Muslims react to Rotherham scandal
Did fear of being labelled “racist” by the authorities allow at least 1,400 of Rotherham’s children to fall into the hands of vicious abusers?
That’s the question posed today by the BBC, who spoke to several Muslims after a report published this week revealed that the abuse had been carried out “mainly by men of Pakistani heritage”. Councillors and council staff in particular were criticised for “avoiding public discussion”; some through fear of being thought racist, and some through “wholesale denial” of the problem.
This has left the leader of a Muslim organisation in Rotherham furious. Said Muhbeen Hussain, above, founder of British Muslim Youth:
I’m truly disgusted to see such a report in my home town of Rotherham. The fact these guys were predominantly Pakistani heritage men should not be a reason for providing a cloak of invisibility.
Professor Alexis Jay’s report, commissioned by Rotherham Borough Council, said:
Several councillors interviewed believed that by opening up these issues they could be ‘giving oxygen’ to racist perspectives that might in turn attract extremist political groups and threaten community cohesion.
Hussain’s words were echoed by Shoki Adbo, a bank worker from the town, who said:
I’m a Muslim and if I saw a Muslim person doing something like that then they would not be a Muslim to me.
Prof Jay’s report said that while ethnicity did not impact on the way front-line staff dealt with cases, it did affect the wider picture, with some staff in children’s social care saying they were “advised by their managers to be cautious about referring to the ethnicity of the perpetrators” in reports.
In 2010, five Asian men from Rotherham were found guilty of sex offences against girls as young as 12, and in 2011 Ashtiaq Asghar was jailed for the murder of 17-year-old Laura Wilson, who had been a victim of sexual exploitation.
Prof Jay was keen to stress in her report that:
There is no simple link between race and child sexual exploitation, and across the UK the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE [child sexual exploitation] are white men.
But her inquiry followed three others in Rotherham dating back to 2002.
Prof Jay said the first of these reports was “effectively suppressed” because senior officers did not believe the data. The other two were ignored, she said.
In a 2003 report, Dr Angie Heal, a strategic drugs analyst, stated:
In Rotherham the local Asian community are reported to rarely speak about them [the perpetrators].
According to Prof Jay, three years later Dr Heal:
Described how the appeal of organised sexual exploitation for Asian gangs had changed. In the past, it had been for their personal gratification, whereas now it offered ‘career and financial opportunities to young Asian men who got involved’.
Dr Heal also noted that Iraqi Kurds and Kosovan men were participating in organised activities against young women.
The 2006 report stated:
It is believed by a number of workers that one of the difficulties that prevent this issue [CSE] being dealt with effectively is the ethnicity of the main perpetrators.
There’s nowhere in the Pakistani culture or the religion of Islam that says child exploitation is allowed – it’s completely forbidden. But because it’s a taboo and it’s not talked about, I think with this report we need people to come out and we need the Pakistani Muslim community to talk about it.*
That taboo has not just prevented perpetrators being identified, but victims too.
Most of the victims in the cases examined were white British girls, but the report found the abuse of Asian girls was not necessarily reported.
Zlakha Ahmed, from the organisation Apna Haq which supports Asian women and children facing violence in the home, said there has been a long-standing problem of Asian girls suffering abuse.
The report’s not come as a shock to me in terms that we’ve known about these issues for a number of years now. They follow the exact same model as the report that’s been released; the difference is that the victims are Asian Muslim young girls and the perpetrators have been Muslim Pakistani men. It’s just a pattern of abuse that’s being repeated with another sets of vulnerable girls.
Prof Jay reported:
Pakistani-heritage girls were targeted by taxi drivers and on occasion by older men lying in wait outside school gates. The women and girls feared reporting such incidents to the police because it would affect their future marriage prospects.
After four reports into the Rotherham abuse scandal that spanned 16 years and revealed at least 1,400 victims, Prof Jay concluded:
The authorities involved have a great deal to answer for.
* Earlier this year Channel 4 aired a documentary – Pakistan’s Hidden Shame – which revealed that this Muslim country is:
Is in denial, turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of many thousands of poor and vulnerable children.
According to a Channel 4 press release:
It’s estimated that over 4 million children across Pakistan are forced to work from an early age due to poverty, of these up to 1.5 million live on the streets with no home to go to. This film focuses on the north-western city of Peshawar, where it is estimated 9 out of every 10 street children have been sexually abused.
A 2010 UNICEF report suggests that traditional Pakistani cultural values of purity and the protection of women have contributed to men preying on boys. This theory is backed up by some psychologists, who suggest that the attraction to young boys stems from the segregation of the sexes, where women are perceived as the inferior gender, rarely seen in public and with very few rights. A recent World Economic Forum report named Pakistan the second worst country in the world when it comes to equal opportunities for women.
Update: Breitbart.com has addressed the issue in a chilling article entitled “Muslim Gang Rapists are Springing Up Everywhere. Why Can’t We Be Honest About It?”
Hat tip: Antony Niall (Breitbart link)