27 August 2014
The Muslim Council of Britain today repeated its condemnation of the cases of child abuse and grooming that have taken place in the country. The call came after the latest finding from an independent inquiry revealing that at least 1,400 children in the town were sexually exploited by criminal gangs between 1997 and 2013.
Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “These are shocking revelations and I hope those entrusted with protecting children reflect on what has occurred. Those who carried out these acts are nothing more than criminals. Criminals reject the teachings of all religions, and the issue here should not be on race or religion. No faith, and no culture would condone such activities. This is about gang culture engaging in all forms of criminal activities: money laundering, drugs, guns and sex trafficking are just one part of it.”
Last year, the Muslim Council of Britain organised a conference entitled ‘Protecting All Our Children: Safeguarding Children and Tackling Gang Led Grooming’ to explore community responses to this issue. The findings of the conference, published today, found that there was a general disconnect between communities and the authorities, with some communities needing to address parenting and the generation divide. But above all, there should be no impediment for Social Services or the Police to act decisively when such crimes need investigating. Race and religion should not be an inhibition to investigating a crime.
As the MCB Conference report states: “The key point that we come back to is that looking at race and ethnicity and culture is a red herring. What we need to look at are the causes, the context, those who are probably victims and those who are perpetrators, and we need to act on each of these things. We must not pre-empt it by saying that we are looking at specific factors.”
See the full MCB Conference Report