French Muslims Face a Cruel Coronavirus Shortage: Burial Grounds

By Constant Méheut
Mourners throw dirt into the grave of an 87-year-old man originally from Algeria who died of Covid-19 and did not have any relatives in France. They were following the traditional Islamic burial practices at a cemetery in Thiais, a Paris suburb. Mauricio Lima for The New York Times
PARIS — The middle-aged men, some wearing masks and gloves, leaned over a freshly excavated grave and gingerly slid a coffin into it. Arching their backs and bending their knees, they were burying a 60-year-old French-Moroccan woman in the Muslim section of a cemetery in a town north of Paris. But it was more than 1,800 miles from where the woman had wanted to be laid to rest: Ifrane Atlas-Saghir, her home village in Morocco. The pandemic that has upended much of the world has halted the tradition of many French Muslim immigrant families of repatriating bodies to their country of origin. [More]