Monday, September 8, 2014

"Rotherham"

                 Sydney M. Williams

Thought of the Day
Rotherham
September 8, 2014

If you haven’t heard of this post-industrial town of 258,000 in South Yorkshire, England, you should have. If you have heard of the town and its scandal, but its memory is already beginning to fade, don’t let it. What happened in Rotherham is but one example of what is happening throughout much of the world by young Muslim men – terrorists and those who are just twisted – who have abducted young girls that come from poor – sometimes illiterate – and often broken families. The girls, who are usually Christian, are gang-raped, beaten, threatened and turned into “sex slaves.” In denying what is happening – if we in the West don’t get off our politically correct horse – we are all going to be taken on a ride to a land where no civilized person wants to go.

For years, city council members and local police in Rotherham played the game of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Officials allowed Muslims of Pakistani heritage to sexually exploit young, poor, white Christian girls – some no more than eleven. According to a recent report in The Economist, three reports over the past twelve years had been commissioned by the Rotherham City Council to investigate allegations of sexual abuse by these men. Those reports found that young girls were being exploited and the men accused had also been involved in “gun crimes and drug-dealing.” But one report was suppressed because senior officers disbelieved the data; and the other two were ignored. Local officials were concerned they “might be fingered as racists.” Consequently, for over a decade Muslim perverts plied young girls with alcohol and drugs, gang-raped and beat them, told them their families would be killed if what happened got out, and then trafficked them to other cities. The young men had no fear from authorities. They were protected by a culture of political correctness that prevented the police from confronting them. At least 1,400 young girls were subjected to these criminal acts over a 16-year period. In an article last week, the New York Times reported that the police in Rotherham referred to the girls as “tarts” and that their abuse was a “lifestyle choice.” Rapists were noted as “boyfriends.”

What finally brought this story to light was an investigative report by Andrew Norfolk of The Times of London (a Robert Murdock paper). That report, belatedly, prompted the Rotherham City Council to hire an independent investigator, which they did in the person of Alexis Jay. Professor Jay is visiting professor at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. She was formerly the Chief Social Work Advisor to the Scottish Government. Her report, as one commentator wrote, was not for the squeamish. Following its release, both the city council head and police chief resigned.

What Ms. Jay discovered was appalling, not only in terms of the maliciousness of the crime and how long it had been going on, but in the depth and breadth of the cover-up, which can only be attributed to the cultural spread of political-correctness and the misogynist attitude of the council and police toward poor, often illiterate, young white girls. The report also noted that what was happening in Rotherham was not limited to that city, but had been occurring in northern towns like Oldham and Rochdale and southern cities like Oxford, where gangs of young “Asian men” (a euphemism for Muslims of Pakistani heritage) have been convicted of grooming and abusing young white women.

The concept of multiculturalism is not in of itself bad. In a global environment, we all must learn to get along. We come from differing economic, religious and social backgrounds. But, as we are tolerant toward others, we must also remain true to our own values. Many on the Left in both the United States and Europe, in an attempt to accommodate those who are different, have deep-sixed their own values, along with commonsense and decency. They will remove, or incorporate, race, sex or religion into any story, depending on its convenience to the message they want to send.

It is truth that should be sought, not arguments to further a political cause. If the story of Rotherham is portrayed simply as a story of opportunistic men taking advantage of vulnerable girls from poor and broken homes, it risks being transformed from what is a heinous crime into something less offensive. If the role of Muslim misogyny is ignored (which would be hard to do given Ms. Jay’s report), those who do so risk playing into the hands of the British National Party (BNP). That would, according to Julie Binder, a feminist who has investigated the phenomenon of girls being exploited by groups of Pakistani Muslims, permit the BNP to “colonize the story for its own end.” Her fears may be justified; for stupid behavior, even in a “good” cause, can generate harsh overreactions. A rise in Islamophobia in Rotherham, or anywhere else, would be a consequence of elites in the media and politics who promoted political correctness over truth.

Matters in England have been made worse with the incorporation of parts of Sharia law into the English legal system, despite inherent contradictions. While people should be free to pursue whatever religion they choose, they cannot ignore the rule of law. That leads to anarchy. But incorporating any aspect of Sharia law into English law will have unintended consequences. Should, for example, a Muslim woman seeking a divorce be subject to laws different from those which apply to her Christian or Jewish neighbors? Should child support be withheld because her Muslim husband so chooses? Is it right that a Muslim woman, an English citizen living in England, be denied an equal share of her inheritance just because Sharia law so dictates? Should adopted children, or those born outside of marriage, be denied inheritance because Sharia law so demands? The answers seem obvious, yet the Law Society in the UK has issued a stamp of approval regarding “Sharia compliant” wills. And today, more than 80 Sharia councils are operating in the U.K. The practice of religion should be free, but religious laws should be subordinate to the temporal law of the country.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, westernized his nation by creating a secular state. He knew that an Islamic state fosters the oppression of women and bigotry and inhibits inquiry and progress. He kept his Muslim religion, but kept it separate from politics. But when Islamists, with help from their politically correct and naïve friends in the media and politics, push for Sharia law their aim is to embed religion into politics. That is alien to our Western values. The late Samuel Huntington, in the Clash of Civilizations, wrote” “Islam [is] a way of life, transcending and uniting religion and politics.”

Our lives are governed by the laws of the country in which we live. To live civilly we obey them and conform to the social and cultural norms of that city, state and country. In addition, we, in the West, live by a moral code based on Christian-Judeo values, ones with which most immigrants have no problem adapting. It includes equal treatment of all sexes, races and religions. It protects the young. Regardless of our individual religious beliefs, however, society must adhere to rules of law that apply equally to all citizens. It cannot make exceptions. In the case of immigrants, most choose to emigrate because they prefer the opportunities of the host country, which include the laws and customs of that land. Unlike Christianity or Judaism, in which religion provides a general moral code, the principles of Sharia govern all aspects of a Muslim’s life. While the Church of England is England’s national church, it is not overpowering in the way Islam is in Muslim countries that function under Islamic law. We may be multi-cultural, but they are not. When intolerant behavior is excused and laws broken are ignored, as happened in Rotherham, avoidable criminal acts unfold.

While both the Times and the Economist should be applauded for the articles they wrote, they should be criticized for the fact that neither mentioned the fact that the rapists were Muslims. (Their refusal to use “Muslim” is similar to President Obama who will not put the qualifier “Islamist” in front of the noun “terrorist,” despite the fact that most of the terrorists we and the world face today are Islamists – ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah and dozens more. Religion is their motivating factor). Unless one is like Humpty Dumpty, to whom a word as he scornfully explained to Alice “means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less,” words have meaning. They are universally understood. Similarly, when a word like ‘Muslim’ is omitted, its absence is noted because that, too, has meaning.

One hopes that the Left will learn that while tolerance is positive, tolerance of the intolerant is not. That is the risk of political correctness. Rotherham is, unfortunately, not an uncommon story. As the Globe and Mail put it, “no amount of liberal angst will make this story go away.” It should not. Some politicians have recognized the dangers of unfiltered compassion. British Home Secretary Theresa May, in speaking about Rotherham, acknowledged that “institutionalized political correctness” has inflicted appalling damage on the innocent.


The story of Rotherham says much about our culture and the way we live our lives. We are all guilty, not only the young Pakistani Muslim men who acted so cruelly, but those who looked the other way, and the rest of us, as smugly we snuggled under our mantle of political correctness. The innocent were the victims – young, pre-teen-age girls who deserved more from those who are supposed to watch over them.

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