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Grooming, religion and the far right

Grooming, religion and the far right

Categories: Latest News

Monday February 09 2015

Melanie Phillips in her column in The Times (£) newspaper today returns to a theme from a couple of years ago when she lambasted media coverage of the Rochdale sex grooming trials for not daring to mention that the Asian Pakistanis on trial for horrendous crimes against young white girls were “Muslim”. Phillips returns to the subject of religion, culture and grooming in her column reflecting on last week’s report by the head of the Troubled Families Unit, Louise Casey, into Rotherham Council’s handling of child sex exploitation in the city.

Two years ago, in a column for Daily Mail, Phillips wrote, “The word Muslim is simply absent from much of the coverage. The men are described as Asian or Pakistani. But this cowardly euphemism wrongly implicates communities that have nothing whatever to do with such terrible crimes. They don’t involve Pakistani Christians or Pakistani Hindus; they don’t involve Chinese or Malaysians, Sri Lankans or Thais.”

In today’s column, Phillips writes that reports into the failures of Rotherham Council in respect of the abuses that were taking place in the city, have “bow[ed] to political correctness by failing to acknowledge that the cultural factor behind the Rotherham grooming gangs is not that they are Pakistani but Muslim. It’s not Pakistani Christians, Hindus or atheists who are involved in these crimes.”

Phillips goes on to add, “Nor is it just white girls who are targeted: Sikhs have been complaining for years that their girls are attacked by Muslim men.”

This last bit is particularly interesting in light of the recent trial of six men from Leicester who pleaded guilty to a range of criminal offences sparked by false social media rumours on the grooming of a Sikh girl by Muslim men in the city.

Phillips goes on to state, “In Australia, gang rapes in Sydney in 2000 were committed by Lebanese Australians. In the Netherlands, it’s Moroccans and Turks who have entrapped non-Muslim girls as sex slaves. The reason is that in Muslim society women are treated as inferior people, and non-Muslims are widely regarded as trash.”

The sentence is not a million miles removed from her previous column entry on the same when she wrote, “This is about religion and culture – an unwesternised Islamic culture which holds that non-Muslims are trash and women are worthless. And so white girls are worthless trash. Which is itself of course a race issue.”

On the topic of this being a race issue, Phillips seizes upon the report’s finding that “By failing to take action against the Pakistani heritage male perpetrators of CSE in the borough, the council has inadvertently fuelled the far right and allowed racial tensions to grow. It has done a great disservice to the Pakistani heritage community and the good people of Rotherham as a result.”

Phillips observes that the Council’s failure to confront “not minority ethnicity [but] Islam, the greatest PC unsayable of the lot” strengthened the far right BNP by allowing them to pose as the only people “telling the truth” about “Muslim grooming gangs”.

Phillips goes on to take aim at what she perceives as a general trend in dismissiveness toward the views of right wingers by “virtuous” left wing types who deride anything from the right end of the political spectrum as “wicked”.

And so, “anyone who raises concerns about immigration or Muslim misdeeds is branded and demonised as racist, Islamophobic and (always) right-wing. Whether such concerns are actually justified isn’t even considered. The truth is made toxic by the vilification of those who speak it.”

It seems to escape Phillips’ attention that it is not the truth that is toxic but the falsehoods that are uttered with the conviction of truth the better to mask the racism it belies. In a brilliant exposition of the racialised debate on sex grooming, Joseph Harker explored the media’s obsession with Islam, Muslims and race, and the foregrounding of cultural and religious factors which were all but invisible in coverage of the heinous offences committed by sexual predators of White majority background.

Casey, the author of the report into Rotherham Council’s failings, is clear to distance Rotherham’s Pakistani community from the crimes committed by those from within it. In Phillips’ narrow worldview, it’s not just Pakistanis in Rotherham that ought to feel shame and guilt for the sex crimes of the Pakistani men who groomed young white girls and subjected them to years of abuse, but all Muslims. Isn’t that precisely the message of the far right English Defence League, BNP andBritain First, all of whom have held protests to that effect in recent years?


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