It was the subject of last night's Panorama. It'll be up for a week - does anyone know how to capture BBC video ?
One Muslim from Lancashire is speaking out. Mohammed Shafiq, director of the Ramadhan Foundation, said "I think the police are overcautious on dealing with this issue openly because they fear being branded racist and I think that is wrong".
We're seeing the effects of thirty years of well-meant, middle-class anti-racism here. Put that together with a culture where the school nurse is handing out contraception to children while the parent (often) or parents remain in blissful ignorance and you get our old friend unforeseen consequence.
Mind, it's not little Phillippa from Boltburn Girls Grammar, with her magistrate mum, who's being enticed by a pimped-up Corsa, a trip to McDonalds and a tasteful selection of Elizabeth Duke jewellery. It'll be poor Chavaunne from Retchworth Community College who gets the come-on in the shopping mall. But for most white liberals race trumps class in the hierarchy of victimhood, hence the pulling of the Channel Four film on the same subject four years back. If the predators were wealthy, privately educated white boys who just got a kick out of conning and abusing barely-pubescent chavettes, you wouldn't be able to pick up a paper or turn on the radio without tripping over it.
In feminista Julie Bindel's hierarchy, fortunately, gender trumps race.
The pimps are adept at trading on teenage rebellion and use similar methods, according to Crop, of convincing the girls all white people are racist. This is part of the controlling process, to instil guilt in the girls. “Like most teenagers, I was going through a phase of arguing with my mum,” says Gemma. “Amir told me they didn’t understand me and were racist and ignorant. I believed him.” Gemma was given an Asian name by Amir, and told she had to read the Koran, a story support workers tell me is not uncommon. “They erode the girls’ identities,” says Kosaraju, “to make them more compliant and needy.”
Few of the girls know, or are willing to acknowledge, they are being pimped. Because they claim to love the men, and think of them as their boyfriends, police often see that as an admission from the girls of consent. “As far as I was concerned, Amir was my boyfriend,” says Gemma. “When he told me I had to sleep with his friends, I had no idea he was being paid for it. I was on a lot of drugs and he said I had to pay for them.”
"convincing the girls all whites are racist" - well, they've had a lot of help over the last thirty years in that laudable aim.
The stories didn't get told (and are pretty low-key now) because people are more worried about increasing the level of white racism than they are about girls being abused. And they have a point - a wrong one, but a point nonetheless.
Nightjack is a newish police blog, one of a few good-uns that have a raised profile since the Copper gave up on the UK and emigrated.
Take a look at this - the story of a guy who tried to cut a few corners to speed up the grooming process.
Four days after the event, “Melissa” (14yrs) is admitted to A&E with an overdose. It is one of those real I want to end it all overdoses. The sort involving tubes and beeps and lights and readouts. We only find out about it when she recovers. She speaks to Mum, and alleges that her boyfriend got her very drunk, took her to a seaside hotel and raped her whilst she was passed out.
So on day six, the Police are called. Day seven Melissa is sensitively and appropriately interviewed to find out what happened to her. She is not sure of her boyfriends’ name, it might be Bilal (we will learn that this is not the truth) . She is not sure what sort of car he has, just that is “well wicked” and customised. She thinks he is 21 (we will learn in the end that he is well over 30). She does know that she went with her friend “Cara” and her boyfriend Qasim. Melissa thinks hearts and romance. Bilal thinks just another goray.
If you've read the post to the end, you may feel that if a BNP activist wanted to invent a fantasy of the predatory "Other" he couldn't do better than that. Trouble is, the odds are heavily on it being the (suitably anonymised - the guy has a job) truth.
How come ? you may ask. Doesn't Islam prohibit such things ? How does this fit with Laban's generally favourable disposition towards those who are tough on crime, have strong families, value respectability ("honour" in the Muslim context) and fear God ?
There seem to be some conflicting (but probably ultimately reconcilable) currents here. As the Bradford Race Relations Review said :
The third issue relates to the apparent collapse of parental control over their young men. There are significant groups of young men who are heavily involved in drug dealing and abuse, gang activities and crime. They are often abusive and threatening to white people in their areas and appear in significant and intimidating groups in the town centre area. No-one within their own communities seem prepared to challenge them or call them to order. However, these same young men, for the most part, profess their belief in Islam, do not drink alcohol and the vast majority will accept the arranged marriage. Their parents claim to have no control over them yet these young men do not kick against certain fundamentals.
I believe that the parents do have some control, that they have a tacit agreement with their young men which basically requires them to accept the strictures on drinking and the arranged marriage in return for no interference in other aspects of their young men’s lives. This simply reflects their priorities:- the commitment to Islam, the prohibition on drink and the arranged marriage are more important than other aspects. There is a parental fear, no doubt well-founded, that if they exert pressure in other areas then they will lose their sons’ commitments in those three vital areas. It works for them but is a recipe for chaos in the rest of the community.
Or as Dalrymple puts it, speaking of young Muslim prisoners in Winson Green :
"The young Muslim men want wives at home to cook and clean for them, concubines elsewhere, and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll."
While I'm plonking my trainers where angels fear to tread, another not-in-front-of-the-children subject - Tottenham Lad's long and copiously referenced post on gang rape in the UK and elsewhere, which, would you believe, has an ethnic dimension.
Why isn't it all over the media, as it would be if rich white boys were the culprits - or even the (innocent) suspects ?
Because the media have been brought up well. They've listened to Billie Holliday sing "Strange Fruit". In the history curriculum at school my children have been taught about the lynch mobs of Alabama and Mississippi, killing without trial black men, often accused of sexual crime or misdemeanour. Martha Gellhorn's gut-wrenching account of a lynching is still with me thirty years after I've read it - poor Hyacinth pleading "don't let them burn me" - and I'm not the only one. (Alas, like Sacco and Vanzetti, Gellhorn's piece seems to have been a tremendously influential liberal myth - according to Gellhorn's biographer she made the whole thing up. Still, I'm pleased Hyacinth didn't get lynched because of his non-existence).
Comments will be heavily moderated. I just want to know how to download the BBC video.