Rod Liddle

You can’t fight racism by ignoring facts

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Was there a ‘racial’ or ‘cultural’ angle to the crimes committed by those nine exclusively Asian men from Rochdale sentenced to between four and 19 years in prison for sexually abusing young white girls? Or was it simply a weird coincidence that we should all promptly forget about? There are plenty of people in the public eye (although probably none who are not in the public eye) who pretend to cleave to the latter point of view. These include, oddly enough, the respected journalist Peter Oborne — who divested himself of such stammering inanities on the subject while appearing on the BBC’s Question Time last week, that I assumed an imbecile had somehow constructed, or been given, a Peter Oborne glove-puppet and was crouched beneath the Question Time table with his hand up the puppet’s bottom, wittering away. Nothing to do with Islam, he insisted. Mustn’t rush to judgment. But those white girls, huh, what about them? Allowing themselves to be the subject of such an assault, what is wrong with our society, etc. But it transpires that it was the real Peter Oborne, which is remarkable. Oborne, and one or two others, wish to avoid bringing odium upon the Muslim people in Britain in general, as we all do. But it is a category error to believe that denying a self-evident truth will somehow achieve this desirable end — indeed, it is more likely to make things much worse, as we shall see.

The suggestion, Peter, is not that all Muslims abuse young white girls, but that a grossly disproportionate number of these sorts of offences have been committed by Asian Muslim, and usually Pakistani, men. So you might conclude that some sort of problem exists therein, and one which might be addressed were it to be acknowledged. In fact, had this problem been acknowledged a little earlier it is possible, if not highly likely, that the girls in the Rochdale case would have been spared their grotesque ordeal. Unfortunately, too many people in the police and the social services found themselves possessed by the spirit of the inane Oborne glove puppet.

There are two related elements to the racial and cultural basis for these crimes. First, that the men concerned picked exclusively upon white girls for racist reasons. Summing up, Judge Gerald Clifton was in no doubt: the girls were picked upon, he told the defendants, because they were ‘not of your community or religion’. That seems to me a fairly reasonable definition of racism. Or consider this from Mohammed Shafiq, of the Ramadhan Foundation (which seeks to improve relations between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities): ‘They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought.’

Mr Shafiq also commented upon the second racial (or more properly cultural) angle to the crime; that it was more likely that these men would commit these sorts of crimes because of their ethnic and religious background. Shafiq said it was ludicrous to assert that there was no racial angle and said many Pakistani men carried with them an ‘imported cultural baggage’. Martin Narey, the government’s ‘adoption czar’, said, for his part: ‘Asians are overwhelmingly represented in prosecutions for street-grooming and trafficking in Derby, Leeds, Blackpool, Oldham and Rochdale.’ Narey referred to a report which suggested that 50 out of 54 such convictions in these areas had involved Muslim, usually Pakistani, men.

What happens if we cleave to the Oborne glove-puppet thesis? Trouble. For a start, the crimes do not get investigated. The former Labour MP for Keighley, Ann Cryer, has complained that police and social services ignored complaints of this ‘street-grooming’ for years, for fear of being seen as being politically incorrect. In almost every reported case of rape following ‘street grooming’ by Asian Muslim men, the victims or the victims’ families complain that the police had been alerted, but nothing was done. Police suspected that some 60 young white girls had been abused via an Asian Muslim-owned takeaway restaurant in Blackpool, possibly including the schoolgirl Charlene Downes, who is believed to have been murdered. According to a former Lancashire police detective, Detective Superintendent Mick Gradwell, the research into these appalling crimes was ‘hampered’ by ‘political correctness and concerns about community cohesion’. The police report was never published.

It only matters that certain crimes are associated with certain racial or cultural groups if the link is denied by well-meaning but imbecilic white liberals — the ones who will accuse those who do make such links of being, themselves, racist. It means the crimes do not get properly investigated and the cultural assumptions which underlie the crimes are not explored and then challenged. But just as damaging, the denial stokes up trouble between the communities — with, in this case, the impoverished white working-class community feeling justifiably incensed that their protestations are being ignored, or not taken seriously. And this in turn fosters the suspicion that they are being lied to.

The British National Party has built almost its entire support base — mercifully now dwindling — not on the exploitation of inherent racism within the poor white communities, but on the sense of grievance occasioned by every lie they are fed by the police, and the social services and the mainstream politicians and Peter Oborne. The BNP was warning about street-grooming a decade ago; now its Neanderthals are able to jump up and down and say: told you so.