In Britain, They're Still Ignoring the Islamic Roots of 'Grooming' Gangs

A few years ago, when the news reached the public that Muslim “sex grooming gangs,” for over two decades, had been systematically engaged in the mass rape of non-Muslim girls in the English city of Rotherham – and that local police and other government authorities had known about these atrocities for a long time but had said and done nothing for fear of being considered bigots – one thing seemed all but certain: this couldn't just be going on in Rotherham.

It wasn't. On August 10, the Express published a handy list of British cities that, since the Rotherham case exploded, have also been found to be targeted by similar sex-abuse rings. In 2012, nine men were convicted of having run such a gang in Rochdale, outside Manchester. In 2013, a group of Pakistanis and north Africans went to jail for the same crime in Oxford. In 2014, it was Somalis in Bristol.

Other places that are so far known to have been affected included Aylesbury, Peterborough, and Keighley – a motley grab-bag of municipalities, big and small, scattered across England from north to south. A piece in the Daily Mail the other day mentioned that grooming gangs have been uncovered in at least sixteen British towns and cities so far.

And there's no reason to think that it ends there. Why Keighley and Aylesbury and not London and Liverpool, Bristol and Bradford? Chances are very strong that there's still plenty of this sort of abuse going on, and armies of cowardly officials still looking the other way.

This month the spotlight was on Newcastle. A probe called Operation Sanctuary, launched in 2014, has led to the arrest of a mind-boggling 461 suspects, who are believed to have raped at least 278 victims. Among the 111 perpetrators convicted so far are men with names like Mohammed Azram, Jahanghir Zaman, Nashir Uddin, Saiful Islam, and Mohammed Hassan Ali.

The journalist usually credited with exposing the Rotherham rape factory (as well as the official cover-up) is Andrew Norfolk, who wrote about it in the Times in 2011 and 2012. But this past May Julie Bindel, the far-left feminist who has repeatedly taken on the Islamic oppression of women, recalled in the Independent that years before Norfolk came along, she had accumulated a great deal of material on the topic – but until 2007 was unable to get anything into print because “editors feared an accusation of racism.”

(Not to take anything away from Bindel, but one wonders: how many editors did she try? Was there really no publication in the English-speaking world that was willing to run a piece by her about grooming gangs? In any case, why couldn't she have just posted her findings online?)

Also, as even Bindel admits, the British National Party had been trying to draw public attention to the rape gangs for years – but their charges had been dismissed by “respectable” media and politicians as the ravings of bigots.

The same left-wing British media that refused to expose the grooming epidemic in the first place are at last, grudgingly, reporting on it – but now they'd have you believe that Islam (surprise!) has nothing to do with it.

The other day Independent reporter Lizzie Dearden unquestioningly quoted a Newcastle politician, Dipu Ahad, as insisting that Muslims in his city were “absolutely disgusted” by the grooming revelations. But he added that those Muslims had no obligation to apologize for the gangs, asking: “Did the white community come out and condemn the crimes of Jimmy Savile?”

The reference was to the TV entertainer who was found after his 2011 death to have been a serial child molester. In fact everybody condemned Savile's crimes. But of course there's a crucial difference here: Savile was a single individual whose sick perversion had no basis in any ideology and no connection to any larger group; the grooming gangs are composed of men whose religion teaches them that infidel girls (as one Newcastle rapist put it) are “trash” who “are only good for one thing.”

Yet people in power continue to deny the Islamic connection. Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah actually had the audacity to claim that girls were being put at risk of rape by those who dare to acknowledge it: “Assuming that grooming and child abuse is prevalent in one group helps potential abusers hide in plain sight if they are not part of that group.”

Ewen Weir of the Newcastle City Council deemed it “oversimplistic” to bring in Islam. And leaders of a wide range of religions signed a statement calling on Britons not to “cast ... blame on entire communities” for the grooming gangs.

Yet Nazir Afzal – the British Muslim who prosecuted the Rochdale gang, and who knows better than most people what's really going on here – affirmed in the Daily Mail on August 13 that the actions by the gangs are firmly rooted in “barbaric” Muslim community attitudes and that Muslim leaders routinely “play down the crimes” or blame the prosecutions on “Islamophobia” and “anti-Muslim conspiracy.”

To be sure, Afzal used the ridiculous UK euphemism “Asian” or “South Asian” to refer to Muslims and sought – absurdly – to suggest that Muslim “misogyny” is something new and entirely unrelated to Islam itself. (Women, he wrote, “have become second-class citizens” – as if women's second-class status weren't prescribed in the Koran and preached and enforced in virtually every mosque on the planet.)

But at least Afzal admitted that a “hardline bias against women” is “part of the South Asian mindset” and that when many “Asian” men see girls leading free lives outside of the home, they consider them “tarnished goods, available for sex.”

Yes, Afzal's finger-pointing was painful in its cautiousness, his account of “South Asian” attitudes a mishmash of truths, half-truths, and careful evasions. But by contemporary British standards it was nothing less than a stirring j'accuse.

On the one hand, it's outrageous that thousands of pedophile rapes aren't enough to snap the British establishment out of its reprehensible PC equivocation about Islam. On the other hand, at least they've started investigating and reporting on this stuff. If honest, gutsy commentators keep pushing the envelope, we may yet see recognition, on the part of Britain's mainstream media, that the acts of “grooming gangs” are grounded in the Koran and affirmed by sharia – and are simply one more form of jihad that needs to be named, condemned, and defeated.