FOLLOWING lengthy jail sentences imposed yesterday on seven Muslim thugs who ran a paedophile ring in Oxford, today worshippers at 500 mosques across the UK heard a sermon in which they were warned to:
Shun evil, wrongdoing and all forms of indecent and immoral behaviour.
Organised by not-for-profit group Together Against Grooming (Tag), it warned of a backlash as a result of cases of sexual grooming involving mainly men of a Pakistani or South Asian background.
But there were rumblings of discontent over the sermon. According to the BBC Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, an imam at Abu Bakr Mosque in Leicester, said:
People were troubled by us reading the sermon and one man asked me how he could stop it being read. He said ‘it was not our fault this had happened, our religion does not teach us to do these things and we are condemning it’. But as I said to him our only option is to speak out about it.
Monawar Hussain, founder of The Oxford Foundation, which runs educational programmes to promote religious and social harmony, said the sermon was a “fundamental error of judgement” that would play into the hands of far-right groups.
Hussain, imam at Eton College, said:
Our view is that there is no Muslim on the face of this earth that does not already know that child sexual abuse is evil and wicked: this is normal standard teaching in most mosques. There is a terrible danger that far-right groups will point to this and say ‘I told you so’.
Sentencing the seven men who abused the girls as part of a gang, Judge Peter Rook said:
These were sexual crimes of the utmost gravity. The depravity was extreme, each victim was groomed, coerced and intimidated.
Judge Rook jailed brothers Akhtar Dogar, 32, and Anjum Dogar, 31, for a minimum of 17 years telling them they had been found guilty of “exceptionally grave crimes”.
Mohammed Karrar was given life with a minimum of 20 years for the 18 “dreadful offences” he committed, including raping a child under 13.
His brother Bassam Karrar, was jailed for life with a minimum of 15 years.
Kamar Jamil, 27, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 12 years. Assad Hussain, 32, and Zeeshan Ahmed, 27, were both jailed for seven years.
The judge said the gang, all of whom were of Pakistani or north African origin, had targeted vulnerable girls, and said on occasions “the depravity was extreme”.
You targeted the young girls because they were vulnerable, underage and out-of-control.
He said each of the six victims had shown “enormous courage” in giving evidence during the trial.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn