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The Muslim grooming issue finally makes the news

The Muslim grooming issue finally hits the papers; now watch the politicos jump on the bandwagon!

My personal opinion is that we all should have the freedom to maintain and express our own beliefs, but in accepting this freedom, we also have a responsibility, and that is not disrespecting the same rights or opinions of others.

Some will say gangs of men grooming and raping young girls is not a race issue, some will say it IS a race issue. However, it is certainly a culture related issue or, more specifically, one stemming from a clash of cultures.

This is an issue where the strict mores of one religion and culture have set in motion the environment in which this can occur. It is a clash of religion and ethics. Because one religion is different, it does not give the members of the stricter religion the right to abuse young women who are culturally different from them. Nor can being a member of this community offer them a shelter in which to enjoy the silence and therefore protection of their own community.

Men who lure young girls to be exploited by older “uncles” are organised criminals and a problem which the larger community does need to address. Are only a handful of men partaking in the spoils of this? Should they not be held accountable for this behaviour by their own leaders and indeed their own community? The reports are that the community knows about the problem but stands by in silence. Doesn’t this silent non-action condone the despicable activity as surely as openly allowing it to fester behind their closed doors? I see there are some members of their community trying to bring attention to this, but they are silenced as well. I maintain that it is a cultural issue, because these young men are raised to believe that Muslim women are untouchable for this type of activity and are off limits, so they turn to young girls of other more liberal cultures. I am not saying that any part of their culture allows them to rape and abuse young women. However, they are doing this to women who are not Muslim women, so there is an element of culture to this issue. Having made that point, I am also not generalising that a whole community is guilty because some young men and (the older men who also pass around and abuse these women) are implicit in these crimes.

Some of this is a result of forcing cultures to live together. While it would be nice if many nations could live together in peace and with mutual respect (I suppose in some more cosmopolitan cities they do?) in many areas, there is no harmony.

Culture clash

Having worked with various social service programmes in the United States which had different populations represented in large numbers, I can also say that diverse groups don’t necessarily integrate into the home culture of the country they have migrated to. I have seen that especially the older members of the community tend to try to hold on to their culture and religion, language, customs within the areas where they are largely concentrated. The younger population less stringently and I think the cultures become somewhat fragmented through the generations. While it is commendable that they are proud of their culture and want to hold on to it and celebrate it, this can lead to other problems with cultures around them when others do not practice their same beliefs and are held in less esteem. Some have a sense of entitlement, and feel their culture deserves to be respected. However with their actions they reveal that others don’t deserve the same respect.

Now let us consider young Muslim men grooming, drugging and eventually raping young British or European girls who are not Muslim. While this issue has been brought up in the past, the main news channels and politicians decided to sweep it under the rug. For some reason now, with the very vocal arrest of two men, they have decided to make it an issue. Jack Straw in particular, for some reason, now feels a need to address this issue all over the BBC, Sky News, etc. Yet even Jack Straw is being attacked for stereotyping the men in this community. Jack Straw did say “some” men, not all men. So why is he also being attacked by the press and other politicos?

These young men feel that one group of people, young girls who are not Muslim, are less valuable than women of their own culture. THIS is a problem. It has been basically ignored for many years by politicos who have their own agendas to push, and by those in the community who want to push multiculturalism. Straw has decided that there is no longer any reason to pretend there is not a problem. Is that because Labour is no longer in power and therefore do not need to appease certain voting contingencies, or because the press is hot on the issue?

Media interest

Sky and BBC news have been discussing non-stop the grooming issue which has hit the front pages. Jack Straw tries to simplify the issue saying that young Pakistani men are bursting with testosterone and their culture will not let them have physical relationships with their own Muslim women, who are “off limits” and untouchable. I have to ask is this going to be the excuse to allow this problem to fester in silence?

Several news reporters have brought up this point; the British and European girls come from single parent, poorer and chaotic families. Their advice? Social services and the police need to deal with this issue… This reeks of victim blaming to me. “It can happen to any child from any family”, stated Hilary Willmer from the Coalition for the Removal of Pimping. She relates that contrary to what the news is reporting about these girls coming from “chaotic homes”, this can happen to any child from any family. She goes on to say that the men and the gangs are experienced with this, neither the girls nor the families realise what is happening to them until it is too late.

Another interesting point which Willmer brings up is the law. Once a girl is older than 13, she may be asked to give evidence in court against her attacker, face to face I presume. Many of these girls will have been terrorised and beaten, and will be very unlikely to want to face or name these men in court. For this reason, the men who do know the law, wait until many of them reach the age of 13 to have sex with them for just this reason, however girls as young as 11 are first approached for grooming.

