by Martin Hanson (September 2017)
The young girl, still a child, was held down while the man raped her. And then another man, and another. Throughout this gang rape by queues of men, she was held hostage, locked up for days on end so she couldn’t escape. While held prisoner as a sex slave, she had to listen to the screams of girls in neighbouring locked rooms while they had to endure the same ordeal. Men ejaculated and urinated in the girls’ mouths, violating them in every orifice.
You might think the perpetrators were members of Boko Haram in Nigeria, or ISIS in Iraq or wartorn Syria. After all, sex slavery and ‘marriage’ of prepubescent girls is legitimized, and indeed encouraged, in the Koran; Mohammed married Aisha when she was six and consummated his marriage when she was nine. But these horrors were not being perpetrated in the Middle East or Nigeria; the girls were being treated like human toilet paper in towns across the United Kingdom.
Violent sexual abuse of children is an extremely emotive topic and the authorities and media normally spare no effort in dealing with it. But when it involves a minority group it has, until the last few years, been the ‘third rail’ of politics and journalism, to be avoided at all costs. The issue is the organized pimping and gang rape of young schoolgirls by Muslim gangs. If the UK police and media had not looked away, tens of thousands of young girls, some as young as 11, would not have had their lives ruined in one of the most shameful episodes in the last century.
The Sikh Experience
The earliest indications were in the 1980s. Muslim men, the vast majority of whom were of Pakistani heritage, were befriending Sikh schoolgirls, impressing them with expensive cars and plying them with alcohol and other drugs. The following are extracts from a BBC documentary Inside Out with the words that one 13 year-old victim had to say about her experience, together with words of the presenter:
He seemed like a really sweet guy. I started skipping school just to go out with him. Then he’d buy me stuff and pay for my stuff, and then he bought me a phone to stay in contact with him. He made me feel like I was a centre of attention.
He spent weeks, slowly gaining her trust, but he had a hidden agenda.
He’d take me out to a hotel, and gave me a drink. I don’t know what happened after that.
Next morning, ‘Jaswinder’ (not her real name) woke up naked, and realized her drink had been spiked. The man she thought she could trust had taken obscene photos of her, and threatened to show them to her parents unless she agreed to have sex with other men. The blackmail and abuse continued for over eighteen months. Jaswinder claimed that the man who forced her into prostitution initially hid his true identity.
He didn’t say he was Sikh, but the way he acted and talked, and his appearance . . . He had a gold Khanda, and he had a kara; his appearance was just like a Sikh.
By wearing sacred symbols of Sikhism, she said he had deceived her into thinking he was from the same religion; in fact he was a Muslim. She says she has very loving parents but in this Asian community, family honour is paramount. She’s been warned by her mother against bringing the subject up at home, and forbidden from telling her father the full details.
Parents are the last ones to find out if anything goes wrong. I was scared to tell my dad. There’s some stuff you just can’t tell them. I just tried to keep myself to myself, and not talk to anyone about it.
After growing awareness within his community that young children were being sexually abused, Mohan Singh set up the Sikh Awareness Society in 1998. “It is a massive problem. We’ve got a 24-hour helpline, which never stops ringing. The more we dig into it, the more we’re finding. Currently we’re dealing with 19 cases, in Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Southall.”
The stigma of sexual abuse is so devastating to a Sikh girl’s future that girls are often sent away from the family home, sometimes permanently. For this reason, Sikh victims are deeply reluctant to talk about their abuse, making it nearly impossible for them to give evidence in court. This, coupled with the fact that the groomers found it easy to pass themselves off as Sikhs, made the Sikh community particularly vulnerable to the grooming gangs and in all likelihood, their earliest targets.
But the Sikhs are a small minority culture. Working class girls in the indigenous white community were far more numerous.
The Wider Picture
Though it did not receive wide publicity, the sexual abuse of Sikh girls was the first sign of what was to become one of the most shocking scandals since the beginning of the 20th century. But it was not long before the gangs began to exploit the potentially richer pickings in the much larger indigenous white community. In May 2013, Channel 4 aired a documentary Operation Chalice: Telford Child Sex Ring, which dealt with the appalling ordeals of girls in Telford, Shropshire, some of whom were as young as 11. The Telford documentary has interviews with some of the victims. In parts it is difficult to watch, for what they went through verges on the unbelievable.
