Naz Shah wants to ‘strengthen relationship with the Jewish community’

Bradford MP Naz Shah has told Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush that she wishes to strengthen her relationship with the Jewish community.

Ms Shah, the member for Bradford West, held a meeting with Jonathan Arkush and Vice-President Marie van der Zyl, during a two-day Board of Deputies visit to Bradford. She said: “2016 was a learning curve for me. It was great to have this meeting and I look forward to working with the Jewish community in 2017, I will continue in my efforts to tackle issues that matter to the community, particularly antisemitism.”

Jonathan said: “Naz Shah is one of the only people involved in Labour’s antisemitism crisis who has sought to make amends for her actions, and for this we commend her and now regard Naz as a sincere friend of our community.”

Jonathan, who was accompanied by Vice President Marie van der Zyl, also met Bradford East MP Imran Hussain, the Bishop of Bradford and community organisations including the Bradford Council of Mosques and the Muslim Women’s Council.

He said: “I was very glad to meet the Bradford Council of Mosques. We are looking to work together on a range of issues which unite us including protecting halal/shechita, faith schools and maintaining our culture and faith while embracing British values. We also held a discussion about the importance of confronting extremism and hate crime.

“With the Muslim Women’s Council we spoke about ensuring that women in both communities are at the front and centre of interfaith engagement. Nisa Nashim, the Muslim-Jewish women’s network founded by the Board of Deputies, is an inspiring example of what can be achieved by Jewish and Muslim women working together.”

On Monday morning, Jonathan and Marie visited the Eternal Light Muslim Secondary School in the city and held an hour-long question and answer session with students. Topics covered included Zionism, women’s rights and religious rituals.

Headteacher Yusuf Collector said: “It is vital we give our young people the tools to combat prejudice and mistrust. Our session today with leaders of the Jewish community will have a profound and lasting impact.”

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