In my many years in the Service, everywhere I went I was always told to respect the local customs, behave in a manner not designed to upset the locals, obey the local religious or other majority held beliefs etc. I am still working abroad and still following the same set of principles.
My girlfriend is a local lass (21st Century Muslim i.e. not some barking mad letterbox lookalike talking sh1t from some 600 years ago) and her opinion is - why would they need different services? They don't in most Muslim countries and if they are that worried about it why don't they go to somewhere where they can, if the service provided is sooo bad.
I agree that your alternative headline could have been "Muslim Academic Refutes Claims for Faith Based Health Provision". But it wasn't!
I suspect pandering to the likes of Profesor Sheikh in this as in other small areas is simply starting to get up the hooters of the great majority of people - including a lot of Muslims who don't have any problems at all with the current system.
Sven said:Whilst one muslim academic did call for this, another - Manchester University health expert Professor Aneez Esmail - said "going down the path of providing special services for defined groups risks stigmatisation and stereotyping."
So the title of the article could just as easily have been
Muslim Academic Refutes Claims for Faith Based Health Provision
"Muslims are predominantly congregated in the inner city slums, have the lowest household income, poorest educational attainment, and highest unemployment and experience more poverty than any other faith community."