Ummah Channel Appearance- “Child Grooming Cases”

I was invited onto the Debate Night Show on the British TV satellite Station “Ummah Channel” to discuss recent cases of convictions of Pakistani men in Child grooming cases. I was joined by Panel Guests

  • Iqbal Banna
  • Najam Sheikh

Both guests had participated in a recent report by CEOP on the issue which looked into the whole discussion on Street Grooming. Based upon my recent blogging on the issue, including national articles and my contribution on a BBC 3 Documentary on the issue, i featured on the show.

My key points on the show were

  • We need to move beyond the discussion where we internalise the debate to race, and religion. Whist the criminal actions are bad and the people involve have been sentenced, the wider context is how is it that young girls are falling into the arms of such people?
  • The groomers do not live in a bubble but the same society where all of us are growing. We are all susceptible to the growing sexual influences through Media, Celebrity culture, what we see on adverts and billboards and movies, all of which hugely affect our ideas on how men view women and vice versa. Society is already hugely sexualised and some people take it to the extreme to fulfil ‘Fantasies’ or ego issues
  • The statistics on the issue are still incomplete as not all cases are reported. Hence the Media witch hunt on the issue is un-justified in labelling Pakistani men in having a monopoly on this particular criminal activity
  • There is a clash of values in terms of what Islam promotes as Social values for men and women and what the host society pushes forward. Young Muslims growing up feel the full force of this culture even in places like schools where in PHSE lessons pupils are offered the option of contraception. Hence sex is promoted at a young age. This is a lifestyle choice unacceptable in Islam. Instead muslims are encouraged to get married and lead a healthy Family life.

As a muslim community we need to begin to shift the debate on this issue which has been polarised heavily to make us internalise the discussion and feel guilty entirely for the issue. Instead, the Debate should be widened and explored further onto the underlying discussions which create sexual Predators.

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