-hour terror siege in Mumbai. All but one of the attackers were fatally shot by Indian commandos who raided various locations where the terrorists were hiding out.
The captured terrorist, Pakistani national Azam Amir Kasab, 21, told Indian police that he and the other attackers were members of Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.