The Rotherham Advertiser has reported that the EDL will be marching in Rotherham next weekend to protest against ‘the sexual exploitation of young girls’.
From the local paper:
"Anti-fascist protesters have called for a peaceful multi-cultural rally on the day the extreme right English Defence League descends on Rotherham.
"The EDL has urged its followers to attend a demonstration in the town next Saturday after revelations about the sexual exploitation of young girls.
"Pat Keenan, president of Rotherham Trades Council, said: “The overwhelming majority of people reject the EDL’s attempt to use racism to divide our society.
“Their attempts to spread racist myths about sexual exploitation must be exposed and challenged. They seek to blame one community for society’s problems.
“The EDL does nothing to protect the victims of sexual violence. Sexual predators and paedophiles exist in all communities, as do their victims.”
"He added: “Each time the EDL assemble, minorities and trades unionists are subjected to threats and racial and religious abuse.
"There’s no place for Nazis, racists or their allies in Rotherham’s multiracial, multicultural and multi-faith community.”
The protest taking place in Rotherham will be the latest in a number held by far right organisations who often argue that crimes of sexual exploitation are intrinsic to Islam or Muslim culture. The leader of the EDL himself, Stephen Lennon has stated that “This book [the Qur’an] legitimises the rape, prostitution and abuse of our daughters”. Many far right protests held for this ‘cause’ have ended up in violence and arrests (see here and here). As we have argued previously, some of the more inflammatory reporting of cases of sexual exploitation, notably reporting of a recent case in Rochdale has led to ‘racial scapegoating’ which problematically misconstrues the issue at hand as one connected to ethnicity and religion.
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