The mysterious jihadi bride who helped her husband kill 14 and wound 22 in last week’s terror attack in San Bernardino could get the unceremonious – and un-Islamic - funeral she deserves, as no Muslim leaders want anything to do with her, FoxNews.com has learned.
The bullet-riddled body of Tashfeen Malik is still at the San Bernardino County morgue, along with that of her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook. But while his remains are expected to soon be released to his family, community and mosque leaders are treating her corpse like a hot potato.
“No one wants to claim her and no one wants to do the funeral,” a well-placed source within the Muslim community told FoxNews.com. “They are all waiting for someone else to be the one to take care of this part of it.”
“The state is not going to care about religious tradition. She was a terrorist.”
- Attorney David Wohl
Local political and religious leaders have been trying to get someone to agree to perform a burial for Malik in adherence with Islamic tradition, but so far no one wants to take on the controversial duties. Malik did not worship at local mosques and was not known in the Muslim community before she and her husband launched the massacre at Inland Regional Center, where his co-workers were holding a holiday party Dec. 2. The pair, who had a 6-month-old daughter, was killed hours later in a shootout with police.
While Farook was born in the U.S. and has immediate family in California, his wife – who entered the country in July, 2014, on a fiancé visa before being granted a conditional green card – has no known family in the country and appears to have little to no relationship with relatives abroad. Although her family reportedly lives in Saudi Arabia, a spokesperson for the Kingdom’s embassy in Washington said the Saudis take no responsibility for her funeral. Likewise, officials in her native Pakistan said they have received no transport requests and have no plans to step up.
If no one steps up, she will likely be cremated at taxpayers’ expense, a fate forbidden by Islamic law for even the most reviled radical killers. Some Muslim leaders complained about the fact Usama bin Laden’s was dumped at sea following the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in which he was killed, even though the Al Qaeda leader’s body was wrapped in a white shroud, given final prayers in Arabic and placed inside a black bag weighted down to ensure it sank.
A representative for the FBI told FoxNews.com that it was not yet clear whether the responsibility will fall on them or the United States Attorney’s Office, and the San Bernardino’s Coroner’s office confirmed that the bodies are still in their possession, and they do not anticipate issuing an office Cause of Death with specific details such as number of shots and injuries sustained.
Following the 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon, local cemeteries refused to accept the body of terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police days later. His body was unclaimed until a devout Christian in Virginia reached out to the Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia and coordinated an interfaith burial at an unmarked grave at the Al-Barak Cemetery in Doswell, Va., owned by the Islamic Funeral Services.
Respect for the dead is so important to Muslims that Daniel Akbari, a certified Sharia lawyer and Islamic expert for the Supreme Court of Iran, predicted Malik will eventually get a religious-adherent sendoff.
“Since it is obligatory to bury a Muslim’s dead body, many Islamic institutions will probably be willing to do the burial,” he said. “Some might be cautious and wait to see if others do the job. But what is certain is that Farook and his wife will be buried in an Islamic way.”
When asked if it would underwrite Malik’s funeral, Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim group which has represented Farook’s family since the attack, responded only with a detailed description of an Islamic burial.
Paying for the funeral of Malik would be a public relations disaster for anyone, said local attorney Troy Slaten, who predicted taxpayers will foot the bill for a cremation.
“If nobody claims a body, it is turned over to the public administrator, who will handle it civilly and not religiously,” said local attorney Troy Slaten. “Cremation is usually standard because it's the cheapest option.”
Attorney David Wohl agreed.
“The state is not going to care about religious tradition,” Wohl said. “She was a terrorist.”
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay