Dentists as moral arbiters

The BBC yesterday reported that a Muslim dentist in Bury, near Manchester, has been brought before a disciplinary tribunal accused of demanding that a Muslim woman wear a hijab to his practice if she wanted to be treated (HT: UZ). He allegedly told her she could not register with his practice unless she covered her hair, a rule he apparently only applied to Muslim women. There is more on this at the Manchester Evening News, which I found via Dhimmi Watch, having expected that he would pick up on this.

Now, I don’t know which side is telling the truth. The dentist, Dr (?) Omer Butt, claims that he did not refuse to treat her, but used his religious ethos as a marketing tool, offering discounted or free treatment to Muslim women who wore the hijab. She claims she was taken to an X-ray room on arrival and told the rules, and agreed to them, but left after being told she must return to the surgery wearing the headscarf provided.

If the truth is as the woman alleged, the fact is that the dentist has no business using his practice to act as religious policeman over the Muslim women in his town. He is a healthcare provider; for good or ill, we don’t live in an Islamic state here and it’s not up to Muslims to force other Muslims, at least those not under their care such as their children, to abide by the Shari’ah. His job is to provide dental care, end of story. No doubt male Muslim dentists treat non-Muslim women all the time, some of them in far worse states of undress. Surely a Muslim lady, even if not practising and without her hair covered, would have been a pleasant change!

People should realise that we are lucky to live in this country where wearing hijab is no bar to receiving medical treatment or education. That isn’t the case in some countries, both in Europe and in the Muslim world. If Muslims do stupid things like this, they play into the hands of those who wish to see the end of hijab altogether, and would use healthcare and education as a weapon in that campaign.

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  • Thersites

    It seems a little hypocritical for a man who is going to be examining a woman intimately to fuss about whether it is “‘unlawful’ for him, as a Muslim, to look at a Muslim woman who was not properly covered up.” Isn’t it just as ‘illegal’ for him to look at any woman who isn’t properly covered up?

  • Is this about Islam? I’m reminded of an incident at Uni, when a young female Pakistani Muslim research student joined a group of students and tutors in a local pub, where she had a coke. A small cotery of male Pakistani Muslims were also there - drinking alcohol. They approached her and hypocritically chastised her, asserting “pubs are no place for a Muslim women.” “It’s nothing to do with me being Muslim, ” she retorted, “You’re only saying that to me because I’m a Paki!” The said bros beat a hasty retreat.

  • kaysan

    Incidentally you will be interested to know that Mr Omer Butt, is none other than the brother of HASAN BUTT!!!

    I can vouch for this as I met him once at a gathering in Manchester and the chap is a few raisins short of fruitcake. He asked us all what we thought of Hasan Butt, to which we all answered with admittedly derisory comment ( some of us using the extensive Anglo Saxon vernacular :-). He sat there and listened and then proclaimed he was his brother, you could hear a pin drop. Then he went on to chastise us for allowing free mixing in this event!!!!

    I blame it on the Pakistani proclivity for inbreeding.