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A prominent Muslim doctor has appeared before a misconduct hearing after declaring that society needs "protecting from the ravages" of homosexuality.

Dr Muhammad Siddiq, 65, president of the Islamic Medical Association, accused gay people of spreading disease and suggested they needed the "stick of the law to put them on the right path", the General Medical Council was told.

Dr Siddiq, who is currently suspended from practising, made the comments in a letter to Pulse, the medical magazine, which generated a stream of complaints when it was published last year.

He later apologised for causing hurt and distress, but yesterday faced misconduct charges in front of a GMC fitness-to-practice panel in Manchester. If found guilty, he faces being struck off .

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