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Oxfordshire: Child sex scandal council hires ‘mentors’ linked to hard-liners.
Not Rotherham - Oxfordshire. Rotherham produced the scandal of numbers and coverup but, in my opinion, this trial of men from Oxford produced descriptions of some of the most sadistic abuse I have yet read. From Andrew Gilligan again in the Sunday Telegraph.
The council which failed scores of girls abused by a sex grooming ring has hired a radical Islamic group to “mentor” potential abusers from the Muslim community.
The group, Street UK, also has links to the Trojan Horse plot, in which hard-line Muslims sought to Islamise state schools and push out secular head teachers.
The contract is part of Oxfordshire County Council’s response to Operation Bullfinch, which saw seven men convicted of 59 sex crimes against children and sentenced to a total of 95 years in prison. Five were of Pakistani origin and two were North African.
The council is braced for fierce criticism next week in a “serious case review” into the scandal. All the victims were known to Oxfordshire social services and five were living in council care, but for years officials and police ignored complaints from their parents and other warnings that the children were being raped and sold for sex.
In an effort to answer the attacks, the council has engaged Street UK, which it describes as a “national youth charity,” for a “pilot mentoring programme” in Oxfordshire’s Muslim communities to “work closely with those at risk of perpetrating child sexual exploitation and divert them away from such activity.” Street UK is in fact a group which had its government grant cancelled in 2011 after paying for the publication of a booklet by Salafi Manhaj, which issues regular fatwas enforcing a Salafist, or ultra-literal and conservative, view of Islam.
Street UK’s website published advice on clothing and music from anti-Semitic and extremist Salafi clerics. Its founder, Abdul Haqq Baker, an ultra-conservative Salafist, was chairman of Brixton Mosque, attended by Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, and Zacharias Moussaoui, 9/11’s “twentieth hijacker”.
Despite this, Oxfordshire is far from the only public authority to employ the group. The Sunday Telegraph has established that Street UK has secured work to prevent child abuse from at least three other local safeguarding boards: Staffordshire, North Yorkshire and the east London borough of Havering.
Street UK’s lead staff member for the Oxfordshire contract, Alyas Karmani, is a Bradford councillor elected for George Galloway’s Respect party, but now sitting as an independent. He has close links with another ex-Respect councillor in the city, Faisal Khan, who was sacked from the governing bodies of two local schools after being accused of leading a Trojan Horse-style plot to oust secular headteachers in Bradford. Mr Karmani and Mr Khan are both involved in the Bradford Muslim Education Forum, which regularly hosted meetings in the Yorkshire city with all the key figures from the main Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham.
The serious case review into the Bullfinch scandal, by David Spicer, a barrister, will say that police and social services had warnings about the group of men in Oxford as far back as 2006, and at least six direct complaints from victims. The authorities did nothing for more than four years.