Coronavirus: France to close down mosques

by Akeem Alao

Following the rise in death toll in France the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) has announced plan to shut down mosques in the country to contain coronavirus.

It was gathered that by Friday next week, all large mosques in places such as Paris, Ivry, Argenteuil and Strasbourg would be advised not to open for Friday prayers

This was disclosed on Wednesday March 11th, 2020 by Mohammed Moussawi, head of the CFCM.

“As of next Friday all large mosques in places such as Paris, Ivry, Argenteuil and Strasbourg which accommodate more than 1,000 people would be advised not to open for Friday prayers, and that worshippers should instead pray at home,” he said.

“In the region of l’Oise, a decision had already been taken to close all mosques and other public gathering places.

“Both l’Oise and Mulhouse have experienced a spread of the virus and been advised to close all mosques for the five daily prayers. There were also instructions that unwell people and the elderly should not attend mosques in those areas until further notice,” he noted.

He added that despite the coronavirus, there had not been a noticeable drop in the number of people going to mosques.

“This is the reason why we insist on different imams advising the Muslim community to be cautious, to implement the necessary instructions in order to avoid the spread of the virus,” he added.

France also announced that its Minister of Culture Franck Riester, who tested positive for the coronavirus, was feeling well despite his condition.

Riester is believed to have caught it from one of the five French parliamentarians to have thus far been diagnosed with the virus, having spent several days last week in the National Assembly.

The death toll in France has reached 30, and the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) has given instructions to the country’s 5 million Muslims to be followed in all Islamic places of worship.

The French government has instructed the population to regularly wash their hands with soap, not to shake hands, and to use towels for washing before prayers.

The CFCM was created in 2003 as the link between the French government, imams, and the people running mosques in France. It was meant to take care of all problems in France relating to Muslims and their religion. It does not, however, represent the Muslim community.

The CFCM takes care of such religious issues as establishing cemeteries, authorizations for building mosques, and the appointments of chaplains in prisons.

In recognition of the seriousness of the situation, the protection of French President, Emmanuel Macron, has been strengthened..

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