Mosques to close in France to combat Coronavirus Outbreak

French authorities and French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM) have advised all large Mosques to close in France for Friday (Jumma) prayers in France to combat Coronavirus Outbreak.

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.

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.

According to the spokesperson from the mosques 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 worships should instead pray at home.

French Minister of Culture Franck Riester, who tested positive for the coronavirus, is 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.

Containing the Coronavirus Outbreak

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.

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

And this is the reason why the CFCM and the French Government 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. So the advice to all is Mosques should close on Friday, including The Grande Mosquee in Paris.

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Apart from in the region of l’Oise, no decision has been taken prohibiting people, even the elderly, from going to mosques for the normal 5 daily prayers.

The French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM)

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. Elysee sources confirmed that his chief of staff, Patrick Strzoda, was working remotely as a precaution because he had been in contact with a person who had tested positive for coronavirus.


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