Her broad, sunny smile fairly bursts through the photograph. Her joy is so bright you almost squint. She is a child, innocent of life. Charlene Downes was 14 in 2003. She's been missing ever since. During a trial, jurors heard a tape in which a suspect stated that he chopped up her body and cooked it into kebabs. The case was tossed out because of problems with the gathering of evidence. Charlene's sister, Emma, was later tried for "racially aggravated assault." Emma slapped the face of the murder suspect's brother. Emma was convicted for her crime.
Lucy Lowe's smile is not as explosive as Charlene's. Her blonde brows are shallow crescents; her nose is a pretty little button. Lucy has that loving look that suggests that she will hit her stride as a kind, middle-aged matron. In fact, Lucy gave birth at 14. The child's baby daddy, Azhar Ali Mehmood, pimped Lucy and other underage girls. By 16, Lucy was pregnant with their second child. Mehmood then murdered Lucy, her mother, and her sister by setting fire to the family home. Mehmood is now in jail. Even so, Lucy's father received an anonymous threat warning him not to discuss grooming gangs.
Vicky Round is not so much smiling in her photo as sizing you up. She looks pretty, young, and afraid. Vicky dreams of becoming a model. She is hooked on heroin and crack. She died of an overdose at age 20. The pimps and rapists who gave her drugs and "who made her life hell still walk the streets."
Becky Watson looks like the star of a Nancy Drew Netflix series. Her deep dimples, her sportive cocked head, and her tomboyish pony tail all add charm to her lovely features. The grooming gang began raping Becky when she was 11. They took their victims to a dilapidated house. Rapists arrived in a chauffeured minibus. Becky's "mum" gave the police a list of ten men who had raped Becky. The police did not act. Becky was killed in a mysterious car accident. She was 13.
Charlene and Lucy, Vicky and Becky are a handful of the countless victims of the UK's grooming gang crisis. Grooming gangs have been in operation in the UK at least since 1975. The assailants were largely Muslim men of Pakistani descent. Doctors, police, teachers, social workers and judges knew about grooming gang activities. Too many not only didn't take any action, they abetted the crime. They blamed the victims. They labeled eleven-year-old girls "prostitutes" or "mentally ill" and sex between children and adult men "consensual." They arrested those attempting to rescue trafficked girls. No one knows how many victims there were. Estimates range between the thousands and the tens of thousands.
Why was this allowed to continue for decades, with new cases coming to light even now? Those who could have stopped the destruction of children were horrified at the thought of being thought "racist" or "Islamophobic." British authorities' facilitation of rape is not a thing of the past. On August 4, 2018, The Times (London) published an account of a police officer asking if it is okay for a 26-year-old Iraqi man to have a 12-year-old girlfriend. The officer did not want to be "culturally insensitive."
British media participated in squelching discussion of the grooming gangs. Human rights activist and citizen journalist Tommy Robinson was attempting to fill the gap when he was arrested on May 25, 2018, for reporting on a grooming gang trial. He was imprisoned and, he alleges, kept in conditions that can be defined as torture. Feces and spit were flung into his cell. He was told his food was poisoned and that his wife would be attacked with acid. He was kept in solitary confinement with minimum ability to move.
On August 1, 2018, a higher court verbally demolished the behavior of the lower court that imprisoned Robinson. Robinson was freed. But he was not safe. The Times (London), the New York Times, the Guardian and British tabloids rushed to publish pieces defaming the newly freed Tommy Robinson.
Men around the world lust after young girls. In spite of this universal proclivity, in the US sex between an adult man and a child is a crime. Why does the US protect girls, and why did the UK betray them? The answer is culture. It is not enough, in the case of the grooming gangs, to convict this or that assailant. One must also analyze and decommission cultural features that generate pathology.
In a March 18, 2018 Independent article, one grooming gang survivor cited Islam as one factor her rapists used to justify raping her. She wrote, "I was taken to various houses and flats above takeaways … to be beaten, tortured and raped over 100 times. I was called a 'white slag' and 'white c---' as they beat me. They made it clear that because I was a non-Muslim, and not a virgin, and because I didn't dress 'modestly', that I deserved to be 'punished'. … 'Muslim girls are good and pure because they dress modestly, covering down to their ankles and wrists, and covering their crotch … You show the curves of your bodies … showing the gap between your thighs means you're asking for it.'"
Indeed, the attitude that covered women are virtuous and that uncovered women are vile can be found in a variety of Muslim media, from the Koran and hadith to a modern Iranian propaganda poster that depicts a covered woman entering Heaven and a woman in a miniskirt entering Hell.
