Sex victims see price of craven unwillingness to face facts
The abuse of girls by gangs of Muslim men follows a drip-fed diet of mysogyny and racism, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
I was listening last Thursday morning to the BBC's flagship news programme, Today, when I lost my rag and began shouting at the radio about pusillanimity.
What was being discussed arose from the conviction the previous day of seven men for raping, trafficking and torturing children in Oxford. The interviewee was Andrew Norfolk, who has just won the Orwell prize for journalism for his pioneering work for The Times exposing gangs of sexual predators in the north of England. In 2010, five men from Rotherham and nine from Derby were convicted; in 2012 it was nine from Rochdale and last week it was seven from Oxford.
The cause of my rage was the embarrassment being shown by the interviewer, Evan Davis, that yet again the perpetrators were all Muslim and mostly of Pakistani origin. "Have we got stats on the racial breakdown of this particular crime?" he asked. "Obviously there have been the Saviles and the Stuart Halls and we don't talk about their religion by and large." And he and Norfolk fell over themselves to agree that the majority of sex offenders were white males operating on their own.
As an Irish immigrant who was living in England while republicans were shooting and bombing its cities, of course I'm glad that the British are a tolerant bunch who don't scapegoat whole communities for the wicked deeds of a minority. But the British chattering classes have traditionally taken this to masochistic extremes. It was the elite's wholesale adoption of multiculturalism that made generations of public servants terrified of doing or saying anything that might be classed as racist. Instead of immigrants being told to adapt to British values, the British were told to adapt to those of the newcomers.
In the name of multiculturalism, most teachers, police and social workers turned a blind eye to such barbaric practices as forced marriages, female genital mutilation and honour killings.
Ann Cryer, then Labour MP for a Yorkshire constituency, was virtually alone among politicians in saying openly that some imported Pakistani cultural practices should be challenged, and she was regularly denounced for giving ammunition to racists and the far right.
Andrew Norfolk had listened to Ann Cryer 10 years ago, but it was not until 2010 that he got the backing to conduct an in-depth investigation in Rotherham and publish the horrifying results. What he discovered was a pattern of criminality that may have extended to dozens of English towns and cities. For these gangs to flourish, he found, you needed three factors: vulnerable girls, groups of men who viewed them with contempt and lust, and a system of child protection that shrugged its shoulders.
The men saw white, non-Muslims as fair game – sluts who deserved whatever they got. Girls in care homes were obvious targets, but any in their early teens who were in public on their own were worth a try.
The system was straightforward. Attractive young men would start chatting to girls in a public place, take them for a drive, buy them presents, ply them with alcohol and drugs, make them feel cherished, earn their trust and then introduce them to their older "cousins", who would rape them. Gang rape was a popular pastime, and the girls were terrified into obeying the orders communicated by the men on the mobile phones they had given their victims.
Children or parents complaining to social workers or police were given the brush-off.
Even now, when The Times's revelations have embarrassed the authorities into action, there is a desperate attempt to ignore the simple fact that the vast majority of members of these sex-gangs are Pakistani. Ann Cryer came out of retirement last week to say on radio again that this abuse was a consequence of "cultural practices that have been imported into this country from Pakistan and we must not just turn a blind eye to it".
Some people still can. Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton, on whose watch for years children were abused with impunity, bleated warnings against making generalisations about the men's background, saying similar abuse can happen "across the community". Like other police forces, no doubt she's instructing her officers to redouble their efforts to find old white men who slept with a 15-year-old during the swinging Sixties and charge them with rape.
That there have been thousands of victims of dozens of paedophile Muslim gangs can no longer be denied. Dr Taj Hargey, a progressive Oxford imam, has condemned the "craven unwillingness" to face up to the reality that the perpetrators had been drip-fed "misogyny and racism" in their mosques. He called for harsh sentences and the abandonment of the "dangerous blinkers of political correctness and antiquated multiculturalism".
A swathe of sackings of senior social workers and police would be nice too, but I'm not holding my breath.