A pair of the farming enthusiasts were excited to start a farming business using the land that they purchased from both of their savings not knowing that in a small German town their excitement would turn into a disappointment.
Bernd Burchhardt, 49, and Elmar Damke, 63, both believe that farming is a way of life. They both specialized in raising and slaughtering hogs to sell on the local market, unfortunately, there might be a chance that they couldn’t make it. They both wanted to become the town’s first farmers to breed and butcher swine in Mülheim-Holthausen that consist of fewer than 14,000 people.
Their hopes went down as they were informed that they’re not allowed to open their pig farm because their land is too close to a cemetery and the local Muslim community is “disturbed” by the presence of swine.
It is known that Muslims are strictly prohibited from even coming into contact with swine or their meat, the city has ruled that the farmers must forego their plans to operate a free-range pig farm.
“There are at least 300 meters (948 feet) between our fields and the cemetery. If the city had the same sensitivity to non-Muslims, then all kebab shops would have to close. There are certainly people who feel disturbed by them.”
The said community is eager to pressure the city to refuse the farmers to use their land and even said that the pair’s land would offend not only Muslims but anyone who travels to the town.
Osman Safakli (56), chairman of Fatih Mosque Mülheim: “Is there no other place in Mülheim to breed pigs? It would really bother not only us but all visitors.”
Although Burchhardt and Damke insist that the city is only refusing them the right to utilize their property because Muslims are offended, the council dismissed their accusation. The city maintains that pig farming will harm the environment while likewise suggesting that burial plots do not.
The city points out that no application has yet been received from Damke. Spokeswoman Anke van Löchtern (51): “Part of the desired agricultural area belongs to the city and is provided for a long-term cemetery extension according to the development plan. Pig husbandry is not desirable there from the perspective of the city. It has nothing to do with the Muslims.”
Despite Burchhardt and Damke several attempts to pursue the favor of the city, they still rejected their application before they completed it and choose to side to those against swine farming as they reasoned out that it’s not just because of the Muslim community but it will also damage the environment.
So far, the only critics of a swine farm have been Muslims, who are offended by the very notion that the haram creatures are less than 1,000 feet away.
After receiving multiple rejections the pair still wants to pursue their right to farm on their land no matter the Muslim minority finds it disturbing and will seek help in a legal way in order for them to get the necessary permits to begin their slaughtering business.