Bradford West MP, Naz Shah has been showered with praise after leading on a proposed amendment to an emergency Coronavirus Bill.
Ms Shah submitted an amendment, which was backed by more than 100 MPs, to the Coronavirus Bill which was brought to the House of Commons on Monday 23 March, to exempt those from faith backgrounds from automatically being cremated if they die after contracting coronavirus.
Concerns had grown between Jewish and Muslim communities, whose faith forbid cremation that if the new bill was passed it would mean local authorities would be able to use emergency powers to disregard the wishes of the deceased and cremate in the event of the number of deaths increasing dramatically.
The amendment, which was welcomed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Muslim Council for Britain, sought to guarantee that if the number of dead became unmanageable, next of kin and faith organisations would be consulted before someone was cremated, which following campaigns has been agreed by the government.
A government spokesperson said: “We have worked closely with faith groups, MPs and local authorities to reassure them that we are fully committed to respecting religious practices.
“We recognise the huge importance of this and will do everything we can to maintain the right for a person or their loved one to have their preferences respected and the wishes of the bereaved upheld.
“These emergency measures are only intended to be an absolute last resort.”
On getting agreement from the government to amend it’s own bill, the shadow women and equalities minister said: “I’m so relieved that the Government have listened to what we’ve said about religious burials for Muslim and Jewish people and have brought forward an amendment to address our concerns.
“I don’t need to push my amendment to a vote. Thank you so much to everyone for your support.”
The news received much praise from netizens and faith leaders.
The Muslim Council For Britain said in a statement: “We pay tribute to the hardwork of Naz shah MP for Bradford West for raising the issue alongside others, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims for mobilising support for this important change across the House, and we also thank those MPs who support the amendment.”
Board of Deputies of British Jews President Marie van der Zyl said: “We are grateful to Naz Shah and other MPs backing an amendment in this direction.”
Social media was also rife with compliments for the Bradford West MP.