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The Ugly Face of Islamophobia

'It seems the media and fringe politicians are more eager to twist the facts into an indictment of the Islamic and wider Asian community'

Sexual violence is a dark reality in modern times.  The statistics are unclear because of the amount of victims who are afraid to come forward and speak against their assailants, but in recent times it is noticeable that some newspapers have correlated pre-meditated gang attacks on white teenagers with a rise in Islamic or Asian “rape gangs”. This is a fabrication that has been seized upon for use as a political platform by reactionary parties such as the BNP.

According to statistics from Rape Crisis, around 400,000 women are sexually assaulted each year and a further 80,000 are raped. These figures are disturbing, but are nevertheless a reality that society has to confront directly; unfortunately, it seems the media and fringe politicians are more eager to twist the facts into an indictment of the Islamic and wider Asian community. This myth can be debunked with cold hard statistics. The Crown Prosecution website (CPS.gov.uk) ran a study in 2006 to see if there was a correlation between ethnicity or gender and sexual assault. The results were what one would imagine: an overwhelming majority of assaults were carried out by men and the study concluded that there was no race more inclined to engage in sexual assault. The Independent recently released an article in which it attacked the myth that members of the Asian community were responsible for the majority of sex attacks. It showed that 95% of those on the Greater Manchester sexual offence register are white.

It is apparent, then, that this phenomenon of Islamic and Asian ‘rape gangs’ has very little to do with the existence of any violent ethnic or religious impetus and more to do with an opportunistic attempt to vilify the Muslim community. This is typified in the reaction of the BNP, who on their website callously and repeatedly refer to these evil gangs as “Muslim”. Nick Griffin has seized the opportunity to make use of a slandered and misrepresented religion to promote the far-right agenda of his party and garner the votes of the ill-informed. He does not care for the victims of these attacks, he only cares that the assailants were coincidentally the religion and race he uses as a scapegoat in his political machinations.

Politicians aside, the mainstream media is also at fault. The Daily Mail is the biggest culprit in this typically underhanded attempt to fan the flames of Middle England’s deep-seated Islamaphobia. In May earlier this year a paedophile sex ring was uncovered in Rochdale and, in a separate incident, two men were convicted of abduction and rape in Birmingham in April.  The Daily Mail headlined the Rochdale case in May with “Asian Grooming Gang” and in turn tried to highlight their religion as much as possible in the article. The subheading of the article reads “Muslim leader warns that some Pakistani men think white girls are worthless”. This ‘Muslim leader’ is neither named nor referenced again in the article. The article goes further and explains that the Judge Gerald Clifton believed the assailants did it because they were “not part of their religion or community”. How is the Daily Mail helping here, instead of attacking the criminals they’re attacking the religion and ethnicity which is counter-productive.

But in the Birmingham case The Daily Mail could not help themselves and Katherine Faulkner headlined her article as “Muslim Gang Jailed for Kidnapping and Raping of Two Girls as Part of their Eid Celebrations”. There are two words in that headline that have no place on the page “Muslim” and “Eid”. The use of Eid is upsetting because anyone who knows anything about Islam would tell you that Eid is one of two separate events in the Islamic calendar, obviously Katherine Faulkner is unaware of this.  It is either a celebration of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice Ismail ( Eid al-Adha) or Eid ul-Fitr which marks  the end of Ramadan, the latter is for the majority of Muslims a time of fasting ,abstinence and religious reflection. So to parallel an alcohol fuelled rape with a celebration of piety is not just Isalamaphobic but downright ignorant. When the Catholic Sex abuse scandal came to light it was quite rightly referred to as Catholic because a large amount of Priests who had been caught engaging in these base, inhumane acts were protected by the cloth. The Vatican provided sanctuary, relocation and legal fees for their Priests. Whereas in England these rape gangs have been referred to as Islamic, yet no Islamic body condoned these acts or offered these monsters support. Not one Ayatollah, not one Imam, not even a Hafiz has come forward and defended these rapists or provided them with legal support and the reason is because Islam has nothing to do with this.

These men are the lowest form of human, actually to compare these reprobates to anything other than animals is redundant. They will have a special place in hell reserved for them but the coincidence that these men are of Asian descent and claim that they are Muslims is a moot point that should not even be entertained. It is unnecessary to notice their race or religion, as the statistics used earlier show there is no link between sexual assault and ethnicity. Also the fact that the Police did not want to be seen as politically incorrect stalled the arresting process.  So it is counterproductive at both ends of the spectrum, on one side highlighting their ethnicity and religion divides already tense communities in the North of England and creates an impassable blockade in interracial and inter-religious relations. Whereas on the other end this labelling of race and religion stunts police time as they are in fear of being politically incorrect. The solution is to approach these cases from a perspective that they are rapists not Muslims or Christians or Whites or Asians. To include their religion and ethnicity in the matter is pointless and gives them a level of humanity that they do not deserve. Not one man convicted is a Muslim, all of them convicted are rapists and nothing else.

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