UK Muslims failing to address sexism and victim-blaming

UK Muslims failing to address sexism and victim-blaming July 6, 2017

Prosecutor Nazir Afzal, above, the man who brought a case against a gang of abusers in Rochdale in 2012, said that Muslim communities need take sexism and victim-blaming far more seriously.
Afzal, according the BBC, spoke out after the airing of drama on Monday of The Betrayed Girls, a documentary about nine Asian men jailed for grooming teenagers in Rochdale. Eight of the convicted men were of Pakistani origin and one was from Afghanistan.
There were “sizeable chunks” of communities in the UK who were derogatory to women and girls, he said.

Even now, people will say [the girls] asked for it.  It is absolute nonsense but nonetheless some people do believe that.
That is part of the problem, this sort of cultural silence. Community silence, which is not complicity, but when you are silent you allow people to get away with stuff.

He added:

There is sadly a view amongst many that women and girls are a lesser beings and there aren’t any consequences if you harm them.
I am a Muslim and don’t think that way. The vast majority of Muslims don’t think that way, but there are places in this country where I hear this on a regular basis.

Afzal admitted victim-blaming could be found “across the board”, with convicted “white celebrity abusers” also saying their victims had been responsible in some way.
But he said he does not think “the conversation in Muslim communities and minority communities is as advanced” as in other groups in society.

However, Masood Shah, above, a committee member at the Mustafah Islamic Centre in Rochdale, disagreed that sexism existed within Muslim communities. He said the race and religion of abusers was:

Totally irrelevant. If you look at the core values of Islam you will find a woman has a very, very high status; a mother has more rights to a child than the father.
An Islamic saying is your heaven is under the feet of the mother. So women are highly respected.

He added:

The race and religion of [the men who were involved in grooming] was totally irrelevant. It is totally criminal activity. Nothing to do with race, creed or culture.
These men were opportunists using vulnerable children to satisfy their criminal instinct.

Shah said he believed there had been a “sea change” in Rochdale since the convictions, with the Muslim community condemning these acts “widely”.
Afzal disagreed:

The community is not making the strides it should be. Immediately after [the trial] there were all sorts of commitments, sermons in mosques and much more training and educational stuff, then the cameras went away and not a lot has happened since.

One of the girls who was abused by the gang was quoted by the BBC as saying gthat the targeting of girls by Asian men was still going on in the Greater Manchester.

“Laura”, whose identity is protected as a victim of a sex crime, told BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire show said she was walking in Oldham town centre through an Asian community a couple of months ago.

I was still getting cars pulling over to me asking me if I wanted to go for a drink. It’s not bothering them. I don’t actually think they understand that they are doing something wrong.

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  • Sorry but

    Yeah Muslims men are so unaware that they know not what they do. Well that’s a load of fucking tosh. I used to be quite matey with a Muslim guy, Pakistani origin, but born in Birmingham. On the face of it he seemed an OK guy and because I am well travelled and not in the least racist took him at face value. We were quite close for nearly 3 years. But I found out that he was a sexual predator with two separate lives. One as a professional engineer working with me in a big global engineering company. The other, as I stared to discover, a very confident serial sexual predator who often visited the red lights in Birmingham and Europe when on business, a wife beater (a gorgeous Italian girl who he treated very badly indeed as came out in the divorce) a drug peddlar pushing all kinds of stuff ranging from steroids for body builders right up to the very very hard stuff, and who used his teenaged boys, one of who is now banged up for dealing, as innocent young looking couriers. He is an absolute nasty piece of work, as you find out when things start to come to the surface. I know now that he was involved with taking advantage of under aged kuffar girls as payment in kind for services and supply. And if you met him you would think him as a good old boy hen in fact he is one of many Muslims who lead an apparently integrated life whilst behaving well outside the law.

  • Paul

    Masjid shah is an imbecile he knows nothing of his own stupid religion.
    What a moronic statement he makes ” If you look at the core values of Islam you will find a woman has a very, very high status; a mother has more rights to a child than the father.”
    That is Absolutely false and not correct. Islam is a paternal dominated religion when it comes To children and women has few of any rights. If a couple divorce the children by Islamic law go to the father – the woman the mother has zero rights. He’s an idiot. And what a stupid stupid thing to say. It’s a lie.
    Only IF the father agrees, can a girl who is his daughter go to live with her mother upon divorce after the girl has her period – with his permission.

  • andym

    “Totally irrelevant. If you look at the core values of Islam you will find a woman has a very, very high status; a mother has more rights to a child than the father.”
    I think that’s what’s called an own goal.

  • barriejohn

    Stuck in the Seventh Century.

  • 1859

    But at the very least these prominent people in the muslim community are now being forced to have this debate – that’s progress of sorts, even if it is minuscule.

  • Paul

    If only that were true.
    It isn’t.
    It isn’t because there is no Muslim community whatever that term is supposed to mean. There is no choension nor community amongst these different races of people becasue they may ‘speak’ for a few but not for the many, and they don’t speak for a majority any more than the local councillor makes decisions for me or for my neighbour. A Turk and a Kurd an Arab a Somali an Afghani a Uzbek a Pakistani and Indian a Tajik a Malay an Indonesian may well be Muslim but they are not a community.
    I find the term frankly insulting and vacuous.

  • 1859

    Agreed, the term ‘muslim community’ is very flakey. What I was trying to say was at least some muslims – of whatever community – are being made to talk, to question, to doubt, to ponder, to reinterpret, to debate etc., the problems that surround their religion. This tiny step must be better than positions of outright denial.

  • Paul

    Yes I would also agree with you, some of them have got to start speaking up / but not by using the victim card or being downright liars and deflecting criticism isn’t right, and tempered by how I don’t believe one imam speaks for all those different people.
    (And I wasn’t having a go at you at all – the Lions will do that tomorrow I hope!).