It is gut-wrenching, stomach-churning and sickening to hear how a bunch of
British Pakistani men have sexually exploited young girls and groomed them for sex in various cities in our country including Rochdale, Derby, Manchester, Telford and Oxford. Their activities pose many questions that the Muslim communities in general, and the Pakistani community in particular need to ask themselves. This may be seen as a colossal failure on the part of the Pakistani Muslim community; however, it must not be generalized to the whole Pakistani or Muslim community.
Can this trend be simply ignored or should we be asking some fundamental introspective questions. Whose fault is it that young men, living in Britain and mainly from Pakistani ethnic origin think white girls are cheap for sexual exploits? In fact, I have come across young men from Bangladeshi and Arab backgrounds whose despicable views about white girls sent shivers down my spine. Some of them think that white girls are cheap, readily available and want it. I have even heard comments like "they are asking for it, look at the way they are dressed". This is probably the worst kind of attitude any human being can have about another human being!
Is it their conservative religious upbringing that causes this sexual perversion in them? I strongly believe there is no connection with the Islamic approach to sex, sexual ethics or its conservative social and family values. It has everything to do with their basic ignorance of what Islam truly says about sex and relationships with the opposite gender. Their upbringing often is not based on Islam but on a set of cultural values that inhibit true experience and healthy interaction between men and women.
The Quran likens marriage to a much-loved garment when defining the relationship between a man and woman - it emphasises the need for warmth, protection, safe space, privacy, confidentially, compatibility and most important equality in a marital partnership. In another verse it defines men and women as protectors of one another, doing good and struggling against evil. Sexual exploitation is neither an equal partnership nor providing protection.
Those who undertake these activities do not represent any faith, culture, nationality or colour. They simply represent their criminal minds. They should be dealt with as such. However, since majority of them are of Pakistani ethnic identity and Muslim background, even only by name, the question that the Pakistani and Muslim community need to ask is what went gone wrong in the values that influenced their upbringing? It is only through honest self-analysis we will find a solution. It is a fact that the vast majority of Pakistani people would want nothing to do with such people and would want them locked up for good!
Anyone would be scared of living in a society where some people feel no shame in exploiting our kids. I feel vulnerable regarding my own children with this knowledge that such people live in our midst. I also feel extremely concerned that Islam and the Muslims are being associated with this kind of
However, I believe that British Muslim community in general and Pakistani community elders, leaders, Imams and ordinary members in particular must take an uncompromising stance in condemning such people. It is time we all made a pledge to stand together to rid our society of sexual exploitation of all kinds. Eradicating these evils will liberate our children to play freely on our streets again.
It is worth remembering that vast majority of sexual predators such as paedophiles are mainly white males. Of course that does not mean all white males are sexual exploiters. What we, people of all background must ask are what drives people so low and what are root causes of so much sexual dysfunction and misery in modern Britain. Why so much sexual exploitation?
It seems the appetite for sex and sexual thrills is increasingly become insatiable - nothing is enough and no boundaries are ever unbreakable!
This serious degradation of sexual morals will have dangerous consequences in the wider society especially for our children. The predominant discourse in our country today is sex, sex and more sex. In Islam, sex is a sacred gift of nature, to be enjoyed in a loving and trusting relationship, confidential and safe environment.
It is not enough to just condemn these people as sick people. We must look at our education curriculum, which gives inadequate teaching about sexual relationships. It risks sexualising five year olds long before they are biologically or emotionally ready. It teaches sex as a mechanical act instead of an emotional and spiritual experience between a loving and committed couple. Many kids learn about sex from pornography through their smart phones, websites, movies and magazines. Their understanding and expectations of sex is totally unreal and the cause of many sexual dysfunction, distraction and misery in their adult life. Who is responsible for that? I believe the whole society is.
The government and education institutions have to change the way they teach sex and interaction with the opposite sex. They must incorporate in their national curriculum a more sensitive and respectful approach to sex and gender relationship. They must teach respect in all its variations especially when it comes to forming relationships. The government must take a more uncompromising stance on pornography as time and again the researches upon research have indicated the destructive effect of pornography. What good is our government if it cannot protect our families and vulnerable children!
The Muslim community must not hide its head under the sand hoping the storm will pass. They have a moral and religious duty to challenge such sick behaviour in their rank and file and put in place measures that will prevent these terrible abuses ever happening again. Muslim community must teach their children sex education but from a more relational and spiritual perspective, and at the appropriate age. In fact, the Muslim communities' curriculum for sex education could be a very useful and inspiring tool for the rest of the society. I will call upon the Muslim leaders to be brave and tackle this problem head on, not to be distracted by conservative members of the communities complaining about religious sensitivity and screaming racism. This is a real problem and we must address this problem together, it is seriously destroying our reputation and stance in the wider community.
Unless there is an overhaul in our general attitude towards sex and the way we manage our relationships with the opposite gender, we risk sleep-walking into total destruction!