Public Management of Religious Quarters of Cemeteries in Paris: The Case of Islam (1857–1957)

The Cemetery as a Political Space
By Juliette Nunez

This article analyzes how Muslims succeeded in obtaining specific religious quarters in the municipal cemeteries of Paris, in conformity with the ritual requirements of their faith and in accordance with the demographic evolution of their religious group. It traces the Parisian history of denominational quarters in publicly-owned cemeteries from the Muslim quarter in the Père-Lachaise (1857) to the Muslim cemetery of Bobigny (1937) and the Muslim divisions of the extra-muros Parisian cemetery of Thiais, the most recent and largest of all funeral grounds in the French capital. Juliette Nunez shows in particular the main obstacles faced by Parisian Muslims to bury their dead according to their own rites, in the context of a secular State and of the specific challenges of the management of urban cemeteries in the 20th century.


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