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.”
There are also broader social issues arising from the case, and others like it, that liberals would prefer not to discuss; in particular how decades of liberal social polices on everything from immigration to welfare have helped to create the environments in which these crimes can be committed.
So what drives some Muslim men to commit these especially horrendous crimes against white girls? Well for a start there’s the issue of misogyny. No culture is innocent when it comes to the mistreatment of women, from casual sexism to domestic violence and rape; but across large parts of the Islamic world misogyny is enshrined in law, one example being that in some schools of jurisprudence the testimony of two or even four women is required to counter that of one man. Widely accepted interpretations of the law also permit men to have sex with “slave” women seized as war booty, which could provide a justification — albeit a warped and tenuous one — for British Muslim men who, while they might never dream of strapping on a suicide bomb vest, are deeply hostile to the values and culture of their host country.
Misogynistic cultural practices, such as veiling, the non-education of girls and female genital mutilation are also widespread in Islam. It doesn’t help that many western liberals who are normally champions of women’s right often choose to remain silent about these issues, or even try to defend them, as with Naomi Wolf and the burqa. In short, if a Muslim man is minded to rape or otherwise abuse a woman, he’ll have little trouble divining a legal or cultural justification for his actions.
But arguably the key factor in the Rochdale case and similar ones is the low opinion that Muslim men have of white British women, and in particular young working-class girls. Prevented from having sexual relations with girls in their own communities by family honor codes and religious strictures, they look to “inferior” white girls — particularly vulnerable teenagers — to satisfy their cravings, and in some cases consensual relationships degenerate into rape and abuse (the victims aren’t exclusively white girls though; groups representing British Sikhs and Hindus say their young women have also been targeted by Muslim men who boast about seducing “unbelievers”).
In the aftermath of one of the first “grooming” cases to attract national attention, the Labour MP and former Home Secretary Jack Straw, who represents a northern constituency with a large Muslim population, came under fire from sections of the media and the race relations industry for claiming that many Muslim men considered white women “easy meat.” But his view is supported by other Labour MPs in the party’s northern strongholds, where most “grooming” cases have occurred. By no stretch the imagination can they be described as racist bomb-throwers. (It’s important to distinguish the traditional left-of-center politics of Straw and his colleagues with the politically correct liberalism of officialdom and the media.)
You don’t have to take their word for it, however, because Muslim men who commit these crimes are happy to admit their contemptuous attitude towards white girls. One of the Rochdale gang summed up that attitude in court when he said: “You white people train them in sex and drinking, so when they come to us they are fully trained.”
One of most effective voices in articulating this misogynist/racist mindset among Pakistani Muslim men has been Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Muslim youth organization the Ramadhan Foundation, and himself a Pakistani. “They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought,” Shafiq told the Daily Mail. In an opinion piece for the same paper he said the girl victims had been let down by “a system obsessed with the doctrine of political correctness, where anxieties about racism trump common sense and compassion.”
The judge who jailed the Rochdale gang got to the crux of the matter when he told the defendants that one of the factors that had led to the abuse was the fact that the victims “were not part of your community or religion.” And even some prominent liberals are prepared to admit the obvious: the chairman of Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, a bastion of multiculturalist thinking and political correctness, said it would be “fatuous” to ignore the fact that the attackers were Muslim men and their victims white girls.
The racial/religious nature of these crimes are clear for most people to see. Yet not only have many liberals tried to ignore or downplay these issues; they’ve intimated that anyone who so much as tries to have a discussion about them is a racist. When the BBC reported in news bulletins that “some people” had raised the issue of race, reference was invariably made to “far-right” groups (their phrase, not mine; the organizations in question are simply racist, and there’s nothing right-wing about them) and footage of thuggish white men protesting outside the courtroom was shown. The implication was clear: If you are in the slightest bit uneasy with any aspect of this case, then you are on the same side as these racists.
Those of us who have genuine concerns about the scale of immigration into Britain and the attendant social problems it has created are well used to being called racist, but there are more important issues at stake here. Rape, pedophilia, and sexual abuse are not, of course, the sole preserve of Muslim men, but the reluctance of many in positions of authority and influence to acknowledge that there’s a particular problem with Muslim Pakistani men targeting white girls means the communities in which those men live are not being encouraged to tackle the problem.
Leaving aside liberals’ instinctive “sensitivity” toward other races and cultures, there are other reasons why it’s understandable that they don’t want to discuss the implications of the Rochdale case and others like it. While the blame for the attacks lies squarely with the perpetrators, they would not have been able to commit their crimes on the scale they did, if at all, had the necessary environment not been created by years of failed liberal policies on immigration, and by the breakdown in family life, particularly in working-class communities, caused by misguided thinking on education and welfare.
It was Tony Blair’s Labour government which, after coming to power in 1997, massively increased the pace of immigration to Britain, with many of the immigrants Muslims from Pakistan. At the same time, the emerging doctrine of multiculturalism signaled to those immigrants that they were under no obligation to embrace British values and customs — indeed, as British culture was no better than, and arguably inferior to, that of their own countries, they would be mad to do so. The result was that ghetto communities became established in large British cities, and also in smaller towns, particularly in the north of England, such as Rochdale.
During the same period, liberal social policies that encouraged welfare dependency and undermined family life were hollowing out the white working class communities from which the rape gangs draw their young victims. Add in the relentless sexualizing of youngsters — partly caused by their immersion in trashy celebrity culture, but also the result of liberal sex education polices that see Britain regularly at or near the top of “league tables” for teenage pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases — and the damage was well and truly done. Scores of damaged and vulnerable young girls, failed by parents, teachers and others charged with their care, have been virtually served up to their tormentors on a plate.
Many of the politicians and opinion-formers responsible for those catastrophic policies remain profoundly out of touch with the white “underclass,” and oblivious to the consequences of their mistakes even as they pander to minorities of every ethnicity and religious stripe. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that Britain’s liberal elites despise the country’s white working class in general almost as much as the rape gangs despise their young victims; no wonder they don’t want to talk about what’s happening.
But to judge from the reaction to the Rochdale case, and in particular the brave voices being raised within the communities from which the rapists came, there are signs that the problem of “grooming” may now start to be addressed. Sadly, for the perhaps hundreds of young girls who have been abused, and others who are still being exploited, vital years have been wasted.