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article imageMuslim dentist sent away patients for not wearing headscarf

By Subhabrata Das     May 9, 2009 in Crime
A British Muslim dentist allegedly refused to treat some female patients in his National Health Service (NHS) funded clinic unless they wore a traditional Islamic dress to cover up their hair.
Omer Butt, 32, a Muslim NHS dentist allegedly ordered his female patients to put on traditional Islamic dress and forced men to remove jewelry before allowing them to register themselves in his Lancashire practice, a professional conduct panel General Dental Council (GDC) heard on Thursday.
According to a news report published in Dailymail, at least two female patients left in pain after they refused to follow Butt's self-imposed rules.
It is the second time that Butt has appeared before the disciplinary committee on similar allegations.
Two years ago, in a similar incident, Butt was reprimanded by the GDC for "humiliating" an Asian mother-of-two by forcing her to wear an Islamic headscarf and ordering her to sit in the waiting room.
GDC’s professional conduct panel in London heard that Butt allegedly said it was his duty to ensure Muslim female patients wore the traditional Islamic dress so that they do not commit religious sin.
He allegedly put a laminated sign on the wall of his waiting room ordering patients to stick to their dress code or find another dentist.
John Snell, for the GDC, said: "He sought to impose a dress code on patients attending his practice. He required that women cover their hair with a headscarf, or hijab, and that male patients remove any gold jewelry."
He said there might be no cause for complaint if Butt would not have made dress code as a compulsory condition for the treatment.
In his statement Snell said: "He made compliance with Islamic dress code a condition of treatment, which is entirely inappropriate under the auspices of the National Health Service. Patients should have access to NHS treatment regardless of their religious observance, or otherwise."
This time Butt has faced two different complaints from two women who came to his clinic in 2006 and 2007.
One patient, referred to as Mrs F, told the hearing that in 2006 she along with her husband and three children went to Butt's Unsworth Smile Clinic, in Bury, Lancashire. After a while Butt reportedly called her husband into his office and instructed him to tell his wife to wear a headscarf or the family would not be treated.
Following the incident they immediately left the clinic and made a complaint to the NHS.
Mrs F said: "I was extremely annoyed. It's my choice if I wear a Hijab or not. But he told my husband he wouldn't treat any of us until I did. He even offered to provide one for me to use, but I didn't want to wear it. I shouldn't have to wear it to get treatment."
In June 2007, another female patient along with her husband arrived in Butt's clinic for the treatment. In this case also Butt allegedly called the husband, who referred to as Mr C, into his office and told him to impose a dress code on his wife. During hearing, the wife reportedly said: "My husband came out and he looked quite angry and his face was red. He said 'let's go.' He shouldn't say to me that he can't treat me unless I wear the hijab. He said he could provide one for us, but I didn't want to wear one. I was in pain that day."
Butt reportedly denied the charges of misconduct which the GDC said impaired his fitness to practice. The hearing is continued in London and expected to end by next week.
Notably, Butt is the older brother of former Islamic extremist Hassan Butt, who once declared he had "no problem" with terror attacks on Britain and said that September 11 "served the pleasure of Allah.”
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