‘Abby’ (not her real name) had begun to go missing. Her father had started to follow her and when she got into a car, he noted the registration number, colour, make, distinguishing marks, and the occupants. “She was sleeping all day. She was getting numerous texts, and harrassing phone calls.” Then Abby went missing for three days. Her mother said that she rang the police, and after Abby returned, her mother discovered:
She had been taken to a house, fed alcohol and drugs. She was in a room, four or five men went in . . . I don’t think I need to elaborate on that. Her friend was in another room. She said she was locked in the house. When she did come back, she was subdued, she was secretive, she didn’t want to speak to anyone. She hid herself in her room, she ate in her room, she had bites all over her neck, and bruising on her arms. She came back in a really bad way. I went to the police station and I said my daughter’s been raped. We took her to the hospital, but she wouldn’t have an examination.
Her parents lost count of the number of times Abby went missing, but they believe it was between 60 and 70. Abby’s father said the traffickers took complete control of his daughter over a period of 18 months. The control was by threats—not toward her, but indirectly by what they would do to her parents.
The ordeal of another girl, Sarah, started a month after meeting a man who had been introduced by a ‘friend’. She tried to turn him away when he knocked on her door, but he forced his way in and raped her. Though she reported it to the police, she said she didn’t want him to be prosecuted because he lived only a short distance away and she was frightened of him. Two days later, it was the man’s cousin and a week later, his brother and his uncle. Over four years, gang rape became a way of life for her, during which she was passed round 72 men: “It was intimidation, and it was control, and it was rape,” she said.
Child trafficking expert Mike Hand said that a lot of the controls come from the methods they use. Having identified a child, they begin grooming by flattery, attention and presents, slowly breaking the child away from her parents, siblings and peer groups, leaving the trafficker as the only support. And that’s when abuse gets into gear, leaving the child completely alone. “People say ‘why do the children keep going back?’ Well, why wouldn’t they? Where else have they got to go now? They haven’t got anywhere to go. All their support, everything comes, from these controllers, from these traffickers.”
The horrors in Telford are part of a much wider picture. At the time of writing, gangs have been convicted for child sexual exploitation in 37 towns: Accrington, Aylesbury, Banbury, Barking, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bradford, Bristol, Burton, Chesham, Colchester, Coventry, Derby, Dewsbury, Halifax, Ipswich, Keighley, Leeds, Leicester, Littlehampton, London, Manchester, Middlesborough, Nelson, Newcastle, Oldham, Oxford, Peterborough, Preston, Rochdale, Rotherham, Sheffield, Skipton, Slough, Telford, and Yeovil.
The children’s commissioner estimates that at least 10 000 children may be victims of this kind of sexual exploitation, though it is feared that the true figure may be far higher. After the Operation Chalice video, further YouTube documentaries have given more details of the extent of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). For example Britain’s Sex Gangs and, most recently, the BBC documentary The Betrayed Girls: The Rochdale Scandal 2017.
Tensions between Sikh and Muslim communities was first aired in 1988 in the BBC current affairs programme Network East, in an item looking into violent incidents between Sikh and Muslim gangs in Birmingham, called Gang Warfare in Birmingham. The incidents stopped in July when police arrested members of both gangs. The Sikhs claimed that the Muslims were abducting and raping Sikh girls. They said they gave the names and car registration numbers of the men involved to the police, but the police denied ever having been given such information. In light of developments in subsequent decades, this seems like fear of rocking the multicultural boat. Despite this oblique mention of the looming problem, the only national newspaper to report that grooming lay behind the incidents was Saturday, June 24, 1989, when The Independent headlined a short article, “Sikh girls 'used as sex slaves”.
Thirteen years later Ann Cryer, MP for Keighley reported that seven mothers had come to her saying that their underage daughters were being used for sex by families of Pakistani men.
"They said the girls were being used for sex by them and handed around—not as prostitutes, but were being handed around the families of these lads. This was underage sex. These girls were well below sixteen. The mothers said, 'We understand it's a criminal offence even if it's consensual,' which I said was quite right. And they said to me, 'Why is it that West Yorkshire police won't do anything about it, social services won't do anything about it, when we have given them the names and addresses of the men abusing our daughters?’”
Despite many meetings with the West Yorkshire police and social services, Cryer was told there would be no point in trying to prosecute. So she asked a Muslim councillor friend to go to the imams at the local mosque with a list of 35 names and addresses of the alleged perpetrators. She was told that the elders had said that it was nothing to do with them. Cryer says that she can't have been the only politician to have heard such stories, and that local and national politicians all over the country who were afraid to speak out for fear of being labelled a racist.
The first journalist to take an interest was Julie Bindel in The Sunday Times in September 2007, in which she reported that schoolgirls in Yorkshire and Lancashire were being preyed upon by gangs of Pakistani men. Despite the fact that two men had been convicted and jailed, the authorities seemed reluctant to get involved for fear of being branded ‘racist’.
