If the issue of child grooming within some muslim communities is publicly recognised as a cultural problem by muslims themselves, then why are the British authorities so reluctant to address the problem?
We are happy to recognise a cultural problem within the Catholic church and the Church of England, why not in Muslim communities ? Surely it would be racist not to treat all groups exactly the same ?
Mr Shafiq [Ramadhan Foundation] said: “There is a significant problem for the British Pakistani community, there is an over-representation amongst recent convictions in the crime of on-street grooming, there should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals.
“They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behaviour that is bringing shame on our community.
“I urge the police and the councils not to be frightened to address this issue, there is a strong lesson that you cannot ignore race or be over sensitive.”
He added: “I have been overwhelmed by the support the Ramadhan Foundation has been given by young people for our campaign on child grooming but concerned that community elders are once again burying their heads in the sand, this concerns us all and we must speak out.
“The community elders need to learn from the reaction of young people and reject any attempt to silence the reaction from our community.
“We have over the past 12 months seen tremendous progress, more Imams have spoken out in Friday sermons; workshops and activities for young people have happened in the community and there is a strong commitment to see this work through.
“We encourage local authorities and schools to learn from Rochdale where over 9,000 teenagers have attended a workshop on child grooming.
“The Ramadhan Foundation is ready to stand with anyone who wishes to protect these young teenagers.”
He said the police would need to “reflect on their failures” in this case.
“Finally the far right and fascist movements are not welcome to Rochdale, we reject their division and hatred and it has no place in a tolerant and diverse society.
“We will learn lessons from this case but not allow outsiders to divide us,” Mr Shafiq added.
He [Alyas Karmani – ‘Together Against Grooming’] is addressing the question of whether a disproportionate number of British Asian men are involved in grooming underage girls for sex. He thinks the answer is “Yes” – which is also very plain-speaking on a subject around which the British policing, political, academic and social work establishment dances with over-sensitive diplomacy.
Yet Imam Karmani is no maverick. As well as being an imam, he is a psychologist with more than 20 years of practical experience in youth and community work. He is a former adviser to the Department for Education on youth empowerment and a one-time head of race equality for the Welsh Assembly and is now co-director of Street, a project whose name stands for Strategy to Reach, Empower and Educate Teenagers.