Do not shave beards of Muslim patients: SP leader writes to BMC

first_imgSamajwadi Party (SP) Councilor Rais Shaikh has demanded that the beards of Muslim patients should not be shaved off in the hospitals as it is an important part of Islamic practice.Citing religious reasons, Shaikh has written a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that beards of Muslim male patients shouldn’t be shaved off in the BMC-run hospitals during surgeries.Shaikh said, “Sporting a beard is an important part of Islam. As an Indian, I have a right to religion guaranteed by the Constitution. In cases of life-threatening surgeries, it can be okay but in smaller operative procedures, consent from the patient or his family is required.””It’s not mandatory to remove the beard. You can cover it. Government hospitals are very insensitive about this and have made it a standard operating procedure,” Shaikh told India Today.While Rais Shaikh has become a spokesperson regarding the beard being an important part of Islam, the Samajwadi Party leader himself doesn’t sport one.”It’s not that every Muslim keeps a beard. I am not a practicing Muslim so I don’t have one. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any right to talk about the issue. I am speaking for the people I represent,” he said.The issue stems from a hospital norm to remove facial hair for surgical procedures.Talking about the issue raised, Bariatric Surgeon and Gastroenterologist Dr Narendra Nikam said, “Removing beard has certain indications and contra-indications. In facial surgeries as well as maintaining hygiene, the beard has to be removed. In cases of administering general anesthesia, we need to fix a tube to the mouth and if it gets removed, it may lead to folliculitis (an infection caused due to plucking of hair). We usually take consent before removing the beard.”advertisementSlamming Shaikh for raising this issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party said that his demand was based on sheer ignorance.”Had he discussed the issue with medical experts, he would not have dared to write this letter. By making such statement, not only has he exposed his ignorance but, also done damage for the Muslim community,” alleged BJP Leader Manoj Kotak.The NCP too called it a poor attempt to gain political brownie points.”He is ill-informed about the procedures and hence trying to create an issue out of a non-issue. Removing the beard is not mandatory, every hospital does it with consent. He doesn’t know this and even if he knows, it’s a poor attempt to revive their party,” alleged NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik.Also Read | Muslim caretakers still look after this century-old Church in PakistanAlso Watch | Muslim groups take to Kolkata streetslast_img read more