The anonymous author begged her readers not to condemn all Muslims. She reminded us that all religions have produced scriptures that have been used to justify atrocities. Counter-jihadis agree with her. No responsible counter-jihadi condemns all Muslims, and we all recognize that members of a variety of religions have done bad things. We ask that Muslims be frank and fearless when responding to critiques of Islamic scriptures that denigrate non-Muslims and that recommend sex slavery.
That grooming gangs are a cultural phenomenon, and not merely individual crimes committed by individual criminals, is supported by family involvement. Grooming gangs are a family affair, argues Peter McLoughlin, author of Easy Meat. Rapists include not just the initial contact who selects and grooms a given girl, but his father, brothers, uncles, and cousins. Female family members participate as well. They show up at trial venues and threaten accusers or otherwise derail prosecutions.
It is simply inaccurate to blame only Islam for the grooming gang crisis. There are other guilty parties. Leftist culture fed the grooming gang culture as roadkill feeds maggots. There is such a thing as corporate guilt, and leftists bear the corporate guilt for the rape gangs and for Tommy Robinson's unjust imprisonment and torture. Further, the spectacular perversions that leftist culture engendered are responsible for the tensions in the UK today. Working class white British people are no more naturally hateful or xenophobic than any other population. Their current rage has been building for decades as their children were abused and the powers-that-be betrayed them. If, God forbid, violence should break out, the spark will not be the supposed inherent bestiality of working class British people. The spark will be the abysmal performance of leftists in power and leftist culture. Leftists will have blood on their hands. And of course they will blame working class whites.
I am not alone in this assessment. On August 6, 2018, contrarian journalist Brendan O'Neill published "How the Left Made Tommy Robinson: It Was Their Censorship of ‘Islamophobia’ That Made Robinson a Star." In it he links to a May 23, 2017 column, "After Manchester: It’s Time For Anger: We Need More Than Mourning In Response To The New Barbarism. O'Neill argues in both columns that the left has suppressed free speech about Islam. The left has done so because it has contempt for and fear of working class whites. The suppression of free speech has created a vacuum that might be filled by the very frightening forces the left says it wants to forfend against.
Several features of leftist culture fed the grooming gangs. Leftists see the West as hopelessly corrupt. The West is racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, oppressive, imperialist, fascist, cold, and capitalist. It needs to be overturned, so that a Marxist paradise can take its place. Non-Western cultures are useful as levers to overturn the West. Borders must be open so that newcomers can vitiate Western culture. Too, nanny states with cradle-to-grave benefits tend to produce fewer children. Someone must be brought in to do the work to support the welfare state. These newcomers must not be encouraged to assimilate, but, rather, must be urged to keep their own culture.
Discouraging assimilation and channeling immigrants into ethnic enclaves serves several purposes. European leftists despise America. They want to demonstrate, with their "embrace" of non-Western cultures, how righteous they are. They are virtue signaling on a national scale. European leftists peddle white guilt as another form of virtue signaling. To ask someone from a non-Western culture to assimilate to a Western one would be a sin. Finally, some argue that the lack of emphasis on assimilation was in fact a disguised form of racism. Europeans kept their immigrants in separate communities, and, in their snobbish minds, never had to worry about dirtying their hands by having day-to-day contact with such riffraff. Something like this process occurred across Western Europe after WW II, and it has been described in a number of books, including Bruce Bawer's While Europe Slept and Douglas Murray's Strange Death of Europe.
In an October 23, 2009 article, Tony Blair speechwriter Andrew Neather wrote in the Evening Standard that immigration "didn't just happen; the deliberate policy of Ministers from late 2000…was to open up the UK to mass immigration … the policy was intended … to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date."
The above paragraph is not anti-immigrant or anti-immigration. My parents were immigrants. I respect and love them and their life experience. But there is a difference between allowing judicious numbers of immigrants, closing the door when need be, requiring assimilation, and powerful leftists consciously recruiting immigrants and engineering the immigrant experience to aid their plan to carry out a stealth cultural genocide of the Western homelands they despise.
Another leftist value that contributed to the grooming gang crisis is cultural relativism. Leyla Hussein is an anti-female-genital-mutilation campaigner from Somalia. Hussein offers a shattering description of her own mutilation in a YouTube video. "Four women held me down and cut my clitoris. I felt every single cut. I was screaming so much I just blacked out," she reports. It is her goal to ensure that what happened to her never happens to another child.
