Doctor suspended for alleged hate speech

October 28, 2008

Via The Daily Mail, so approach with caution…

I’m going to post the whole thing because it’s impossible to know how to remove the alleged hate speech without compromising the rest of the content of the original report.

If there’s even a grain of truth in it, then it’s a very disturbing situation: that a qualified GP should feel that it’s acceptable for him to give voice to hate speech of this nature – and it’s an even greater cause for concern when one of his targets appears to be a patient under his care.

And if it should turn out to be just another space-filling tabloid shock-horror story, then shame on The Daily Mail.

If anyone has any updates on this, please post details/links in the comments.

A leading Muslim doctor called for gay people to feel ‘the stick of the law’ in order to protect society from their ‘ravages’, a disciplinary hearing was told yesterday.

Dr Muhammad Siddiq, president of the Islamic Medical Association, wrote to a magazine for GPs accusing homosexuals of spreading disease with their ‘irresponsible behaviour’, it was claimed.

The 65-year-old now faces being struck off after he was called before the General Medical Council to explain the comments.

The letter to Pulse magazine signed by Dr Siddiq stated that ‘the gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen, they are causing the spread of illness and they are the root cause of many sexually-transmitted diseases’.

It added: ‘Gays and homosexuals, they neither need sympathy or help, what they need is the stick of the law to put them on the right path and mend their ways and behaviour.’

‘We need to protect society from their ravages. They are preying on society.’

It also criticised transsexuals, referring to a depressed patient undergoing a sex change as ‘twisted’.

The letter sent by Dr Siddiq, who trained in Pakistan in the 1960s and worked in Walsall, provoked outrage when it featured in the magazine in July last year, yesterday’s hearing was told.

Walsall Primary Care Trust contacted the doctor for an explanation, and he responded with an apology for writing it, saying he had been under intense stress at the time.

‘I categorically and unreservedly apologise for the hurt and offence I may have caused to anyone who may have read my letter,’ he wrote to the PCT.

‘I have practised as a GP for over 30 years and have never discriminated on any grounds. I would never refuse any treatment because of someone’s sexuality.

‘I just cannot understand how or why I could have said this in my letter.’

Dr Siddiq promised to send a retraction to the magazine, but the fitness to practise hearing of the GMC was told he gave a completely different explanation only a few days later.

Now he claimed his original draft letter had supported better treatment for gay patients.

His son, Khubaib, who had typed it up, had added the inflammatory remarks as ‘a spoof’, he said, expecting his father to spot the changes and throw it in the bin.

Bernadette Baxter, counsel for the GMC, said Dr Siddiq’s case was that because he was ‘so busy and overworked, he didn’t read the letter, he simply signed it and sent it off without being aware of its contents’.

However she told the panel: ‘The GMC’s case is that when Dr Siddiq realised that his letter retracting his statement was not going to do the trick and bring an end to the matter, he strayed from the truth and set out a new explanation.’

Dr Siddiq is also facing disciplinary action for refusing to co-operate with the PCT over the death of a baby boy he had circumcised.

Although there was no direct link between the procedure and the baby’s death a month later, Dr Siddiq was ordered to stop carrying out minor surgery while a review was carried out.

However he responded that he planned to ignore their instruction, branding their finding ‘null and void’.

Dr Siddiq, who is currently suspended, denies misconduct.

The hearing, in Manchester, continues.

ETA: The Times Online also carries the story; at first sight, it’s substantively the same. Link here.

ETA, 29 October: Pink News

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