Aug 28 2014

British Muslim Communities Shocked by Rotherham Child Sex Abuse Scandal

A shocking report about the sexual exploitation of 1,400 mostly young girls over a 16 year period in the Northern England city of Rotherham was released this week by Professor Alexis Jay. The report reveals extremely disturbing accounts about children as young as 11 years old being lured away by men and groomed for sex. The abuse, which has been taking place since as far back as 1997 involved horrific incidents of gang rape, trafficking, abductions and beatings.

It appears that social workers were well aware of what was going on in the town since 2005 and had been filing police reports about the children who were being sexually abused. Despite their pleas to the police to investigate, they were systematically ignored and their reports were suppressed. In 2010, nine men were brought to trial and given prison sentences, yet the abuse continued unabated.

Media coverage has fixated on the race and religion of the perpetrators and victims highlighting the fact that almost all of the abusers were Pakistani, while almost all of the known victims were white. Some Rotherham officials have claimed that they avoided responding to child abuse complaints for fear of being labeled racist, but police and local government officials were known for harboring very hostile attitudes towards women and there is some evidence that they held the victims, who were mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds, in contempt.

GUEST: Muhbeen Hussain, founder of the group British Muslim Youth, joining us live from England

Follow Muhbeen Hussain on Twitter @MuhbeenH.

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