The whole community, Pakistani and Muslim included, must take responsibility for this abuse and address it. A man speaking on BBC news representing the Muslim community vehemently spoke about this issue of grooming, claiming it is NOT a race issue, not even a Muslim issue. He appealed that it is a Crime issue. Different groups seem to be shifting the responsibility of the abuse back onto the authorities and police or even the politicians. However, indicating that the Muslim community does not bear any responsibility to address this issue in which the offenders overwhelming come from within one community in this particular type of crime, is ludicrous. I noticed the BNP are brought up briefly, then dismissed — this issue, which was written about years ago, and subsequently ignored, has now become a hot topic.

Jack Straw and Labour

The reporters appear to be encroaching now on issues which are now affecting the white working class, their morals and culture. This is said in a certain tone which has the nagging feel of victim blaming to it. While these issues need addressing from all sides, the press and politicians need to STOP laying blame on the victims. It makes me ill that Jack Straw has now come out in such earnest way about this issue. He almost apologetically speaks of these young men as needed to sow their wild oats, and of course then there are those girls in short skirts. Where was he when his party was looking for votes from the immigrant communities? This is not a new issue and frankly all of those who are now touting this hot issue of the day to show their alleged concern make me sick.

Other more liberal speakers who represent the social services sector on Sky News are describing this problem as an issue of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, they maintain that it is not an issue of culture. While it is a problem of human trafficking, it is also a cultural issue.

A former Labour MP, Anne Cryer, appeared on Sky news to speak about how difficult it is to speak to these young white girls about how their current fashion can be misconstrued as being easy and how the Muslim girls dress and act much more conservatively. More victim blaming speak. The reporter maintained that only a very small fraction of Pakistani men are perpetrating this abuse. Perhaps, but I suggest we do not have accurate numbers from those girls who are being raped and drugged, as to how many men are involved beyond the groomers. Those who are having sex with them are as guilty as the groomers. Obviously it is a lucrative business. What is more accurate, is that we have a very small number of those who have been caught and convicted while Jack Straw maintains by far the largest number of men in prison for sex crimes are white men.

News channels maintain that this is not a cultural problem. These men feel that the girls are fair game by multiple reports because of the nature of their own culture, but how is this not also a cultural problem? I have not heard one report that they are grooming Muslim girls. (They are abusing them in other ways by murdering them for relationships etc., but this too is another sad issue which mainly affects this community) By Jack Straw’s own words these men are full of testosterone and their women are untouchable, so they seek out non-Muslim girls who are seen as “easy meat”.

White working class

It is my opinion, as someone who has some experience with this type of abuse/grooming from the 70s as a young girl in the United States, that this is most definitely an issue which the Muslim community leaders and elders HAVE to address and take responsibility for. If these young men are committing this type of crime against another group (young girls), it is an issue their community needs to deal with. I am not saying they bear sole responsibility for this issue. But they do bear some of it and they cannot continue to escape facing this issue by screaming it is not a cultural issue. It is a ‘clash of cultures’ issue.

Is this issue ignored within this community because they feel the girls who are non-Muslims are fair game for these young men? I wonder if it were their daughters being groomed who would be held responsible? The daughters or the sons? Their daughters have been murdered for less. Would the groomers be pursued more readily? The press and politicos like Jack Straw cannot wriggle out of this by placing blame and responsibility on the authorities and the victims.

Those committing abuses against young girls need to be held responsible. That young girls could be so easily brought into prostitution is another issue within our own community, and this needs addressing. As I understand Muslim values, the community does respect their elders and leaders and these leaders have AS MUCH responsibility in rehabbing and re-directing the offenders, young members of their community, as the policing authorities have in identifying and holding the offenders responsible. We also have responsibility to address the issues of the seemingly more oppressed white working classes across the country who appear to be acting out of a sort of desperation and who are falling by the wayside on the hotbed of popular issues addressed by the politicos.

These girls are reported as being targeted because they are young and impressionable, poor girls from broken families wearing provocative clothing. They are not all girls from broken families. These are girls from our own families. These girls are our daughters, and sisters and sometimes these girls are even ourselves. These girls see the offenders as their friends, as the young men give them gifts and are nice to them before giving them alcohol then drugs to lure them in, before they are passed on to the older men. No matter, how tragically you paint the picture that these girls are somehow damaged in the first place, I can’t see how the press can be so very willing to put such significant blame on the girls. The offenders have an agenda in mind, monetary gain and a goal to their despicable behaviours.

On a final note, it was Jack Straw’s government which has ignored the problem for so many years in exchange for support from the community. How dare he stand up now and speak out about this problem.