Muslim leaders have demanded a reinvestigation of the child abuse scandal in Rotherham to ensure every person involved faces justice.
Muhbeen Hussain, founder of a British Muslim youth group in the town, said that locals were shocked by the findings of a report into grooming.
“The council, the social services and the police authorities have totally failed us on this,” he said. “This idea that people were afraid because of racism or because it might be charged as racist — it’s not in the name of our community.
“We want the investigations to go back to 1997, cases reopened and prosecutions made because these individuals aren’t convicted — they are still on the streets.” Mr Hussain said he believed that the local authorities had used the excuse of “political correctness” to avoid investigating allegations of child sex abuse by men who were mostly of Pakistani heritage.
“If there was another crime taking place, if there was a drug dealer on the streets or somebody used a knife or a gun, would the police not arrest them because of community cohesion? I think it’s completely ludicrous.”
He added: “I am a Pakistani and I am a Muslim and there is nothing in the religious faith of Islam that would condone the act of child grooming, it completely condemns such things.
“There is a taboo in the Muslim Pakistani community that doesn’t talk about sexualisation and that’s why it happens undercover,” Mr Hussain said. “That’s why we, the larger Muslim society, have not known about this. That’s why we’re so shocked about this.”
He said friends had been verbally attacked and called “Muslim groomers”. He feared the whole community would be unfairly “tarred with the same brush” because of the actions of a small number of criminals.
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Why doesn’t the local Muslim “community” speak to these men in terms they will understand, such as “Cut it stuff out–this might be hazardous to your health, if you get my drift.”