In 2013, Hussein approached British shoppers, asking them to sign a sham petition in favor of FGM. She told the shoppers that FGM is an aspect of her "culture, tradition, and rights." When approaching potential signatories, Hussein would say, "It's just mutilation." In thirty minutes, nineteen people signed the petition. Hussein proved her point. Political Correctness has reached a "crazy" level. She was furious. "FGM is not culture, it is violence. Stop using the 'culture' word. This is happening to children. We are human beings. We can't watch children being cut. I don't care what culture you belong to."
In her statement, Leyla Hussein, a Muslim woman born in Somalia, champions Enlightenment values, the values that, along with the heritage of the Ancient Greeks and the Judeo-Christian tradition, are one of the pillars of Western Civilization. "We are human beings," she insists. "Culture" is no excuse for torture, she insists.
Hussein's insistence on morality as a universal value for all human beings, independent of particular cultural trends, would find approval with Sir Charles James Napier, speaker of a famous quote about sati. When Hindus told him that it was their culture to burn widows alive on their husband's funeral pyre, Napier said, paraphrase, "You follow your culture and I'll follow mine. My culture requires me to hang men who burn women alive."
Leftists revile men like Napier – and "Uncle Toms" like Hussein. More importantly, they revile the concepts of right and wrong as independent of culture. To address the grooming gang crisis articulately, leftists would have to acknowledge that cultural relativism, their cherished dogma, sacralized the destruction of the lives of innocent girls. When debating this topic with cultural relativists, I often show them a map plotting sex ratio variation. Girls born into countries with a Judeo-Christian heritage, no matter how poor, are more likely to live out a full lifespan than girls born into Muslim countries, no matter how wealthy those countries are. You can "feel" however you want to "feel" about gender apartheid, but lifespan statistics don't lie.
Shazia Hobbs is the child of a Pakistani Muslim father. She spent five years of her childhood in Pakistan. She speaks out against FGM and what she characterizes as an epidemic of child rape in the Pakistani community in the UK.
In September, 2017, Hobbs was suspended from Twitter. Hobbs reported that "she is frequently called 'racist' and accused of being 'full of hate' for calling for the jailing of parents who subject their daughters to genital mutilation … 'I get the biggest amount of hate from Pakistani men and feminazis who tell me I'm "fueling the far right." I'm trying to put a stop to these harmful practices. I've had more love and acceptance from the so-called "far right" than from the Pakistani community.'"
In spite of Twitter's ban, Hobbs managed to reach London Mayor Sadiq Khan with a text asking him to bring the full force of the law against those who mutilate little girls' genitals. Although FGM is a crime in the UK, no cutter has ever been convicted. The National Health Service estimates 5,391 new "recorded" cases of FGM in the UK in 2017. One has to wonder how many "unrecorded" cases there were.
In March, 2018, the BBC featured Mayor Khan reading Hobbs' tweet in the context of a series of truly abusive messages that suggested, inter alia, that he blow himself up. Let me repeat. A daughter of a Pakistani father, raised as a Muslim, tweeted a request that the mayor of London address FGM, and that mayor classed as dangerous hate speech her courteous defense of little girls' anatomical integrity. Khan went on to denounce "misogyny" and tweets that damage "our" search for gender equality. He closed by alleging that Hobbs' tweet would recruit Muslims to become terrorists. There you have it. Shazia Hobbs, by caring about FGM, created a new crop of terrorists.
Hobbs responded with an open letter to Khan. She wrote, "You … accuse me of hate speech. I constantly receive so-called hate speech from the Muslim community, the very community that is being protected under the guise of 'hate speech,' which has actualised into threats to my person whereby I live with a panic button and a personal alarm, both provided by the police. I live under this constant threat and for asking you a valid question about FGM you have endangered me further.
"I am a woman who has experienced the brutality of a forced marriage [at age 18, to a much older stranger, who acknowledged that he married her only for her passport] in which I was vaginally and anally raped for the best part of three years. [She was hospitalized after one rape, and required internal stitches.] I speak out in order to give a voice to those who still live under this.
"And while you are using the narrative of hate speech to silence people like me, young Muslim women, men and in fact anyone who lives under the harmful cultural practices of Islam find themselves further isolated and unable to talk about what is going on in the community."
Clearly, leftists betrayed and abandoned their stated commitment to women's rights in order to protect the good name of Islam, the non-Western lever they hope to exploit to topple Western Civilization.
