A Tale of Two Labor MPs
The other day, I noted on this site that “thousands of pedophile rapes aren't enough to snap the British establishment out of its reprehensible PC equivocation about Islam.” Underscoring the pathological level of denial about the connection between Islam and so-called “grooming” gangs is a recent controversy – or, more correctly, pair of controversies – involving two female Labour MPs.
Sarah Champion represents Rotherham and until recently was shadow secretary of state for women and qualities; Naz Shah represents Bradford West and is a key ally of Labour honcho Jeremy Corbyn.
Rotherham, it will be remembered, is the city in which it was discovered that more than 1,400 non-Muslim girls had been raped, over a period of many years, by gangs of Muslim men. Police, social workers, and other public officials knew about this mass atrocity for a long time, but kept mum for fear of being called racist. Rape victims who sought to report the crimes committed against them were told that they were racist.
Eventually at least some of the Rotherham perpetrators were brought to justice, and similar patterns of activity were discovered in other cities across Britain. But an air of unease continues to envelop the whole issue. People don't want to talk about it, and they especially don't to mention the fact that the rapists share a common religion and nation of origin.
In an August 10 article for The Sun, Sarah Champion sought to confront this discomfort. “Britain,” she began, “has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.” She continued:
There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?
For too long we have ignored the race of these abusers and, worse, tried to cover it up.
No more. These people are predators and the common denominator is their ethnic heritage.
We have to have grown-up conversations, however unpalatable, or in six months’ time we will be having this same scenario all over again.
Champion went on to outline her own experience with the issue. Not long after being elected to Parliament in 2012, she attended a committee meeting at which members of the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council sought to “justify their failure to protect young girls who were victims of this vile crime.” Her response? “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”
She launched an inquiry, and found critical problems in both police departments and courts that desperately needed to be addressed. In February 2015, she presented then-Prime Minister David Cameron and his cabinet with a plan for preventing further abuse. But nothing happened. Today “we have warm words and still no action.” Which, she explained, was why she was writing this article.
Note, by the way, one key detail about Champion's article: she dared to point out that most of the rapists were Pakistanis – but she made no mention of Islam. Apparently she wasn't willing to go that far.
In any event, her reticence on this point didn't save her. She'd written the article in an effort to spark official action. Well, it worked – although not in the way she hoped. The article caused a firestorm. So did a brief follow-up column by Sun writer Trevor Kavanagh, who praised Champion for her outspokenness.
In response, Naz Shah drafted an open letter that condemned Kavanagh for using “Nazi-like language” to describe Islam. In fact, he hadn't even mentioned Islam; his article could hardly have been tamer. But Shah got over a hundred MPs to sign her letter: such is the madness that has taken hold of the world's oldest parliament.
Champion, feeling the heat, promptly apologized for her article, claimed that The Sun had “stripped” it of “nuance” (in reply, The Sun maintained that she had been “thrilled” with it), and threw Kavanagh under the bus (his column, she charged, was “repulsive and extreme Islamophobic”).
But her mea culpa proved insufficient. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn offered her a choice: resign as shadow minister or be fired. She quit.
Maggie Oliver, a police officer who had investigated grooming gangs in Rochdale, lamented Champion's resignation. “Generations of children have been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness,” said Oliver. “People have tiptoed around this for the past 15 years.”
Shah and her allies, argued Oliver, had fired “a warning shot to anyone else who dares speak the truth, that they may lose their jobs. It merely serves to shut down all debate.” Indeed.
But that wasn't the end of the story. On August 23, shortly after Champion's downfall, Shah read the following statement on a Twitter account bearing the name of lefty journalist Owen Jones: “Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity.”
It happened to be a parody account, mocking Jones's views, but Shah didn't know that; she thought it was really a tweet by Jones, sincerely suggesting that victims of Muslim rape keep quiet. Shah clicked “like” on the tweet and shared it on her own Twitter feed.
That, too, got a lot of attention. Shah quickly claimed she'd made an error, but didn't explain the nature of the error. In fact her excuse made no sense whatsoever: it was obvious that she had responded positively to the sentiment expressed in the parody tweet.
For taking such an appalling position on rape, she should have been hounded out of Parliament. But so far, she appears to have gotten away with it.
As it happens, this isn't the first time Corbyn has let Shah slide for doing something outrageous. Last year, after she wrote several anti-Semitic tweets (in one of which she suggested that Israel be “relocate[d]" to a small corner of the "U.S.”), the Party gave her a gentle slap on the wrist – after which Corbyn welcomed her warmly back into his inner circle.
These recent developments have made at least one thing clear: in Britain's Labour Party, it's OK to call for the destruction of Israel and for the silencing of child rape victims – the one thing you can't do is tell the truth about Islam.