The ambassador of Morocco in Rome, Youssef Bella, said Friday that 16 Muslim cemeteries, in addition to a Muslim square, were opened for the burial of those who died among the Muslim community since the outbreak of the “Covid-19” Coronavirus epidemic in Italy.
The opening of these Muslim burial sites is the result of efforts made by the Kingdom’s embassy and its consulates general in collaboration with the representatives of Moroccan and Italian civil society, the ambassador said in a statement to MAP.
Bella stressed that these new Muslim burial spaces are in addition to the 48 Islamic cemeteries existing before the spread of the epidemic, bringing the total number to 64 Muslim cemeteries and squares dedicated to the burial of Muslim dead.
Burial operations have thus become possible throughout the Italian territory in “those circumstances beyond our control imposed by the health measures that have made it impossible to transfer the remains of our deceased fellow citizens to the mother country” within Italy.
According to the Ambassador, the new cemeteries are spread over the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Lombardy, Campania, Sicily, Abruzzo, Sardinia, Piedmont, Veneto and Alto-Adige.
He added that, thanks to these efforts, “we have been able to overcome the administrative difficulties for the burial of Muslim dead among non-residents in some Muslim cemeteries in the same city”. Burial has, therefore, become possible in the Milan cemetery for residents of Lombardy and in the Rome cemetery for residents at the national level.
“In these difficult times, the Embassy and the Consulates General highly appreciate the great responsiveness of the Italian central and local authorities and their positive interaction with requests for the opening of new Muslim cemeteries, which illustrates the regard and respect our community enjoys with the Italian authorities and their integration into their local environment,” he continued.
He paid tribute to the civil society associations for the considerable efforts they have made for the burial of deceased Moroccan nationals.
The Ambassador said that, according to the statistics available to the Consulates General, the number of deaths due to the Coronavirus epidemic among members of the Moroccan community had so far reached 34 deaths.
He concluded that all these deceased persons were buried in Muslim cemeteries in full respect of Islamic funeral rituals.