Taj Hargey crops up in the Daily Mail today with a guest column titled, ‘The Oxford sex ring and the preachers who teach young Muslim men that white girls are cheap’.
Needless to say Hargey is called upon to ‘speak the unspeakable’ – that the media is blinkered by political correctness in not identifying the men as ‘Muslim’ and in ignoring that there is a disproportionate number of Muslims who engage in grooming and exploitation rings.
“The fact is that the vicious activities of the Oxford ring are bound up with religion and race: religion, because all the perpetrators, though they had different nationalities, were Muslim; and race, because they deliberately targeted vulnerable white girls, whom they appeared to regard as ‘easy meat’, to use one of their revealing, racist phrases.
“But as so often in fearful, politically correct modern Britain, there is a craven unwillingness to face up to this reality.”
Quite how Hargey can square the views expressed in recent months as a ‘craven unwillingness’ is beyond us – particularly when commentary has been anything but craven on this issue.
In an apparent sleight to Vikram Dodd’s piece in yesterday’s Guardian, Hargey writes:
“One particularly misguided commentary argued that the predators’ religion was an irrelevance, for what really mattered was that most of them worked in the night-time economy as taxi drivers, just as in the Rochdale child sex scandal many of the abusers worked in kebab houses, so they had far more opportunities to target vulnerable girls.”
But ignoring the opportunities offered to predators to groom young girls at the expense of essentialist arguments on race or religion would only, as the Deputy Childrens’ Commissioner has warned, lead to “too many child victims [not] getting the protection and support they so desperately need”.
Hargey attempts to dispel studies by criminologists on the varied ethnicities of sexual predators, as shown in a study by Helen Brayley and Ella Cockbain, of UCL’s Jill Dando Institute, claiming “…reputable studies show that around 26 per cent of those involved in grooming and exploitation rings are Muslims, which is around five times higher than the proportion of Muslims in the adult male population.”
Of course, no mention of whom authored these ‘reputable studies’. How are they to be appraised and regarded as reputable when no further information is provided to substantiate their authoritativeness?
“Another sign of the cowardly approach to these horrors is the constant reference to the criminals as ‘Asians’ rather than as ‘Muslims’.
“By all accounts, this was not the version that these men heard in their mosques. On the contrary, they would have been drip-fed for years a far less uplifting doctrine, one that denigrates all women, but treats whites with particular contempt.
“In the misguided orthodoxy that now prevails in many mosques, including several of those in Oxford, men are unfortunately taught that women are second-class citizens, little more than chattels or possessions over whom they have absolute authority.”
It is incredulous that Hargey could think for a moment that men who, by all accounts, were drug takers and alcohol abusers would be the type to frequent a local mosque. More chilling is his wholesale disregard for the preaching that actually goes on in British mosques. Just one example to refute his ridiculous claims is the seminar hosted in East London mosque on domestic violence.
Hargey spins his web of confusion further by linking segregation on university campuses saying, “That is why we see this growing, reprehensible fashion for segregation at Islamic events on university campuses, with female Muslim students pushed to the back of lecture halls.”
Would Hargey that we legislate for women always to sit at the front, or, respecting a woman’s agency, allow her to sit where she wants?
Hargey’s toxic commentary is just the sort to animate the far right and, as ever, the victims remain British Muslims who suffer the indignity of disproportionate media coverage and the assertion, ad nauseum, that Islam is somehow implicated in these egregious crimes.
The Daily Mail, to reinforce Hargey’s arguments, praises them in an editorial today stating:
'[T]he politically-correct establishment refuses to acknowledge that - while the overwhelming majority of Muslims abhor such behaviour - there is a troubling pattern of white girls in care being abused by gangs of Asian men.'
One would think that after the scandals involving Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall, and the numerous cases of abuse in other religious institutions and care homes, that the paper would be more judicious in pointing the finger at any particular group as guilty of abusing vulnerable young people – unless it was biased, of course.