Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Whom Thy Right Hand Possesses, Part 1

We introduce this series with excerpts from Rochdale grooming gang victim: I was raped by 5 men a day, by Tariq Tahir, May 8th, 2012:

A victim of an Asian paedophile gang described how she was forced to have sex with up to five men a day.

She was 15 when she was targeted by the men and gang-raped at least four times a week.

Speaking after nine men were convicted of plying white girls as young as 13 with drink and drugs, she said her ordeal had ruined her life.

Notice the descriptions: an "Asian paedophile gang" victimized "white girls".

She was targeted by the gang in Rochdale, who at first seemed friendly as they gave her alcohol, cigarettes, food and taxi rides.

But her nightmare began when she was raped. 'He asked me to come upstairs and I didn't really think anything of it,' said the woman, now aged 20.

'He then was saying all the things he had bought for me and that he wanted something back for it.'

The abuse continued for months, until she was arrested for smashing the counter at the takeaway where the men met the girls. She told police about her ordeal but the Crown Prosecution Service decided she would not be viewed as a 'credible witness'.

It was then that the abuse continued with more men.

The comments to the article are enlightening.

First of all, one commentator points out that the expression "Asian" is misapplied, claiming the perpetrators are all from Pakistan.

The reality is that all but one are from Pakistan; the last guy is from Afghanistan.

But, anyone following UK news understands the politically-correct codeword here: the gang was comprised of Muslim men. Two commentators point out the connection to Islam.

Other commentators make the point that the issue here is criminal activity, not religion.

Indeed, one commentator goes so far as to point out that "if Islam meant anything to these men, they wouldnt provide anyone with drugs or alcohol" and that, under Islam, the penalty for rape is death.

Furthermore, members of the Islamic community there have denounced these crimes, and not just in front of TV cameras.

A discussion on Sunni Forum (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3) shows how angry Muslims are about what is happening, and how powerless they feel to stop it. Concerns are that the imams are not addressing the matter; the question arises whether the perpetrators even attend prayers at the mosques; one commentator advises that the perps know what they are doing is wrong; and there are fears that members of the Muslim community who take action will themselves be targeted by the gangs committing these crimes.

One Muslim leader has spoken out consistently and vocally. From Rochdale grooming trial: Split views on race issue, May 8, 2012:

The conviction of nine Asian men for grooming and abusing white girls has prompted strong, split opinions on whether race is an issue in such cases.

A Muslim community leader has said there is a "problem" of British Pakistani men thinking "white girls are worthless and can be abused".


Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of The Ramadhan Foundation, said grooming was "a significant problem for the British Pakistani community".

"There is an over-representation [of Asian men] amongst recent convictions in the crime of on-street grooming [and] there should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals," he said.

"They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behaviour that is bringing shame on our community."

'Vulnerable young children'

He said community elders were "burying their heads" over the issue and police and local councils should not "be frightened" to address the problem, as there was "a strong lesson that you cannot ignore race or be over-sensitive".

Mr Shafiq said Muslim leaders needed to "reject any attempt to silence the reaction from our community".

The UK is facing a rash of such cases, where Muslim men of Pakistani ethnicity are grooming underage white girls for sex. Mr. Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, and quoted in the passage above, has been vocal in condemning this activity. In a press release from last year, Mr. Shafiq stated:

The convictions yesterday of two ring leaders of a grooming gang sends a clear signal that these crimes are unacceptable and those engaged in such crimes will pay a heavy price.

I pay tribute to the girls and their families who have been brave in giving evidence against these evil men, they will now need all the support from the Authorities to rebuild their lives.

I have been clear in instigatating this debate that these are criminal matters and should be seen in this way, no community or faith ever sanctions these evil crimes and to suggest that this somehow engrained in the community is deeply offensive.

I urge all engaged in this debate to do so with tolerance, honesty and above all based on evidence and not prejudiced positions.

