| ||The Daily Mail and Daily Express both reported this week on a supposed ‘culture of silence’ surrounding incidents of rape and the grooming of young girls for sexual exploitation in which Asian men are involved for fears of inflaming ethnic tensions. |
The articles stem from research carried out by University College London's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science and published in The Times as part of an investigation on grooming and internal trafficking of girls in the northern England.
The DM article states:
“Police and social services have been accused of fuelling a culture of silence which has allowed hundreds of young white girls to be exploited by Asian men for sex.
“Agencies have identified a long-term pattern of offending by gangs of men, predominantly from the British Pakistani community, who have befriended and abused hundreds of vulnerable girls aged 11 to 16.
“A senior officer at West Mercia police has called for an end to the 'damaging taboo' connecting on-street grooming with race.
“Detective Chief Inspector Alan Edwards said: ‘These girls are being passed around and used as meat.
“‘To stop this type of crime you need to start everyone talking about it but everyone's been too scared to address the ethnicity factor.
“’No one wants to stand up and say that Pakistani guys in some parts of the country are recruiting young white girls and passing them around their relatives for sex, but we need to stop being worried about the racial complication.’
“In a briefing paper, researchers at University College London's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science concurred that victims were typically white girls while ‘most central offenders are Pakistani’.”
“…researchers identified 17 court prosecutions since 1997, 14 of them in the past three years, involving the on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16 by groups of men.”
“In total, 56 people, with an average age of 28, were found guilty of crimes including rape, child abduction, indecent assault and sex with a child.”
“Three of the 56 were white, 53 were Asian. Of those, 50 were Muslim and a majority were members of the British Pakistani community.”
Prosecuting individuals accused of involvement in rape, child sex and sexual exploitation of young women should be enforced on anyone who commits these criminal offences whatever their ethnic origins, religion or any other set of identifiers. To prosecute someone for committing such crimes is not racist. Implying that minorities are somehow more susceptible to committing these crimes than white Brits because of their ethnicity or religion, however, is racist
The ‘culture of silence’ that DCI Edwards ‘warned’ of over alleged fears of igniting ethnic tensions is important since the matter in question is not one of cultural sensitivity but of apprehending individuals accused of committing crimes, prosecuting them under the law. Indeed, the Quran itself enjoins the upholding of justice at all costs.
“O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God's claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them. Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!” (Quran, Sûrah al-Nisâ’, verse 135)
That the ‘findings’ represented a ‘fraction of a tidal wave’ of offending across northern England and the Midlands was today disputed by the authors of the study itself. The authors, Helen Brayley and Ella Cockbain, in an article in today’s Guardian express surprise that their research, “confined to two police operations in the north and Midlands…had been cited in support of claims that such offences were widespread.” They also challenged the claims that only white girls were being targeted.
“Brayley and Cockbaine, whose six-month study was cited as evidence, said they were worried that limited data had been extended ‘to characterise an entire crime type, in particular of race and gender’. They challenged claims that white girls were deliberately sought out by offenders. ‘Though the majority … were white so too were the majority of local inhabitants.’ Comparing the percentage of white people in the areas with black and ethnic minorities, their data, they said, showed ‘black and ethnic minority girls over-represented among the victims’.”
The misrepresentation of the study and the irresponsible sort of reporting from the DM and the DE, characterising the crimes by race and gender, is all too apparent in the use made of it by the EDL, the BNP and various right wing blogs which have picked up the Muslim identity of some of the men, as reported by the DE and DM.
The BNP, which will be campaigning in the upcoming Oldham by-election after the removal of Phil Woolas, has said that it will hold a “demonstration against Muslim paedophile grooming gangs in Oldham” and will launch a “special leaflet on the topic.”
Which makes something of a mockery of the DE political editor, Macer Hall’s claims last year that the paper "...will relentlessly expose the arguments of the BNP for the spiteful nonsense that they are."
And how, pray, does the DE hope to expose such arguments for the spiteful nonsense that they are when it is the source of them?
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