Nine men were jailed in Britain last week for raping and abusing dozens of girls aged as young as 13 over a period of several years in the northern town of Rochdale. The men plied the girls with drink and drugs before assaulting them, in a practice known by the appalling euphemism of “grooming.” One girl was raped by 20 men in one night; another had an abortion after becoming pregnant by one of her attackers. Police are trying to track down other victims of the gang, and are hunting up to 40 more suspects.
These would be horrific crimes under any circumstances. But the case had an added dimension that has provoked much controversy: All of the rapists were Muslims, and all of their victims were white. Predictably, racist groups such as the British National Party are trying to exploit the case, citing it as evidence that the sexual abuse of white women by Muslim men is widespread in Britain. Equally true to form, many liberals in the media, politics, the criminal justice system and others charged with guarding the flame of multiculturalism are falling over themselves to deny that “race” has anything to do with it.
Leading the campaign to persuade the public that there’s “nothing to see here” in terms of the identities of the rapists and their victims was the chief of the police force that investigated the case, who insisted it was “not a racial issue.” The mantra was taken up by the left-wing Guardian newspaper, a prominent Labour MP, and assorted left-wing bloggers, while the BBC — the taxpayer-funded propaganda arm of Britain’s liberal-left establishment — carried the message far and wide in its television and online reporting. The ability of sections of the media to produce lengthy reports without mentioning the word “Muslim” was something to behold; by way of contrast, try to imagine the same outlets reporting on a sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church and omitting the word “Catholic.”
Unfortunately, the evidence points overwhelmingly to the contrary. Out of 77 men convicted of similar “grooming” offences in recent years, 67 were Pakistani, while analysis of several cases has shown that 94 percent of perpetrators were, in the official terminology, “Asian.” And in every case, the victims have been overwhelmingly young white girls. While this doesn’t, as racist groups claim, mean the abuse of white girls by Muslim men is endemic, there is clearly a racial element to these crimes.
(The “Asian” race category encompasses a vast number of ethnicities and religions, from Indian Sikhs and Hindus to Filipino Christians. Not for the first time, Britain’s many and varied Asian communities have been angered to find themselves lumped together with Muslims in the coverage of horrific crimes.)
The race of the gang members themselves isn’t an issue, but their religion and associated cultural attitudes, and the racism that these foster, are. The fact that in this case, as in previous ones, the perpetrators were Muslims, and from parts of the world where extremist forms of that religion hold sway — eight of the Rochdale gang were of Pakistan origin and the ninth was an Afghan — has absolutely everything to do with the case, and it’s just one uncomfortable aspect that liberals don’t want to confront.
Another is the fact that politically correct attitudes to all things “racial” among the relevant authorities meant the victims’ ordeals went on for years longer than might have been the case. Many of the victims were from broken homes and under the supervision of social workers, but when they reported abuse to their carers, the police and prosecutors failed to act because, it’s claimed, they were “petrified of being called racist.”