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Rotherham: Everything but the Truth

It is bewildering to watch the establishment fall over itself.  In reference to the Rotherham child rape atrocities, the BBC has jumped from labelling the perpetrators “Pakistani” to “Asian” then back to “Pakistani”.  The Guardian, true to form, immediately took the opportunity to speak out against , as though that is the real problem here.  Some political and council leaders in Rotherham claim they didn’t know what was going on – despite the fact that there had already been two reports on to matter (both ignored) and despite the admission by social workers and others that they were afraid to confront the issue for fear of being labelled “racist”. 

As so often with matters of this significance, and particularly matters relating to Islam, there are a couple of rather large elephants in the room – which we refuse to sufficiently address.  One such elephant is called Pakistan, and the other is the House of Commons. 

Both the BBC and the Guardian are entirely wrong about this.  The only “racial stereotyping” going on here is being perpetrated by them.  They both insist on labelling the child rape gangs that have been uncovered across the country in recent years as “Asian”.  This is a disgraceful slur; these rapes have nothing to do with Asia, but everything to do with misogyny, and attitudes towards women – and rape – which are culturally embedded in the psyche of many men (and women).  It is here that the first elephant stamps its foot; the elephant of Pakistan.

What is life like for women in Pakistan?  For a start, victims of rape can be sentenced to death by stoning - for the crime of having been raped.  This was precisely the fate of Zafran Bibi, who reported she had been raped, was convicted of adultery, and sentenced to . The New York Times reported at the time that as many as 80% of female Pakistani prisoners are in jail due to similar “laws that ban extramarital sex”, and that even though the stoning sentence was unlikely to be carried out, Bibi would probably “.

These cases are not the result of the rantings of a so-called “tiny minority of extremists”, they are the result of the application of the law of the land, the norm, in Pakistan.  We have to ask – what message does this send to young men in Pakistani culture?  Answer: a powerful message that rape is a woman’s fault, a girl’s fault, and that they are free to do what they like to women as they will never be held to account for it.

Honour killings are also rife in Pakistan.  Women take the blame, in the most violent and abhorrent ways, for anything that is deemed insulting to their menfolk.  Farzana Parveen was stoned to death by her own family on the steps of a Lahore courthouse just this year.  Her crime had been to marry a man of her choosing.  Farzana joined a long list of 100s of women and girls (that we know of) who are murdered by their own families in Pakistan every year.  These crimes usually remain unpunished because police, and many members of the country’s Parliament, do not consider such killings a .

It doesn’t end there; as many as 70-90% of Pakistani women suffer and acid attacks on women are .

In short, Pakistan is a country steeped in misogyny, where the majority of women suffer horrific treatment – much of it perpetrated by the state itself.  It is a culture of cruelty and brutality towards women, and most of it, according to the country’s religious leaders themselves (as well as politicians) is justified by the invocation of the religion of Islam.  (Here are some verses on women from )

The misogyny that is widespread in the Islamic world is now in the West, and it is having a profound effect.  Yasmin Alibhai-Brown wrote of the Rotherham report:

I partly blame their families and communities. Too many Asian mothers spoil their boys, undervalue their girls, and demean their daughters-in-law. Within some British Asian circles, the West is considered degenerate and immoral. So it’s OK to take their girls and ruin them further. Some of the most fierce rows I have ever had have been with Asian women who hold these disgusting views.

I ask them to think what they would feel if gangs of white men took out their girls, gave them presents, took them places, and then seduced, beat and passed them around. The men might say they were rescuing the girls from oppression, showing them a good time, saving them from a life of forced marriage and all that.

What then, if white Britons tacitly supported and excused the criminals? Well, comes the answer, that's not the same thing. But it is, it is. I tell them about at least three young Asian girls who have thus been entrapped and exploited. “That is their fault. They have become English, so of course these things happen to them.” What to do in the face of such attitudes?

These attitudes come directly from a culture which encompasses religious beliefs that define women as inferior and that blames them for the abuse they face.  Such attitudes determine that women are trash, and can be abused and terrorised at will. 

The second elephant in this murky room is the one which is almost equally to blame; the House of Commons and a lot of its members. 

Various people, not only in Rotherham but in similar cases that have come to light, were afraid to touch this subject, or name the perpetrators, because they feared being accused of racism.  Ed West wrote in that this is the “I was only following orders” of our age. While Ed has a point, before we criticise those who follow orders, let us ascertain what happens to those who don’t.

Being accused of racism can destroy lives (and the accusation can be enough).  It may mean one loses their job, and therefore their livelihood and the roof over their children’s head.  Furthermore, if a person is brave enough to put their head above the parapet, are they likely to be supported?  No.  According to one report, a “researcher for the Home Office who raised concerns with senior police officers about the level of abuse in 2002 was told not to do so again, then suspended and sidelined, the inquiry found. Youth workers who worked with the victims and had already repeatedly told police and officials about the problems were criticised by full-time council staff and their roles downgraded.” Those who speak up are punished, and they’ve got a lot to lose, so it inevitably follows that few will be willing to risk their livelihood, knowing it will make little difference in any case.  

The problem isn't those who fear being called racists; It is those who tell them they should.  This goes all the way to the top – to those who make the laws that shape our society - this goes all the way to the House of Commons.  It is tempting to lay the blame solely at the door of the Labour Party, and they certainly deserve the bulk of it, but let’s not forget that the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have done nothing to address the fear of spurious accusations of racism, they’ve done nothing about multiculturalism, political correctness, or any of the rest of the dangerous nonsense that causes us to look the other way when little girls are being raped.   

This culture of fear is the responsibility of our senior politicians, and it is up to them to change it from the top. Another part of this scandal which is the fault of our senior politicians is multiculturalism.  Multiculturalism is at fault because it is multiculturalism which prevented the police from stepping in (local councillors didn’t want to upset “the community” according to a contributor on a recent Panorama , and the fact that political leaders appeared to think that they ought to “engage” with “the community” in the first place. 

What exactly does this mean?  Why on earth would local leaders seek to “engage” with “the community” regarding a serious crime?  To seek permission from “community leaders” to initiate prosecutions perhaps? 

Ann Cryer, the otherwise admirable former Labour MP who tried to raise the alarm in her own constituency of Keighley on the same issue, admitted she had approached mosques to request (effectively) that they .  They refused of course.  But what was Cryer doing approaching mosques at all?  Are mosques now the police force for Muslims in Britain?  Must we ask the permission of misogynist imams to prosecute Muslim rapists?  It appears that yes, we must.  Thanks to multiculturalism.

Finally, the cover ups.  Not only was evidence , but the allegations of cover up go all the way to the Home Office.  A will now investigate the government of the day to find out who knew what about what was going on in Rotherham and other towns in the north of England.  When Rotherham MP Denis MacShane, in relation to a terror attack on Israel, took the much-needed step of standing up and stating that it was "time for the elected and community leaders of British Muslims to make a choice: the British way, based on political dialogue and non-violent protests, or the way of the terrorists against which the whole democratic world is uniting", he was threatened with the sack by then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.  

MacShane wrote: "Jack Straw spent an inordinate amount of time cossetting his Muslim constituents in Blackburn. He had brought in an official from the Muslim Council of Britain to advise the FCO on outreach to Islamist outfits like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt."

There are many people to blame for the horrors inflicted on these children – the rapists of course are top of the list.  The fact is however that unless we can confront the uncomfortable truth, unless we confront the elephants that are stamping all over our country and our culture, these rape gangs will never be truly challenged, and young children will continue to have their cries for help ignored.