The Rotherham grooming story and the way in which it is being reported criminalizes the whole population of British males of Pakistani origin and frequently the cause for this criminality is linked to Islam, which is strange considering such crimes go against basic Islamic teaching. It reminds me of the way in which Blacks in the US have been targeted and criminalized by the media and political class.
IslamophobiaWatch points us towards an article by Coolness of Hind that notes the double standards over ethnicity and religion in the responses to revelations about sexual abuse.
The right-wing, anti-Muslim racists however are doing their utmost to attach the horror that is the case of Rotherham to race (Pakistani) and religion (Islam). In the comments section of a Spectator article on the topic, commenters called for Islam to be proscribed, mosques to be bulldozed and British Isles to be cleansed, Spanish inquisition-style.
One report by the Daily Fail, decrying BBC for not highlighting the race of the perpetrators in some of their reports, highlighted the author of a report on the Rotherham case, Professor Alexis Jay’s comments:
‘The issue of race, regardless of ethic [sic] group, should be tackled as an absolute priority if it is known to be a significant factor in the criminal activity of organised abuse in any local community.’
The BBC in its response highlighted that it did indeed highlight race and brought it to the attention of its readers. In other words, the right-wing forced an accommodative approach for the need to highlight the race of the perpetrators of a crime.
The result of this racist narrative is that sub-consciously, a crime is being attached to a group in a manner which suggests that only one group has the propensity to abuse girls. This despite the fact that other reports suggest other race groups are also involved:
“Sonia Brailsford, a mother of four, said she was “shocked and disgusted” by the abuse inquiry report but that a much deeper problem concerning men in their 20s targeting schoolgirls was still going on today. “That is the biggest problem around here,” she said. “You see groups of young men – white, black, Asian – hanging around outside schools waiting for the end of school all the time. They drive up and down, trying to get girls’ attention.”
To accentuate the race element some articles quoted people making note of the race of the victims:
“Why didn’t the Asian men pick on their own? Because they are at home doing the cooking and cleaning so they saw young white girls from deprived areas as easy targets”.
The above, heavily stereotypical rationale is shocking and most disturbing yet common from the comment sections of the many reports which have been been published. The statement is the same as insinuating that white girls of low socio-economic background are “easy pickings” due to the “white” culture they come from. It is a disgusting statement and one which reinforces the notion of rising racism in Britain today. What makes such statements more perverse is that the victims included girls of Asian background.
Is Paedophilia a “White” Crime?
What really exposes this preposterous discourse is that the right-wing as well as their cheap supporters seemed to experience a collective amnesia with regards to such abuses.
A powerful paedophile network with allegations of up to 20 MPs being involved has been operating from within the government for decades. Countless lives have been potentially ruined. Garry Glitter, Stuart Hall, Jimmy Saville (with the number of abuse victims hitting a thousand), and Rolf Harris have abused countless girls and boys. A “cover-up” has allegedly happened with regards to most of these cases; the question is, what is the explanation here? A failure of multiculturalism?
Notably, the abovementioned rings and names are associated with middle-class whites. The burning question remains, why has not the skin colour or the religion (Christianity) of these sick individuals been plastered across the papers? Side-stepping the comparatively inexistent outrage by the public for papers not highlighting their “ethnicity”, the political elite, such as the neocon Michael Gove, have even taken an apologist attitude towards such repugnant actions and have said that inquiries are not needed.