The left fetishizes victimization, but it acknowledges only some victims. As Orwell put it, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
That the leftist victim caste system facilitated the grooming gangs is evident from a thought experiment. Imagine that in the UK, the US, or Israel, there have been, for forty plus years, grooming gangs of Christian or Jewish men. These men manipulate underage Muslim girls, who are then sexually trafficked. A heroic citizen journalist attempts to expose the gangs, but he is arrested on trumped up charges and tortured. We all know what would happen. The story would be front page news worldwide. The pope, the president, Hollywood, Oprah and the UN would address it. Victim names would be branded into our consciousness. But working class British girls' tears do not move leftists. They are the wrong flavor.
The left's caste system is also quite evident in a comparison between the decades it took the British left to address grooming gangs, and the rapidity that British authorities exercise when addressing alleged "hate crimes." Tommy Robinson was arrested, booked, and sentenced to torturous imprisonment in under five hours. In 2016, Kevin Crehan was found dead in a British jail. He was incarcerated for leaving a bacon sandwich outside a mosque. Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant Peter Allan (yes, "Hate Crimes Sergeant" appears to be a real job title) reported that Nigel Pelham would be imprisoned for posting negative comments about Muslims and Islam in his Facebook posts. Pelham's posts are revolting. Whether nor not prison is the answer to revolting Facebook posts is another question. What is not in question is the championing of Muslim victims of hate speech and British authorities tossing less ethnically well-endowed victims to the wolves. In 2018, Mark Meechan was convicted of a hate crime for teaching a pug dog to give a rather weak imitation of a Nazi salute. Meechan is not a Nazi; he is a Scottish comedian. His girlfriend talked about how utterly adorable the pug dog was, and so Meechan, as a prank, taught the dog to do the worst thing he could imagine – imitate a Nazi salute. Meechan was fined 800 pounds.
The Leftist caste system is also evident in who first covered the grooming gang crisis. Peter McLoughlin notes that in 1975 an article appeared in a Rotherham newspaper reporting grooming gang activity. That article, sickening though it is, appears to have sunk like a stone and left not a ripple. The first journalist to cover the gangs in depth and gain attention was Julie Bindel. According to Commentary Magazine, "The left-wing lesbian feminist writer Julie Bindel" published in "of all places, in Standpoint, the conservative English monthly … Bindel was compelled to publish the piece in Standpoint because 'progressive' outlets such as the Guardian would not touch the issue." Bindel was labeled a racist and "her name was included on a website called 'Islamophobia Watch: Documenting anti-Muslim Bigotry.'"
The left's caste system is glaringly evident on social media. In recent weeks and months, social media has hosted a moral panic about the US "torturing" immigrant children. At the same time, the left suppresses discussion of victimized British girls. The left is rushing to announce its support for freedom of the press, as CNN's Jim Acosta squares off with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Yet left-wing media engage in a feeding frenzy to attack citizen journalist Tommy Robinson, even as he is imprisoned on unjust charges. British journalists repeatedly drew attention to Tommy Robinson's mother's house, even as she has received notification from the police that there are plans to murder her.
Leftists announce, with much breast-beating, their commitment to the poor, poor, working class. Ironically, poor and otherwise disenfranchised whites occupy the bottom of the leftist caste system. The left hates poor whites for a variety of reasons. Leftists care a great deal about image, and lumpen proletariat whites are not chic accessories. British leftists deploy a specialized vocabulary to demean their social inferiors, with words like "gammon," "yob," "thug," and "chav." Leftists also despise poor whites because whites are supposed to be so very privileged, and yet poor whites haven't risen to the top. "You were born with white privilege, which makes your life easy and you all-powerful, and yet you still have a working class job and drive an old car? You must be a total loser," is their attitude. Leftists hate poor whites for their ingratitude. Poor whites all too often are not grateful to the left for its salvific overtures. Poor whites may be religious, hard-working, and hoping to rise in a capitalist system. These are all negative qualities to the left. The revolution has room for only one religion, Marxism. Hard work and success interfere with the leftist narrative that the poor are doomed without Marxist rescue and that capitalism offers no hope.
There is a sinister, hidden reason why leftists hate poor whites. Leftists love to signal their virtue. They do so by bashing whites and whiteness. They, though, are often white. By bashing poor whites, they are creating a sub-class of whites that does not include them. Though white, they have a "get out of jail free" card. "I may be white, but I'm not that scummy kind of white."
