Belfast Telegraph

Rotherham case shows abuse is ingrained in society

By Yasmin Alibhai Brown

The report by Professor Alexis Jay into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham is both appalling and yet strangely reassuring. Prof Jay, who is clearly committed to justice and equality for all, has produced her findings without fear, or favour. This is new and rare, and I welcome it.

Most of the perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by the young victims. White experts and officers have, for too long, been reluctant to confront serious offences committed by black and Asian people.

So, instead of saving children who were being gang-raped, drugged, assaulted, threatened and terrorised, they chose to protect rapists, traffickers and drug-dealers. And themselves.

Only a small minority of Asian men are hunting and hurting white girls. Grooming gangs are made up of all races and classes.

That said, the Rotherham report will, I hope, stop the apologists and silence their usual denials and pretexts. I mean the anti-racists, academics and time-serving public service workers who have been unwilling to condemn what they should.

I can imagine what the talk will be among Asians in Rotherham. Good people, of course, will feel shame. Lots, however, will not and will blame the system, or the victims – young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, who were lured with cheap gifts and false affection. Such children are seen as trash, low life, by their rapists as well as the authorities, including the police.

Too many Asian mothers spoil their boys, undervalue their girls and demean their daughters-in-law. Within some British Asian circles, the West is considered degenerate and immoral.

So it's okay to take their girls and ruin them further. Some of the most fierce rows I have ever had have been with Asian women who hold these disgusting views.

I ask them what they would feel if gangs of white men took out their girls, gave them presents, took them places, and then seduced, beat and passed them around. The men might say they were rescuing the girls from oppression, saving them from a life of forced marriage and all that.

What, then, if white Britons tacitly supported and excused the criminals? I tell them about at least three young Asian girls who have thus been exploited. "That is their fault. They have become English so these things happen to them." What to do in the face of such attitudes?

I will always fight for the rights of minorities. But I will not defend the indefensible.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph