Rotherham and Halifax: 25 men on trial at Calderdale Magistrates Court were not fuelled by Islam
Writing in the Times, Andrew Norfolk lists the names of the 25 men on trial at Calderdale Magistrates Court “accused of dozens of child-sex offences including multiple rapes, all of them allegedly committed against the same girl”.
Aged from 23 to 42, the men are said to have subjected the young victim to 50 sex crimes over a three-year period when she was aged 13 to 15. They appeared before magistrates in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on charges including rape, sexual assault, sexual activity with a child, conspiracy to commit sex crimes and the internal trafficking of a child for sexual exploitation.
All 25 defendants were charged last week after a complex, multi-agency criminal inquiry that began more than two years ago and grew into West Yorkshire police’s biggest child sexual exploitation investigation.
The alleged rapists are: Haider Ali, 39, Hedar Ali, 35, Mohammed Asim Janjuha, 33, Mohammed Ramzan, 34, and 37-year-old Khalid Zaman.
Ataf Ali, 32, is charged with voyeurism for allegedly making a recording of the child during “a private act”. He, Mr Ramzan, Mr Zaman and Mohammed Fiaz Askar, 32, are accused of conspiracy to commit sexual offences against the girl…
In addition to their alleged sex offences against the child, five men are also accused of supplying her with illegal drugs. They are Mr Zaman, Haaris Ahmed, 31, Mansoor Akhtar, 23, Akbar Hussain, 29 and Fasil Mahmood, 35.
Others facing sex charges against the girl are Mohammed Ali Ahmed, 41, Zameer Asif, 24, Tauqeer Butt, 29, Amaar Ali Ditta, 25, Furqaan Ghafar, 30, Aftab Hussain, 35, Sikander Ishaq, 30, Tahir Mahmood, 42, Arshad Majid, 24, Sikander Malik, 30, Christopher Mulqueen-Bennett, 36, Aesan Pervez, 26, Talib Saddiq, 29, and Azeem Subhani, 23.
Tahir Mahmood is additionally accused of sexually assaulting a second female victim. The 25 men were bailed to appear at Leeds Crown Court on February 26.
Andrew Norfolk makes no menion of the accused’s race, relgion nor skin tones. And that is correct. We do not yet know the facts.
The bigots would have it that the sexual appetites of Pakistani gangs were fuelled by Islam. That’s a malicious untruth. British Islam must not be caught and ripped apart by the right-wing racists and Left-wing idealists.
But compare the Times’s fact to the Daily Mail:
The motivations for individual episodes of child abuse can be many. But the emphasis on “Asian” suggest that the race lies at its core. Rce was the driving force. But what is more important – much more in the case of Rotherham – is that over a lengthy peroid, people in power knew of the abuse and did nothing about it. They allowed criminality to grow. And criminals trust otehrs like them. The crime spreads.
By far the majority of perpetrators were described as “Asian” by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councillors did not engage directly with the Pakistani-heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue. Some councillors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away. Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.
As Richard North writes:
Eventually, though, the racial issue was addressed. Good work, the report says, was done by officers in developing a protocol on child protection issues in the mosques in 2008. Each mosque appointed a designated person responsible for child protection, and training was provided for imams and others.
In other words, the racial dimension was recognised and the Muslim community was approached through the appropriate channels. But, the report found, although the current chair of the Rotherham Council of Mosques demonstrated a “strong personal commitment” to dealing with child protection and CSE, he was “disappointed” not to have had any contact from the Council’s Safeguarding Board set up to deal with child grooming…
although many want to turn this into a race issue, or pursue an anti-Muslim agenda, the Muslim communities are the fall guys for municipal dereliction here, perpetrated at the highest political level in the borough.
What started off as small scale criminality could have been nipped in the bud a long time ago, if the local authority officials and the police had been on the ball. But the escalation, the longevity and the failed opportunities to put things right does put this in a league of its own, with the buck stopping at the politicians who failed so many times to intervene.
It’s criminality. It’s not Muslim. But it might be tribal:
“Many British Pakistani men live in two worlds,” he begins. “The first is encompassed by family, business, mosque. It is a socially conservative culture where there is no toleration of sex outside of marriage, and little emphasis on sexual gratification.”
Many are emotionally browbeaten into preserving their family honour by marrying a cousin from their family’s village in north-west Kashmir, the part of Pakistan from which the forefathers of Bradford’s Asian community originally migrated.
These new wives can bring with them “an unhealthy attitude towards sex and sexuality”. It is not Islam which induces that, he says, but a traditional rural Kashmiri culture.
“Sometimes money changes hands,” says Imam Karmani. “But not large amounts. Most of the girls are enticed into relationships with the smallest of gifts – a £5 top-up for their mobile phone, a free kebab or bag of chips. Any girl who is unprotected can be targeted. It’s not racist; it’s opportunistic. They are usually girls from damaged or dysfunctional backgrounds, who are out on the streets at all hours.”
So it is not about race, he insists, though it grows out of cultural presuppositions. “These men disrespect all women, but these white girls are more vulnerable. They objectify women, just as white footballer rapists do,” he says. “Porn,” he adds, “plays a big part in it.”
It’s not a simple story of race, political correctess, sex or corruption. It’s all of them interwoven.