55 இலட்சம் முஸ்லிம்கள் வாழும் பிரான்ஸ் நாட்டில் அவர்களில் யாரேனும் கொரோன தொற்றுக்குள்ளாகி மரணித்தால், இஸ்லாமிய முறைப்படி நல்லடக்கம் செய்யலாம் – பிரான்ஸ் ஜனாதிபதி அறிவிப்பு
PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron has given an assurance that Muslims who die in France during the coronavirus pandemic will be buried in accordance with their religious beliefs and traditions.
France reported 833 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, the highest daily toll since its outbreak began.
Mohamed Moussaoui, president of the French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM), had written to the president about potential issues with Muslim burials as a result of lack of space in municipal cemeteries and the fact it is not currently possible for the deceased to be returned to their homelands for burial. Macron called him to discuss the concerns.
“The president made a commitment, along with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, to respect religious traditions when burying deceased Muslims, even if it means making arrangements with neighboring areas when there are not enough burial sites,” Moussaoui said.
He also asked Macron about rumors that mandatory cremations might be carried out with no family members present if, for example, there were too many bodies for burial.
“The president assured me that this had been completely ruled out and that France would take all necessary measures to ensure that religious traditions pertaining to burials are respected,” he said. “I stated clearly that cremation is prohibited in our religion and Macron gave me his word that it would not happen.”
Moussaoui and Macron also discussed ways in which Muslims can remain in contact with their religious leaders during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.
“(The president) mentioned a proposal made by the scientific council which suggested creating a telephone platform for citizens seeking comfort, or psychological and spiritual assistance, which they can get through imams and chaplains,” said Moussaoui. “We at CFCM had already made the decision to create an assistance platform, so we were part of this collective approach.
“We already have our teams working 24/7 to answer questions from patients and their families as well as questions from families who have lost a loved one. Most of the questions relate to burial procedures, as well as what can and cannot be done.”
France has a population of over 62 million, about 5.5 million of whom are Muslims. As of Monday, almost 9,000 people had died of coronavirus-related conditions, though it is unclear how many Muslims are among the dead.
“We do not know the exact number since we do not have a system that counts deaths in France based on religious affiliation,” said Moussaoui. “Local people of course know, but there is no official way to count deaths according to religion.”