Among Norfolk’s disclosures was the experience of a 15-year-old girl from Rochdale who told police how she was passed around members of the British Pakistani community for sex. Police took no action to protect her and during the next four months she was subjected to sustained sexual exploitation by at least 21 men.
The article followed the conviction of nine members of a sex-grooming gang. During their trial, the court was told that a 15-year-old girl was used for sex by 25 Asian men in one night. She had gone missing 19 times in three months for periods up to two weeks, during which she was subjected to repeated sexual abuse.
Norfolk’s article was significant because it stated that of the nine convicted men, eight were of Pakistani heritage and one was an illegal immigrant from Afghanistan. Norfolk also reported that the Chief Crown Prosecutor for northwest England had said that the convicted men all considered women to be inferior, an attitude characteristic of Muslim societies.
Norfolk’s article was a sensation; it was so disturbing in its implications that the government was forced to set up a major inquiry into child sex abuse in the Yorkshire town of Rotherham. It was led by Alexis Jay and her report was titled Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham 1997-2013. Published in August 2014, it was politically even more explosive than Andrew Norfolk’s Times article because it was backed by mountainous evidence.
Smoke Alarms, but where are the Fire Engines?
Until the Jay report, the general public was largely unaware of the scale of the Muslim grooming gang problem, or even of its existence. But from 2000 onwards, there were signs that the government found increasingly difficult to ignore. The first of these ‘smoke alarms’ was a study by Adele Weir, a Yorkshire solicitor, into child prostitution in Rotherham. Weir found poor professional practice by the council and police, and child protection issues were “disregarded, dismissed or minimized."
Not only that, when she presented evidence that 54 children were being abused by a network centred around one Muslim family, she was told by the police she was told it was ‘unhelpful’. She then sent a letter to the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, saying:
Her letter infuriated the council and local police. She was warned never to refer to Asian men and sent on a two day ethnicity and diversity course. Later, on returning to work after a weekend she found that her data had been removed from filing cabinets and that the password-protected computer had been accessed. Documents had been deleted, and somebody had created a file showing that she had agreed not to submit data to Home Office without council consent. In fact, Weir had not attended any such meetings, one of which was while she was overseas.
For the remainder of the decade Muslim grooming gangs operated with near-impunity, protected by the authorities’ fear of being accused of ‘racism’ or ‘Islamophobia’. Then came Andrew Norfolk’s sensational disclosures in the Times in 2011. Stung into action, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council commissioned an enquiry by Alexis Jay. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, 1997 - 2013 was published in August 2014 and was a turning point. The report did not mince words. Until then the media had preferred to call a spade a shovel, referring to the perpetrators as ‘Asians’ which, apart from being inaccurate to the point of meaningless, was a gross insult to the Sikhs, who had been among the chief victims.
By concluding that, between 1997 and 2013, at least 1,400 girls aged 11–15 had been systematically raped in Rotherham by organised gangs of British-Pakistani men, the Jay report had taken an important step in removing this protection. For the first time the British public had been made aware of an issue that dare not speak its name: the deep misogyny characterising many Muslim countries had taken root among immigrant communities. It was now politically possible to mention that the perpetrators were over-represented by men of Pakistani heritage. The ‘P’ word was out of the political closet.
The following extracts from the report pull no punches:
It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators.
At an operational level, the Police gave no priority to CSE [Child Sexual Exploitation], regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime. Further stark evidence came in 2002, 2003 and 2006 with three reports known to the Police and the Council, which could not have been clearer in their description of the situation in Rotherham. The first of these reports was effectively suppressed because some senior officers disbelieved the data it contained. This had led to suggestions of cover-up.
In two of the cases we read, fathers tracked down their daughters and tried to remove them from houses where they were being abused, only to be arrested themselves when police were called to the scene. In a small number of cases (which have already received media attention) the victims were arrested for offences such as breach of the peace or being drunk and disorderly, with no action taken against the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault against children.
The impact sexual exploitation had on them was absolutely devastating. Time and again we read in the files and other documents of children being violently raped, beaten, forced to perform sex acts in taxis and cars when they were being trafficked between towns and serially abused by large numbers of men. Many children repeatedly self-harmed and some became suicidal. They suffered family breakdown and some became homeless. Several years after they had been abused a disproportionate number were victims of domestic violence had developed long-standing drug and alcohol addiction and had parenting difficulties with their own children resulting in child protection/children in need interventions. Some suffered post-traumatic stress and other emotional and psychological problems often undiagnosed and untreated. Some experienced mental health problems.