In another statement from last November, Mr. Shafiq had the following remarks:

There must be no hiding place for these criminals, regardless of race or background in our country and we must not shy away from speaking out. The reality is that the majority of child sex cases are carried out by white man but in areas with a large concentration of ethnic minorities there are significant number of abusers who are Asian. We know from many recent convictions that these men come from the Pakistani and Indian communities, to say that ethnicity is not a factor in these crimes is a lie and abject failure of authorities whose primary role is to protect these children. We have and will continue to never hide away from speaking on this issue and the positive feedback received from all sections of our society shows utter disgust at the crimes and also disgust at the authorities for their failure in protecting our children.

Sadly when a recent white gang were convicted in Portsmouth of grooming there was very little coverage in the media but when Asian gangs are convicted there was blanket coverage, some elements of the media are feeding division when we should all be uniting to ensure that there is no safe place for these criminals from any race or background. We would urge the media to responsibly report on these crimes and ensure that they do not tarnish all Asian communities where the overwhelmly majority are disgusted by these sick evil men.

Two things jump out at me: 1) Mr. Shafiq says that it is a lie to deny that ethnicity is a factor; and 2) Mr. Shafiq goes to great pains to point out that whites are more guilty than people of "Asian" descent.

And, the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping - CROP - seems to agree that the matter needs to be addressed regardless of ethnic sensitivities, going so far as to point out the connections to British Pakistani men, but still cautioning against overgeneralizatins; from CROP News Issue 14 Spring 2011

Race and ethnicity

CROP seeks to avoid any unwarranted generalisations or extrapolations in understanding child sexual exploitation and developing responses to it. CROP's practice and philosophy is evidence-based and CROP is aware that sexual exploiters come from various ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. However, much of the debate in the recent media coverage focused on the dominance of British Pakistani men involved in such criminal networks in the North and the Midlands. The media’s spotlight on a particular race and ethnicity of perpetrator in the context of child sexual exploitation has been controversial within the field and some might argue at odds with CROP's stance. As a parent-led charity which represents a cross-section of families, of which many have experienced the sexual exploitation of their children by British Pakistani men and who are pleased that this particularly sensitive issue is now in the public domain, engaging in the debate and accurately reflecting a diverse range of parents' experiences has been exceptionally challenging.

CROP recognises that there is clear condemnation of child sexual exploitation, as contrary to the values, beliefs and best practice of all religions and ethnicities. As such, the potential for cooperation across all communities and traditions is high. CROP is committed to sharing in and promoting this cooperation. This includes: working alongside the vast majority of the British Pakistani community who find the exploitation abhorrent; and addressing the issues which do exist within the small criminal minority within that community.

Of course, I question all this.

From Revealed: conspiracy of silence on UK sex gangs, January 5, 2011

The Times has identified 17 court prosecutions since 1997, 14 of them during the past three years, involving the on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16 by groups of men. The victims came from 13 towns and cities and in each case two or more men were convicted of offences.

In total, 56 people, with an average age of 28, were found guilty of crimes including rape, child abduction, indecent assault and sex with a child. Three of the 56 were white, 53 were Asian. Of those, 50 were Muslim and a majority were members of the British Pakistani community.

Several police sources have told The Times that those convicted represent only a small proportion of what one detective described as a "tidal wave" of offending that has been uncovered in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and some Midlands counties.

A senior West Mercia detective has now called for an end to the "damaging taboo" surrounding gang-led on-street grooming, which he blames on a fear among police and child protection workers of being branded racist. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards said: "These girls are being passed around and used as meat. To stop this type of crime you need to start talking about it, but everyone's been too scared to address the ethnicity factor. No one wants to stand up and say that Pakistani guys in some parts of the country are recruiting young white girls and passing them around their relatives for sex, but we need to stop being worried about the racial complication."

Race is not the issue here, and pointing out the ethnicity of the perpetrators is not racist.

The issue here is more cultural: what makes ethnic Pakistani men feel that they can do these things to girls from outside their community?

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