21 March 2020
MCB statement on burial measures in COVID-19 emergency legislation
In response to the UK Government’s proposed emergency legislation to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a proposal to amend burial procedures. Commenting, Harun Khan, Secretary General of the MCB said:
“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic Muslim communities up and down the country strongly support the UK Government’s approach to the importance of considering all eventualities and finding the optimal way to defeat this virus.
“We are aware the Government is proposing emergency legislation to deal with the monumental issues society faces in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and this includes specific provisions which may impact religious burial procedures in certain extreme scenarios.
“The Muslim Council of Britain is supporting the National Burial Council (Muslim) working alongside other faith communities and collaboratively with senior UK Government officials to highlight the absolute importance of burials in our faiths, and how risks can be appropriately mitigated.
“This is not something anyone is taking lightly and we want to reassure the community that we are working hard to ensure that our concerns are taken on board.
“We are hopeful a solution will be found that recognises the challenges in extreme cases, whilst maintaining the importance of certain beliefs that our faith communities hold dear.
“We urge communities at a local level to work positively and collaboratively with other faiths, communities, and local and national government bodies, and will be providing more guidance soon.”