Perhaps even more astounding was the reaction of Rotherham Council to the Jay report to a follow-up investigation.
What, if anything, has been learned?
To the public, the finding of the Jay report that for 16 years, gangs of Pakistani heritage men had been allowed to violently sexually abuse at least 1400 young girls with near impunity, verged on the unbelievable.
The refusal of the authorities to protect children who were so clearly being subjected to the most appalling abuse is a clear example of the power of political correctness to throttle the ability of ordinary people to distinguish between right and wrong. Indeed, failure to hold a minority group accountable for such actions is to exempt Muslims from normal moral standards, as if they can’t be expected to know better. Such condescension is appropriately referred to as cultural exemption, which is racism of the most odious and politically most dangerous kind. As Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian put it: “That’s not just political correctness gone mad. That’s political correctness gone racist.” How ironic then that its worst offenders are on the political Left.
That said, one would have expected the authorities in Rotherham to have been sufficiently chastened to set their house in order, but the opposite appears to be the case. Following publication of the Jay report, the Government appointed Louise Casey to carry out an inspection of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) to find out what the council had learned and what measures it had taken to rectify the situation.
If the RMBC was ducking the issue of CSE in order to avoid ethnic tensions, the result was ironically the opposite of that intent. As pointed out in the Casey report, political correctness was driving support for groups such as the English Defence League and their more malodorous cousins, the British National Party. The harder the Left tried to deny the reality, the more the victims’ families and friends found that the only people who would listen to them were members of the BNP.
The Jay report made it politically possible to say that the grooming gangs were overwhelmingly of Pakistani heritage, and by implication Muslim. But the media continued to remain coy about the use of the ‘M’ or ‘P’ words, for the most part preferring to refer to the perpetrators as ‘Asian’, thus insulting the 97 percent of Asians who are not of Pakistani heritage.
As more and more cases came to trial, despite the overwhelmingly Muslim names of the perpetrators that were published in the press, the politicians and some media chose not to see what was blindingly obvious to the public. Judging by the names of 265 men convicted to date, 238, or 90 percent, were Muslim. Muslims are only 5 percent of the population in England, so one might have expected 5 percent of the 265 convicted men to be Muslim, or about 13. The actual figure of 235 is 18 times higher.
The recent case of 18 people convicted as a result of Operation Sanctuary in Newcastle has provided a litmus test for whether politicians have learned the lessons of Rotherham, Telford, and Rochdale. Specifically, have they developed the moral backbone to see and above all publicly to acknowledge that the grooming gang scandal is a product deeply rooted in Islamic misogyny?
It seems not, for despite the widely publicized photographs and names of the latest crop of perverts, some politicians refuse to acknowledge the glaringly obvious. Here are the names of the latest convicted individuals: Nashir Uddin, Saiful Islam, Yasser Hussain, Mohammed Azram, Jahangir Zaman, Mohammed Hassan Ali, Badrul Hussain, Abdul Sabe, Mohibur Rahman, Habibur Rahim, Carol Ann Gallon, Abdulhamid Minoyee, Taherul Alam, Monjur Choudhury, Nadeem Aslam, Prabhat Nelli, Eisa Mousavi, Redwan Siddique.
Did you spot the odd one out? In case you blinked at the wrong moment and missed it, I've put the only non-Muslim-sounding name in bold.
One might have hoped that Operation Sanctuary would have provided a warning to local and national politicians that Cloud Cuckoo Land is an increasingly dangerous place to inhabit. But seeming not for all.
Following publication of the names Sarah Champion, Labour M.P. for Rotherham and member of the shadow cabinet, was foolish enough publicly to draw the same conclusion that pretty well everyone else had drawn. In an article in The Sun newspaper, she wrote:
Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?
In a Sky News interview, Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, went to extreme lengths to avoid seeing what everyone else could see, repeatedly ducking invitations to utter the 'P' or 'M' word.
The response of the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, went even further; he sacked Sarah Champion from the Shadow Cabinet, saying: "it was wrong to "demonise whole communities". Well, yes. Though it is perfectly obvious to most of people with three-digit IQs that she did not mean anything like the majority of Pakistani heritage men, perhaps she should have made it made it explicitly clear that it was only a minority—and a small minority at that, who were grooming, raping, and abusing non-Muslim girls. It just goes to show how some members of the Left will miss no opportunity to get political mileage from misrepresenting what those most concerned with child protection are actually saying.
