DOCTORS GIVE IN TO MUSLIMS
DOCTORS and health workers have been banned from eating lunch at their desks - in case it offends their Muslim colleagues.
Health chiefs believe the sight of food will upset Muslim workers when they are celebrating the religious festival Ramadan.
The lunch trolley is also to be wheeled out of bounds as the 30-day fast begins next month.
But staff and politicians branded the move political correctness gone mad and warned that it was a step too far.
Bill Aitken, the Scottish Conservative justice spokesman, said: “This advice, well-meaning as it may be, is total nonsense.
“It is the sort of thing that can stir up resentment rather than result in good relations.”
The new guidance comes in the wake of the failed terror attacks on Glasgow and the death of suspect Kafeel Ahmed, 27.
Health chiefs in Lothian and Glasgow will give all employees time off to pray and to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.
But Greater Glasgow and Clyde as well as Lothian NHS boards also issued the advice, warning workers not to take working lunches, and said all vending machines should be removed from areas where Muslims work.
One senior consultant said: “What next? Are we going to have advice on how to deal with Catholics during Lent?
“This kind of thing does more harm than good.”
The guidance, which was sent round many organisations, was produced by Glasgow consultancy Meem, which advises on Muslim issues and counts the Scottish Parliament among its clients.
Na’eem Raza, a senior consultant with the firm, said he was thrilled that the health boards had formally adopted the guidance.
He added: “The idea is to get faith in the workplace out in the open.
“In the current climate, people need to understand where communities are coming from and what people are feeling.
“After the Glasgow attack this is very important. This is about educating people and making them more aware and more confident when dealing with issues surrounding the Muslim community.
“People have stopped talking over the garden fence and we need to break down the barriers so that people can talk comfortably to each other.
“It would never stir up resentment. Faith is an important issue. Why not have guidance on all of the issues that affect us, including different faiths?”
Health chiefs defended their use of the guidance and said it was important to promote a positive and tolerant culture at work.
A NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesman said: “As a large organisation we recognise that many of our staff, patients and visitors will be participating in Ramadan.
“We have therefore made information available to our staff to raise awareness of Ramadan and help to answer any questions they may have.”
NHS Lothian said: “We have recently agreed a quality and diversity strategy and as a responsible and pro-active employer we will continue to promote a positive culture which recognises and respects diversity both in our workforce and in the people we serve
Me for one does not agree with the above. Just because there are vending machines around that is not going to affect the abilities of hospital staff who fast. To create inconvenience for others, where there is no effect on the individual who is fasting, i find it absorbed that such changes have been suggested. Next they will have a no eating policy so as not to offend Muslims
Lets put it this way we Muslims have been in the UK for well over 60 years, in all those years we have managed quite well in fasting in the UK environment. What changes we do need, we do not get, what we don’t really need, we get