Monday, Sep 24, 2018 | Last Update : 12:34 PM IST

Of ‘Asians’ & sexual crimes in UK

In his words: "I am just a professional writer, which means I don't do blogs and try and get money for whatever I write."
Published : Dec 16, 2017, 2:43 am IST
Updated : Dec 16, 2017, 2:46 am IST

In the Quilliam case, the word “Asian” is a balaclava for the faces of the convicted offenders who are of Pakistani origin.

Representational image
 Representational image

“Welcome to the Cabaret my friends
Triviality has no ends
Your selfies display the vanity
Of petrified emotions
Objectified memories
Inconsequential reveries
Remember my friends
Eternity has its own notions...”

From Limbo Paani
by Bachchoo

Two scandalous pieces of “anti-Asian” news hit the headlines in Britain this week. The Sunday Times alleges that in Tower Hamlets, an Asian businessman sold the potential votes of three Labour councillors who would manipulate permission for a capitalist builder to construct two skyscrapers worth £600 million.

The second piece of scandalous research published by the Quilliam foundation, involves a startling “Asian” sex-crime statistic. A little between-the-lines information will tell you that the first allegation is against a businessman and three Bangladeshi Tower Hamlets councillors with whom he would share a £2 million bribe.

In the Quilliam case, the word “Asian” is a balaclava for the faces of the convicted offenders who are of Pakistani origin.

Gentle reader, I don’t repeat these scandalous reports to castigate Bangladeshi or Pakistani Brits. Corruption and sexual crime are not restricted to any race or creed. And yet there is a curiosity about each of these news items.

Quilliam is a British foundation which battles Muslim extremism with publications and propaganda and, it is said, with the aid of Jewish philanthropic money. That’s a slur too far as, if a person of any religion chooses to support an organisation which wants to counter terror, his/her money without strings is unequivocally welcome.

Quilliam was started by repentant jihadis who grew out of the Salafi interpretation of Islam and adjusted their views and lives to more liberal versions, say Sufism. Other founders are young men who have declared themselves misled into joining radical outfits. Some of them suffered the consequences of their radicalisation, being jailed in one country or other.

They publicly dedicate themselves to the fight against Islamist terrorism and face, and regularly face-down, severe criticisms and opprobrium from some sections of the Muslim community — even from supposedly liberal Muslims.

I have heard some of the latter, my acquaintances if not friends, characterise Quilliam as “MI5 agents” and “collaborators”. I have responded with a variation of the slogan after the Charlie Hebdo atrocity in France: “Je Suis Quilliam” — or should that be “Je Suis Collaborator”. Anyway you get my drift — anything that opposes the slaughter of innocents is on the side of my angels.

So it is risky that Quilliam has ventured into the territory of sexual-crime statistics. They published a researched paper last week on child sex abuse comparing the percentage of sexual offenders in two different categories. They were comparing the child sex offenders who acted as a gang with those who individually, or in Internet groups, groom and exploit children. Their published conclusions are that 84 per cent of men convicted in the former category are Muslims and that 100 per cent of the latter category are white.

Quilliam’s desire to venture into this territory of research and its determination to publish the results was undoubtedly inspired by the conviction in the last few years of groups of Muslim men who beguiled vulnerable under-age girls into supposed relationships and then into a sex-ring. The vast majority of these victims were preyed upon because they were orphans, or virtual orphans with drugged or jailed parents, taken into government care.

The three cases that hit the headlines and were debated over endlessly were the convictions in Rochdale, in Rotherham and in Newcastle.

The number the Quilliam survey gives for convicted “Asian” sex offenders is 222. Though the report chooses to use the broader category, calling the offenders “Asians”, they are nearly all of Pakistani origin and are nearly all Muslims.

Similar statistics, gathered and published by other agencies in the past, have been used by British right-wingers in their Islamophobic propaganda. One must presume that Quilliam has taken up this research as a counter-measure to such hatred mongering. In publishing their own research, carried out by two of their Muslim members, they are countering such propaganda by pointing out that responsible voices in the Muslim community are not cowed by the statistics and are clearly saying that their community must recognise the problem and deal with it.

There are in excess of three million Muslims in the country and 222 offenders must be considered a phenomenon but in no senses a reflection or stigma on the other 2,999,778! (Hah! Worked that one out, though 1.5 of the three million must on balance be female and not prone to grooming children for sex — but the above numbers look more impressive-fd. Get on with it!-Ed.)

In 2015, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, one Lutfur Rahman, was tried for corrupt electoral practices and relieved of his post. Since then a few further scandals involving postal votes sent from an unoccupied building under repair and other reports of fraud have surfaced — and always in the Bangladeshi community.

Why? Because in the past five decades, the immigrant settlement of Britain has had no social or political policy behind it. It’s been purely free-market economic with the Asian population from Pakistan, Bangladesh and, yes, from Indian Punjab, forming almost enclosed communities where they could find low-paid jobs and cheap housing.

The northern towns with mills where the “Asians” were imported to work the shifts became mill-and-mosque enclaves — till the mills closed down under pressure from Asian textiles, leaving the mosques at the centres of isolated communities with networks of men sharing drugs and drinks and plying their victims with these.

The Bangladeshi vote in Tower Hamlets was canvassed on a religious basis and inevitably gave rise to the corrupt opportunities that even petty power brings.

As to the sexploiters of Rotherham, Rochdale and Newcastle, one will need a whole sociological study to explain their behaviour and their criminal lusts. That they preyed on whites is incidental and opportunistic. I am certain that they would not have stopped at exploiting Asians, even Muslim girls if these had been in the vulnerable spaces that their white victims were.

Tags: tower hamlets, muslim extremism, sexual crimes