The Muslim community must accept and address the fact that Asian and Pakistani men are disproportionately involved in “localised, street grooming” of vulnerable girls, one of the UK’s most senior prosecutors has said.
Nazir Afzal, the Crown Prosecution Service’s lead on child sexual abuse, told a meeting of Muslims in Bradford on Thursday night that the community had to address the issue of street grooming and that Muslims could not assume that “someone else is dealing with it for us”.
“We do have an issue with people of our ethnicity – it’s not the issue but an issue – and we have to take care of it, we have to deal with it. The solution comes from within. It comes from you,” he told the group of councillors, community workers and campaigners.
He said Muslims should be “good neighbours” and call the police if they spot young girls with much older men in order to prevent sexual exploitation. “Don’t walk by,” sayd Afzal, “We’ve got to do something about this now, otherwise we won’t be in a position to hold our heads up.”
Thursday’s meeting, organised by the Professional Muslims Institute, heard that Asian girls were often victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE) but usually were too scared to report it – some because they were worried about dishonouring their families, others believing that they could only tell God their secrets…