The girls victimized by the grooming gangs were often either poor or disadvantaged in other ways. They often came from single-parent homes. Their lower class status played a role in how the crisis was handled. "I often wonder," Charlene Downes' mother asked, "if she had been from a posh family and was having piano lessons, would they have tried harder to find her?"
Rich, white leftists signal virtue by publicly supporting open borders, Affirmative Action, and multiculturalism. Then they choose to live lives virtually unaffected by any of the Utopian fantasies they espouse. Rich leftists often live in protected enclaves. Vocal support for Affirmative Action is a way for rich whites to signal their own virtue while sacrificing nothing. Rather it is poor whites who pay the price, as described by Russel K Nieli and Richard D. Kahlenberg. It is poor white kids, not rich ones, whose chances of being accepted to an elite university are eroded by Affirmative Action. Support for open borders is another virtue-signaling soapbox. It is poor workers, not rich ones, who suffer the negative impact of mass, illegal immigration, as Harvard's George J. Borjas has shown. Multiculturalism is a fine dream when you live in a gated community. Robert Putnam's work suggests that for the poor whites who live in mixed communities, diversity can mean an erosion in community cohesion, neighborliness, quality of life and safety.
Poor whites and rich white liberals live in different worlds. Some rich American liberals trying to understand the Trump phenomenon had an Aha moment when they realized that support for Trump overlapped with regions hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
Tommy Robinson himself is a working class guy who inhabits a different world than those who hate him. In 2017, Tommy received a tweet, "Please someone just murder Tommy Robinson." Robinson discovered that the sender was a privileged young white man who lived at home with his mother in a town with virtually no immigrants. When Tommy met with the young man in person, Robinson pointed out that he, Robinson, grew up under very different circumstances. In his working class town of Luton, he personally knew Muslims who joined ISIS. Tommy's cousin was victimized by the grooming gangs. In the BBC documentary, "My Hometown Fanatics," Stacey Dooley filmed Luton Muslims marching in the street shouting, "UK go to Hell." The privileged, sheltered young man who wanted Robinson murdered had no such life experience.
Finally, there is another feature of the left that may have contributed to the grooming gang crisis. Yes, the rapists are to blame. Yes, the authorities didn't do what they should have. But where were the families? Interviews with family members contain comments like, "I didn't know she was in trouble." Or, "I knew she was in trouble and I tried to intervene but she rebuffed me." Or, "I didn't feel I could change anything." Victims say things like, "I didn't realize I was being abused." No one has parented such girls. One also reads of victims' parents who were themselves drug addicts or absentee. The daughters of such parents were often fobbed off to the welfare state. The welfare state had no real investment in the girls, and allowed them to be exploited.
I asked a British friend for her perspective. She wrote, "The problem is the state incentivizing single motherhood. Young, uneducated women see no future for themselves. If they have a child, they can get benefits, housing, almost free groceries. Why work when you can get all that?" She described one situation. "A young woman, 16 years old, was the daughter of a single mother on welfare. The mother got a new partner and decided to kick her existing children out of the housing authority apartment. The 16-year-old wanted to continue her education and go on to Community College. She was offered a room in a halfway house for male offenders. Her boyfriend's family wanted to take her in but if they did, she would lose any financial assistance for her education. Her boyfriend's family invested in elaborate locks for her room at the halfway house. Her sister was 17 years old. She had a baby and got her own apartment, and financial support."
There is a slew of studies that demonstrate that children raised in the same home with both of their biological parents do better on an exhaustive range of measures than children raised with step-parents, in foster homes, or by single mothers. Fathers matter. Discipline matters.
Traditional values matter as well. In interviews with families of grooming gangs victims, one hears echoes of the sexual revolution. Parents say things like, "I didn't want to tell my daughter that she couldn't make her own choices about her own sex life." Really? A parent feels it's out of line to tell an eleven-year-old girl that sexualization is an unhealthy choice? For many children, traditional religion, as well as parental discipline, plays a protective role. Studies show that religious females engage in sexual activity later than non-religious females. These questions should be asked. Did erosion of the family, abetted by state policy, play any role in the grooming gang crisis? Do Britain's lowered rates of religiosity play any role?
I am Catholic. As such, I own the church sex abuse crisis. I want the full story to come out. I want to be a responsible Catholic who contributes to the church taking a more positive direction. I expect no less of a stance from my brother and sister Muslims, and from leftists. Shazia Hobbs, Leila Hussein and Julie Bindel have shown courage. Others must follow in their footsteps. Those who created the grooming gang crisis must publicly acknowledge their sin, make amends to the victims, and clean up the mess their ideology contributed to creating.