The Rochdale ‘Grooming’ case has shocked people across the UK. Any situation where men exploit teenage girls with alcohol, drugs and small amounts of cash, then intimidate them, for the sole purpose of their own sexual gratification is one that is rightly condemned and should not be tolerated by any decent minded person.
This event should have been a cause for reflection across the whole society. But instead, we heard from some politicians and media that it is the Pakistani Muslim community that has to do the reflecting.
The same people who usually say such events are isolated to a few ‘rotten apples’ are now implying that there is a systemic problem in one community, instead of undergoing a period of deep reflection and thinking as to why sexual exploitation in such a vile manner took place in Rochdale.
The British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL), who have both sought to push their own racist hatred of Islam, were joined by others with an anti-Islam agenda. Ignorant BNP demonstrators carried banners saying: “Our Children Are Not Halal Meat”. Whereas ‘educated’ Times columnist David Aaronovitch wrote: “Let’s be honest. There’s a clear link with Islam”. Melanie Phillips, whose agenda to discredit Islam and Muslims seems more about defending the Zionist occupation of Palestine, went so far as to say: “This is about religion and culture -an unwesternised Islamic culture which holds that non-Muslims are trash and women are worthless.”
Even Conservative politician Sayeeda Warsi exploited the issue to gain popularity within her party, which is reported not to like her, by telling London’s Evening Standard newspaper: “There is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game. And we have to be prepared to say that. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first” – so stoking the ‘race’ element of the story.
Highlighting the point that all the girls abused were white and non-Muslims and the abusers were all Muslim men of Pakistani or Afghan origin has not simply driven anti-Islam and racist prejudice, it has meant that the only focus has been on cultural attitudes towards women and how Muslims view non-Muslims.
It is tragic when Muslims commit such immoral acts, for which Allah will account them heavily.
But it is unacceptable that their crimes be blamed on Islam, which is far above this depraved behaviour, and which has nothing to do with their acts. How could it be, when Islam forbids men and women who are not relations from freely mixing with each other? How could it be, when Islam orders men and women to ‘lower their gaze’ with the opposite gender; and when Islam orders firm punishments for adultery and fornication?
The fact of the matter is that what caused these Muslims to behave in such a manner is actually the abandonment of Islamic values.
Instead, what they did was to adopt some of the values of the secular British society, or some cultural attitudes that exist across Asian cultures.
Sexual freedom is not an Islamic value; and seeking gratification from women is an attitude that transcends race and religion in Britain. The beautification for the entertainment of men is as much Bollywood as it is Hollywood!
Few commentators have asked what made these young women so vulnerable. Few have questioned a society in which women are objectified in tabloid newspapers, ‘Lads Mags’, fashion magazines and the multi-billion pound ‘adult entertainment’ industry.
British Prime Minister David Cameron this week strangely forgot to mention the issue that he himself had not so long ago commented on -the growing sexualisation of children at a very young age. He, and his sidekick Ms Warsi, forgot to mention that when secular liberal societies allow girls as young as seven years old to be sexualized it is unsurprising they are later groomed for sex, victims of date rape, paedophilia, and sexual harassment at work.
They forgot to address the recent report by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) stating that nearly a quarter of young people in Britain have experienced sexual abuse, with the highest number amongst teenage girls between the ages of 15-17. Clearly the problem that exists in British society isn’t limited to one community. Even the UK Good Childhood Inquiry concluded that such abuses were the results of beliefs of ‘excessive individualism’ and ‘that the prime duty of the individual is to make the most of their own life.’
By contrast, Islam addresses men and women as human beings – not commodities -having the same worth before Allah (swt) – both encouraged to do good and stay away from bad things.
Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that, and whoever works righteousness -male or female -while believing, these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits. [TMQ Ghafir 40:40]
The Prophet (saw) told the people that Paradise lies at the feet of the mother – not the father; and that the man who raises two daughters in piety enters Paradise – something he did not say for a man who raised two sons.
Women in the Islamic Khilafah would not be regarded as inferior or second-class citizens -since Islam gave women the right to her own wealth, property rights, rights in marriage and divorce as well as an active role in society. Islam punishes the ones who slander the honour of women with mere words, let alone allowing them to be groomed or used for sexual acts.
Dear Muslims, in this case we see the dangers of leaving our values and adopting values alien to the Islamic aqeedah. We will continue to see more cases like this unless we seek to safeguard our values against liberal ones. Not only does it corrupt the community but opens the door for attacks on our belief and the slander of our Deen.
Our role in the West is to reject such decadent secular values that treats women like objects; and which drive men to satisfy their own lusts; and instead to acquire the knowledge to follow the higher values of Islam as a total way of life.
Our community should return to these values, strengthen them and demonstrate their sublime nature to the wider society so the people of this country can see the truth of Islam as it came to elevate humanity from the depth of darkness.
Alif, Lam, Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you, (O Muhammad), that you might bring mankind out of darkness’s into the light by permission of their Lord -to the path of the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy [TMQ Ibrahim 14:1]
30 Jumada II 1433
21 May 2012