Thursday, 27 June 2013

With 7 Oxford men sentenced for grooming, why is HnH silent on Imam Karmani's initiative?

News broke today of the sentencing of 7 men in Oxford for a string of sex offences against young girls. Now, I may just be scaremongering, but something about their names - Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Kamar Jamil, Assad Hussain, Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar and Zeeshan Ahmed - suggests that these men may have something in common beyond living in the Oxford area.

I don't intend to spend hours examining links between grooming gangs and Islam - it is sufficient to
Imam Alyas Karmani - his initiative
to tackle sexual grooming through an
Islamic 'Khutba' to be read in mosques
is being ignored by HnH
say that there is an increasing amount of evidence to suggest that this is an increasing problem, particularly with men from the Indian sub-continent. Whether there is a direct connection to Islam or whether their religion is incidental makes little difference to the victims.

As I have blogged previously, there is action being taken within the Islamic community to combat such crimes. Imam Alyas Karmani in Bradford has prepared a Khutba to be read in mosques during Friday prayers tomorrow. In it, he sets out beyond any doubt how such crimes are against the true teachings of Islam, and he aims to have it read in 500 mosques around the UK.

The Imam is also a Respect Party councillor in Bradford. Regardless of personal feelings or political preferences, this is an initiative which deserves respect, as Karmani - like many within the British Muslim community - recognise that it is their community which has the best chance of tackling such issues successfully, and I have said before that I feel he should be applauded for taking a stand which will not be universally popular.

What is particularly surprising then is the continued silence of Hope not Hate, both on the issue of grooming, and on Imam Karmani's initiative.

It seems to me that this represents little more than a betrayal of everything they are supposed to stand for. Sections of the far-right are already near-hysterical, painting all Muslims with the same brush and undoubtedly using the recent spate of convictions of groups of Islamic men as a powerful recruiting tool. Hope not Hate have the opportunity to use their e-mail database - the largest in the country, if their own words are to be believed - to spread far and wide information on Karmani's initiative, and to show that the actions of these men are not representative of the wider Muslim community.

Instead, we have a self-imposed silence on the whole issue.

I do not know whether this is because Imam Karmani is a Respect Party councillor in an area where Respect are making huge inroads in the Labour vote, or whether it is because by admitting that a problem such as this may exist, Hope not Hate will find themselves saying some of the things that those they condemn also say.

Whatever the reason, it is a further demonstration that there is much more Hate than Hope going on in their organisation. If it can not use its influence to promote an initiative which will blunt the advance of the far right, then we have to ask once again what is Hope not Hate for?

1 comment:

  1. Why would Nick Lowles bother himself with any Islamic organisation any more, in either a positive or negative light? Lowles has now made his bed chasing the short term pound note sign, and UKIP are the next clear and inherent evil of modern day Britain...

    I mean, we've got a UAF/Hope Not Hate photographer called Guy Smallman who sends all of his imagery back to the "Anti Fascist" crusaders to post on-line at the first given opportunity...

    Not only do these hard left groups not bother to rally against Islamic extremism anymore, they now beginning to celebrate such people by openly posting imagery SUCH AS THIS FROM WALTHAMSTOW where Islamists walk amongst them...

    The guy holding the placard "Islam will dominate" looks suspiciously like Michael Adebolajos friend Abu Nusaybah, who was himself arrested and detained at the BBC studios after the Woolwich atrocity.

    Have these Comrades forgotten the last time they shared an unholy alliance with Islam in pre-revolutionary Iran?.......The moment Khomeini attained power the leftist movement found themselves swinging from cranes...

    Perhaps it will be different this time, because as we witnessed on BBC Asian network last week, whilst debating with Robert Spencer and the presenter "Nihal", Nick Lowles is such a towering intellectual, that things will be different next time around, as Nick will assure it....