Dr Abdul Majid Katme of the Islamic Medical Association used the words "silly and stupid" to describe some Muslim medics' objections to attending lectures that addressed subjects their religion didn't want them to know about.
He told Radio 4 on the BBC, "Some Muslim medical students last year refused to attend lectures, and answer exam questions about alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases, because they claimed it offended their religious beliefs. One student also allegedly refused to examine women." All doctors had a duty to all patients, many of whom, he reasonably pointed out, were Muslim.
But then one of our blogging colleagues over at the Freethinker decided to look back a bit, and uncovered this from the Daily Mail. Mention the word gay, it seems, and all thoughts of being sensible are lost. The gist is that the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which came into force last April, force everyone to treat gays equally. But its objectors see this piece of legislation as promoting homosexuality (however that is done), and up there with the chief objectors is our old friend Islam – in this case in the guise of Dr Katme. These laws were "unjust", he said back in January 2007, when the Mail story appeared.
Dr Katme wrote a nasty, spiteful, vicious, hostile, venomous, malevolent, vituperative letter to several hundred supporters and forty imams, who were expected to publicise the issue during Friday prayers. This Hippocratic oaf urged Muslims to "join our Christian friends in their campaign against the new proposed law on sexual orientation", adding, "It is against our religious rights and against our human rights and against our conscience and religious beliefs to have this new unjust law forced on all of us British Muslims."
Against your human rights, Dr Katme? What on earth are you babbling about, man? It's your duty to treat people equally, and consign batty notions from your choice of superstition to the waste bin with the soiled dressings and used hypodermic needles. That goes for your profession as a healer working under UK secular laws and any other services you provide (also working under UK secular laws), whether you're Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jedi Knight or an adherent of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.