A British doctor responsible for the care of some of the country’s most vulnerable people can today be exposed as a senior leader of a radical Islamist party banned in several countries.
Dr Imran Waheed is a consultant psychiatrist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust (BSMHT), one of the largest of its kind in the country.
He specialises in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, post traumatic stress disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorders, and also provides advice to courts in criminal cases on potentially dangerous individuals.
But it can now be revealed that Dr Waheed is also a leading member Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), which campaigns for an Islamic caliphate ruled by hard-line Sharia law.
Dr Waheed is named in the organisation’s current Media Information Pack, posted online, as its chief media adviser and one of its six leading members in Britain.
Under a HT ruled caliphate men and women would be segregated in public places, women and non-Muslims would be banned from holding positions of power and women would be required to wear the jilbab headscarf in public.
Alcohol would be also banned, along with same-sex relationships.
Furthermore HT refuses to recognise the state of Israel and has repeatedly called for it to be ‘dismantled’, although the organisation denies either advocating violent action or being anti-Semitic.
Critics have said his role as a NHS psychiatrist, paid for by the taxpayer, conflicts with his extreme views on women’s right, alcohol, and same-sex relationships.
In his capacity as media adviser Dr Waheed has previously advocated the setting up of an Islamic caliphate and claimed that Muslims in Britain are routinely treated as “terrorists” discriminated against by the courts, police and media.
Dr Waheed has also called on supporters of HT to undertake ‘jihad’ against Israel, telling followers at a rally at London’s Marble Arch, in 2009, that there could be “no peace or negotiations with the illegitimate entity of Israel.”
He has previously said that he would only condemn the London bombings of July 7, 2005, if Western leaders condemned what they had done in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, last night called on both the trust and the General Medical Council, which regulates all doctors, to examine whether Dr Waheed’s role as a consultant psychiatrist is compatible with his position within HT.
He said: “If Dr Waheed is as fervent about his views as I suspect he is, I find it hard to believe he can keep them separate from his practice as a psychiatrist working with very vulnerable people. It’s a bit like having a member of an extremist far-right party, such as the BNP, working in a multicultural, multiracial, community like Birmingham.”
Mr Mahmood also accused Dr Waheed and HT of “hypocrisy”, stating: “On the one hand he takes money from the state, through his employment by the NHS, on the other his party works to undermine it. HT’s British members benefit from all the freedoms the UK has to offer, yet they constantly criticise our secular, Western society.”
Ghaffar Hussain, who is Head of Research at Quilliam, which campaigns against radicalisation of young Muslims, said: “Vulnerable people suffering from mental health issues have a right to know if they are receiving counselling and care from an individual who is very senior in an extremist organisation such as HT.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned from Birmingham Central Mosque. It’s chairman, Dr Mohammed Naseem, said: “Their views are not compatible with Islam and the Muslim community in Britain rejected them a long time ago.”
The party is banned from public activity in Germany because of its alleged anti-Semitism and is proscribed as a terrorist organisation in Russia and Pakistan. It is also banned in Turkey, Bangladesh and much of the Middle East.
Following the July 7 bombings in London, which killed 56 people, Tony Blair announced his intention to ban the group, but abandoned the plan after police and the security services advised that such a ban would drive it underground and make it harder to monitor its members’ activities.
However, HT is considered to be responsible for radicalising thousands of young British Muslims. It is estimated to have more than 8,000 members in the UK and is particularly influential on university campuses around the country. The National Union of Students has banned it from operating or staging meeting on campuses.
Although HT says it opposes acts of violence in the name of Islam, some British and US security experts claim the organisation acts as a ‘gateway’ for more extreme organisations.
In 2003, police searching the homes of Omar Khan Sharif and Asif Mohammed Hanif, following their failed attempt to blow up a bar in Tel Aviv, found HT literature among their possessions. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was reportedly a former member of HT.
Dr Waheed’s work leaves him responsible for the mental well being of a huge number of people in the care of BSMHT, which covers 1.2 million people across the West Midlands.
He also delivers lectures to medical students, trainee psychiatrists and GPs on the cultural and ethnic aspects of mood disorders, ‘culture bound syndromes’ and the management of depression.
Dr Waheed, 36, also runs a private clinic in the centre of Birmingham, where he charges up to £350 for an initial consultation, and is a consultant psychiatrist at the Priory Group, a private hospital specialising in mental health problems and addiction.
He is a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham, has acted as a second opinion doctor for the Care Quality Commission, the health watchdog, and tutored at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Following the 7/7 London bombings Dr Waheed said: “I will condemn what happened in London only after there is the promise from Western leaders to condemn what they have done in Falluja and other parts of Iraq and in Afghanistan.”
He later clarified HT’s position, stating: “These actions have no justification as far as Islam is concerned.”
Dr Waheed, who lives in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, has also called for a ban on the publication in Britain of cartoons printed in Denmark in 2006 which were said to be insulting to the Prophet Mohammed.
In 2012 he delivered a talk at the Arab Uprising conference, staged by HT in Manchester, in which he urged the adoption of a caliphate form of government, claiming it offered “superior and sophisticated political, economic and social solutions” to contemporary problems.
He has also said: “Ninety nine per cent of Muslim people anywhere in the world want the same thing, a caliphate to rule them.”
Dr Peter Lewis, executive medical director at BSMHT, said: “Dr Imran Waheed is a highly regarded clinician in the organisation and there have been no concerns raised with us relating to any impact of his external activities on his clinical work or on the quality of care provided to his patients.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir said Dr Waheed was no longer its chief media adviser and that it media pack is out of date, but admits he is still a member.
In a statement HT said: “The media pack on the site is out of date and he no longer holds the position he did some years ago. Indeed, he holds no official position in the organisation.”