Burial Difficulties of Muslim Coronavirus Victims in France
The insufficiency of Muslim squares in French communal cemeteries has for many years been a painful problem raised by Muslim officials. This reality is revealed even more brutally with the Covid-19 epidemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 14,390 in France.
The French Council of Muslim Religion “CFCM” urged on Monday the French authorities to provide burial spaces for Muslims who died from the Coronavirus, especially that families of the Muslim faith cannot repatriate the bodies to their countries of origin due to the closure of borders.
“The number of victims of the coronavirus pandemic continues to soar, leaving many families facing the grief but also the possibility of not being able to bury their loved ones in accordance with their rites,” says CFCM, noting that Muslim community in France is facing “a serious burial crisis that requires an urgent government action”.
On March 23, the Muslim Religion Council had called on President Emmanuel Macron to provide new burial spaces for Muslims who died of coronavirus, but the response and solutions are not coming out quickly, plunging families into anguish, anxiety and incomprehension”, deplores CFCM chief Mohamed Moussaoui.
During the painful circumstances France is going through, the CFCM urges the French mayors to shoulder their responsibilities to end the suffering and pain of Muslim families who have lost a loved one and who find themselves in great difficulty to bury their deceased relatives, says Mr. Moussaoui.
Faced with the burial problems of Muslims, some regions try to adapt to the situation. In this connection, the Rhône Mosque Council (CMR), which brings together some 40 Muslim places of worship across the department, issued a religious opinion, known as fatwa, on Thursday April 9, allowing Muslim families to bury their deceased outside the Muslim squares if no place is available or if repatriation is impossible during this period of health crisis.
This decision received the support of Muslim organizations, including the CFCM, which recalled the great adaptability of Muslim law in the face of exceptional circumstances, in this case the Covid-19 epidemic.