NHS investigates GP head of extremist group who led anti-Israel demo

A GP is being investigated by the NHS after leading an anti-Israel protest at which some demonstrators called for “jihad”.

Dr Wahid Asif Shaida, who has practiced as a family GP in north west London since 2002, is also UK leader of the extremist Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), which is banned in Germany and a dozen other countries.

Using the name Abdul Wahid he addressed a rally outside the Egyptian and Turkish embassies in London last month during which he told the crowd: “Victory is coming and everyone has to choose a side. Whose side are you going to be on?”

A video clip showed people in the crowd chanting “Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!’” after the speeches. The Met found no offences were identified in the clip.

The GP was also present at a protest by HT outside the Egyptian Embassy on Saturday, where supporters of the group held up a banner reading: “Muslim Armies! Rescue the People of Palestine” and chanted: “Muslim armies isn’t it time?”

He told the crowd that liberation would mean a “system that allowed Muslim, Jew and Christian to live side by side in peace and respect with everyone having rights”.

Police had earlier handed out leaflets urging the 100-odd demonstrators not to use racist terms or incite hatred to “avoid ending up in our cells”.

Investigation launched 

The General Medical Council and NHS England have now launched an investigation into Dr Shaida after “concerns” were raised.

A spokesperson for NHS North West London (NHSNWL) said: “We are aware of media reports of a serious nature relating to public comments allegedly made by a clinician in North West London. The conduct of individual practitioners sits with NHSE and the GMC. Both are aware of the concerns raised and are investigating the matter.

NHSNWL added: “We are actively engaging with the practice and NHS England. NHS North West London abhors anti-Semitism and has written to all GP practices in North West London reminding them of the zero tolerance approach that we expect all staff working in GP practices to adopt towards anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.”

In the days after Hamas gunmen massacred more than 1,400 Israelis on October 7, HT’s Facebook page praised the attack as having “ignited a wave of joy and elation among Muslims globally”.

Praised ‘brave mujahideen’ 

In a talk on YouTube Dr Shaida later praised the “brave mujahideen”, or fighters, who “gave the enemy a punch on the nose, and it’s a very welcome punch on the nose”.

Patients at Dr Shaida’s Harrow based practice GP Direct are understood to have raised concerns about him being allowed to practice there, given his views.

His profile on the surgery’s website states: “Dr Wahid Shaida has worked as a salaried GP at the practice since 2002. His special interests lie in the field of medical education. He is a GP trainer for recently qualified doctors. He is currently the information governance and complaints lead within the practice.”

Dr Shaida, who has confirmed he was also known as Abdul Wahid, has denied his HT group is extremist, saying the word is used as a “pejorative term”.

Speaking last month he added: “I attend to my professional duties and commitments diligently, aiming for the best care of my patients at all times. For reasons of professional probity I keep a very clear line between my professional and political life.”

He said HT was calling on the Muslim world to intervene militarily to rescue the people of Gaza “who have been subjected to horrific conditions for 16 years”.

‘Encouraging terrorism’

Responding to criticism from the then Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has previously stated that chanting ‘jihad’ is not in itself a crime.

But the Government’s adviser on counter terror legislation has said such chants can be prosecuted as encouraging terrorism.

In a report published on Wednesday, Jonathan Hall KC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said he did not believe there was any need to toughen anti-terror laws in the wake of the national pro-Palestine protests.

He said this was especially the case “if terrorist attacks had already been carried out in support of the speaker’s cause, and members of the public might reasonably see a chant of jihad as encouragement to carry out their own act of terrorism in the UK or overseas,” he added.

“Jihad has benign meanings but, in this context, would likely refer to violence.”

Dr Shaida was contacted for comment.


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