When Khalifa Saadi was burying his son who was killed in a suicide bombing that killed scores of civilians in Fallujah, he was surprised to see the family of the suicide bomber burying their son in the same cemetery.
Saadi, 45, then started to quarrel with the bomber's family. He asked them to "respect the souls of the victims who were sent to death for no sin".
Saadi did not want his son and his executioner to be buried in the same cemetery.
The group of mourners, which included clerics, civilians, and police personnel, took Saadi's side, and forced the suicide bomber's family out of the burial grounds.
"Executioners should not be buried with their victims. They deserve [to be buried in] the garbage yards, not the calm, quiet solitude of the graves, because they are rejected whether dead or alive," Saadi told Mawtani.
"Killing a Muslim is a departure from the faith, as all Muslim scholars agree; therefore burying the suicide bomber in the same place with the victims who he had killed is unfair and carries a big insult," said Sheikh Khalid Hameed al-Jumaily, dean of the College of Islamic Sharia at Baghdad University.
"The jurisprudence rule states that a murderer who spills the blood of other Muslims should not be buried in the Muslims' cemetery, nor should he be bathed, or shrouded, but buried wearing his own clothes in a faraway place," he told Mawtani.
Al-Jumaily said a municipality office or a police civil affairs committee is in charge of burying terrorists who are executed, as well as the remains of suicide bombers, in arid, remote places far away from city centres.
Khalid Aswad al-Luhaibi, director general at the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities, said plots of land about 10 kilometres away from city centres have been allocated for the burial of suicide bombers and non-Iraqis executed under death sentences.
He said the land was allocated as a "measure of respect for the bodies of the victims who died at the hands of the terrorists".
Al-Luhaiby said the remains of Iraqi suicide bombers and executed terrorists would be delivered to their families, who would then be responsible for burying them, which often takes place in areas far from cities centres.
Hussein al-Zawbae, who is in charge of the Islamic Karkh cemetery in western Baghdad, told Mawtani that some terrorists are buried in deserted areas about 5,000 metres into the desert in the Abu Ghraib district.
"But here at the Islamic Karkh cemetery, only those who had declared their love of country, were loyal to all Iraqis, and did not raise arms against them, are buried," he said.
Al-Zawbae said there are five graves of terrorists who were executed several years ago and were buried by their families at the cemetery without permission.
"This led to the loss of a large area because every time people come here to bury their dead, and as soon as they know that those graves are for terrorists, they would refuse to leave their loved ones in a grave near those five," he said.
"We are thinking of removing their remains to the cemetery allocated for terrorists after obtaining official approval," he said.
Sheikh Abdullah Mansy, deputy chairman of the Iraqi Fatwa Council in Karkh, described the ban on burying suicide bombers in public cemeteries as being "their punishment in this world before their punishment in the next world".
"They are pariahs even in death. The terrorists live like strangers and die like strangers," Mansy told Mawtani.
Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Ghafoor al-Samarae, chairman of the Sunni Endowment office, said, "Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations killed Iraqi people, indulged in the shedding of their blood, and spread destruction; Therefore, we disown them while they are alive, and after they die."