For what did she actually say? Nothing more than Alexis Jay had said in her official report on Rotherham grooming, for among a dozen other mentions of 'Pakistani-heritage', is this:
The Deputy Council Leader (2011-2014) from the Pakistani-heritage community . . . was one of the elected members who said they thought the criminal convictions in 2010 were 'a one-off, isolated case', and not an example of a more deep-rooted problem of Pakistani-heritage perpetrators targeting young white girls. This was at best naïve, and at worst ignoring a politically inconvenient truth.
Rather than face the evidence, it seems that Corbyn's response to a serious and growing problem is to stick his wetted finger up into the wind. In doing so, he will lose a lot of respect from those voters who demand a combination of courage, integrity, and realism. Sarah Champion is one such politician and in the long run will have earned far more respect than her boss.
Sacking Sarah Champion was an act of political masochism, but to add to Corbyn's troubles, one of his closest parliamentary allies, Naz Shah, has wielded the sadist's whip on him by reportedly re-tweeting and thus, by implication, endorsing, the following Twitter comment (emphasis added): RT @Owen_Jones84: @AreeqChowdhury @NazShahBfd Exactly Areeq, those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of #diversity!
It seems that she quickly realised this was a colossal bloomer, for after eight minutes she deleted it. But too late, it seems. Corbyn has made plenty of parliamentary enemies, including some from his own party, but with friends like Naz Shah, he is handing the Tories a gift beyond their wildest fantasies.
What, is to be done?
A prequisite for dealing with any problem is the recognition of its true nature. In that respect, some progress has been made, for the media now freely refer to the perpetrators as ‘Pakistani heritage’ rather than the cowardly and misleading ‘Asian’.
But even this is to sidestep the issue, for although almost all Pakistanis are Muslims, some of the convicted groomers are from Afghanistan, Morocco and Iran. In a trial in Bristol in 2014, all 13 convicted men were from Somalia, an overwhelmingly Muslim country.
The grooming gangs treated their victims with brutal contempt, so it is pertinent to ask how they came by such primitive, violent misogyny. The great majority of British Pakistanis originate from Azad Kashmir and the Punjab where, as in most of rural Pakistan, women are treated as chattels, without rights of their own.
In conservative Pakistan arranged marriages are the norm; marriage for love is considered to be a transgression. Forced marriage of girls as young as 15 is the norm. In this grotesquely patriarchal society, the ‘honour’ of the man is paramount, whatever the circumstances. According to the Pakistani rights group Aurat Foundation, about 1,000 Pakistani women are murdered every year in honour killings. The true figure is probably far higher, since the Foundation only compiles data from newspaper reports.
According to a Unicef Situation Analysis Report, 2012, Pakistan is the third most dangerous country for women, after Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The chief danger is in so-called “honour” killings. In December 2011 the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that in the period January to September of 2011, at least 675 Pakistani women and girls had been murdered for ‘dishonouring’ their families by, for example, having ‘illicit relations’, or marrying without permission.
If a woman is raped, her rights are a long way secondary to the ‘rights’ of the rapist. According to the Hindustan Times (May 28, 2017), a 19 year-old woman was sentenced to death in the rural district of Rajanpur in the Punjab province of Pakistan, after alleging that she had been raped at gunpoint by her cousin when she was sleeping at her house. Instead of taking action against the man, the elders of the village sentenced her to death.
These examples give an insight into the cultural baggage many Pakistanis brought with them when they arrived in Britain as immigrants. Unlike knowledge, which can be updated as a result of experience, values are not consciously learned. Acquired in childhood, values are too deeply ingrained to be easily changed. It is therefore extraordinarily naïve to expect immigrants from deeply misogynistic societies to jettison these attitudes on arrival in the UK.
So the question is, do the authorities have the courage to tackle the problem at source? Past experience does not provide grounds for optimism but here, anyway, are some minimal suggestions:
Any Imams preaching values that are incompatible with ‘western’ values should be required to leave the country, and Islamic schools that promote radical Islam should be closed.
The most visible symbols of the non-person status of women, the burqua and the niquab, should be banned in public.
Since learning the language of the host country is a prerequisite for integration, all immigrants who cannot speak English should be required to attend English classes.
In Britain there are two parallel legal systems—British law and Sharia, or Islamic law. There are believed to be about 85 Sharia courts in the UK. Under Sharia, women are explicitly treated as second-class citizens. For example, a woman’s evidence is only worth half of that of a man. Sharia courts should be banned, so there is one law for all.
It is now abundantly clear is that radical Islam is incompatible with human decency. It is time for a more muscular defence of our values, before it is too late.
Martin Hanson was born and educated in the UK and emigrated to New Zealand in the 1970s where he taught biology for over 30 years. He is the author of a number of school textbooks.
Martin Hanson's other work on NER.
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