Despite the government’s decision, the French Council for Muslim Faith (CFCM) urged the Muslim community in France to remain home.
Rabat – The French government declared that communal religious ceremonies will be able to resume this Saturday, May 23 in France, after being suspended since the start of the pandemic.
The announcement came as a press release on May 22.
French Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner announced an agreement with religious representatives in France on the procedures for resuming religious ceremonies, including for Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists.
This measure entered into force following a May 18 decision to lift the “general and absolute” ban on assembly in places of worship. The Council of State, which is the highest administrative jurisdiction in France, determined the move.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe previously proposed June 2 as a date for resuming religious gatherings in places of worship.
The Council of State had considered the ban as “a serious and illegal attack” on freedom of worship.
French authorities said that the performance of religious ceremonies will be under the responsibility of the organizers, urging them to comply with several protective measures.
Like all public establishments, the state council demands that religious organizers ensure the respect of social distancing among worshipers. They should also reduce, to the maximum appropriate extent, the number of attending practitioners.
The council also stressed the importance of wearing face masks at all times during communal religious rituals.
Foreign Minister Castaner concluded the release by saying that this “fruitful” decision follows a rich dialogue with religious groups in France since the start of the health crisis. “We trust in the exemplary prudence and vigilance of those responsible for worship.”
Despite the government’s decision, the French Council for Muslim Faith (CFCM) urged the country’s Muslim community to remain home, indicating that mosques will remain closed during Eid Al-Fitr in France, May 24.
“The fundamental principle of preservation of life, the CFCM calls on the Muslims of France not to celebrate the prayer of Eid El Fitr in mosques … Everyone can perform it at home and with their family,” said CFCM today in a press release with the slogan: “Save lives, stay home.”
The council also called on mosque managers to wait for their recommendations for a gradual resumption of activities in strict compliance with health security conditions.
“This will give us time to see the impact of the containment lifting on May 11, on the epidemiological situation of our country which remains precarious despite the improvement linked to confinement,” CFCM concluded.
Eid Al-Fitr is traditionally celebrated with large collective prayers in the early morning.