Rotherham sex abuse scandal being used to incite hatred
Categories: Latest News
Friday October 17 2014
Local paper The Star reports on an open letter signed by faith leaders in Sheffield raising concerns about the way in which the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal has been used to incite hatred.
Signed by leaders including Abdool Gooljar, the President of the South Yorkshire branch of the Islamic Society of Britain, and Reverend Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield, the letter states:
“We recognise that child sexual exploitation is not a unique issue to one particular community but an issue that is prevalent across all communities. Therefore, communities must work together to put the protection of children at the forefront of everything they do.
“The Sheffield Faith Leaders express dismay that there are those who seek to use Professor Jay’s report as a political tool as part of a wider political agenda to demonise and misrepresent one faith community and vilify that faith.
“We stand with the communities of Rotherham who are being affected by those who are using Professor Jay’s report to incite hatred, racism and intolerance on a town that is still suffering from shock at the depth of such abuse.”
Indeed, a far right backlash has emerged in the aftermath of the publication of the report on the sex abuse scandal with three demonstrations already having been held in the city. During one of the protests in September, organised by the English Defence League, police officers attempted to contain “sporadic outbreaks of disorder”.
An increase in Islamophobic hate crimes in the wake of the Jay report has been noted by Muslim groups in the area.
The paper further draws attention to the pledge made by the Rt. Hon. David Blunkett MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, to discuss with the Home Office the prospective use of powers to divert far right marches in the future from Rotherham town centre.