Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
On May 25, 2018, Tommy Robinson was standing outside the courthouse in Leeds, England, microphone in hand, reporting live on the trial of several Muslims for child rape, when, without prior warning, he was arrested for breach of peace, hustled into a van, and, within the space of four hours, tried, convicted, and sentenced to thirteen months’ incarceration – not, curiously enough, for breach of peace but for contempt of court. Conveyed tout de suite to the prison in Kingston upon Hull, he spent much of the next year and a half in and out of lockup, undergoing physical and psychological torment while behind bars and the rankest of forensic malpractice while at the so-called bar of justice.
And why did all this happen? Here’s why. Islam teaches its adherents that (1) they’re in a state of constant war with the infidel and (2) sex with minors (as demonstrated by the fact the prophet Muhammed took his wife Aisha’s virginity when she was nine) is permissible; consequently, Muslim men have every right to molest the children of the infidel at will. As Islamic communities established themselves in major English cities, Muslim rape gangs, known as “grooming gangs,” took root. Eventually, thousands upon thousands of non-Muslim girls, almost all of them members of the working class, would be victimized by these gangs, not just once apiece but repeatedly, in most case over a period of years.
British police, social workers, and journalists are known to have been aware of this phenomenon for decades. But instead of addressing it fully and responsibly – which, they know, would have required mass arrests and prosecutions of prominent Muslims, and frank media coverage of these transgressions as well as of their roots in Islamic doctrine, all of which in turn would almost certainly have led to social tumult on a dangerous scale – these parties chose to do and say nothing. And when confronted with a single individual who refused to play along – a working-class bloke who insisted on shouting from the rooftops both about these offenses and the official policy of silence and subterfuge – they knew what they had to do: vilify him, smear him, find crimes to charge him with, lock him up and hope that Muslim fellow inmates would do the rest. Or, failing that, hope that after he’d endured a certain amount of persecution, he’d break down, or give up, and crawl away into a hole and keep his mouth shut.
But they didn’t count on Tommy Robinson’s strength and courage and resilience. When Tommy finally walked out of prison, he looked greatly diminished: weak, shaken, all but broken. There would have been every reason to expect him to step out of the limelight, go home to his family, and leave it to someone else to save the girls of Britain. Instead he went on to make an eye-opening documentary, Panodrama (2019), which blew the lid off an outrageously dishonest attempt by Panorama, a revered BBC news series, to frame him. Since then, Tommy has spent much of his time in Telford – a town of 142,000 in Shropshire, northwest of Birmingham -where, along with a team of investigators, he’s been documenting four decades of Muslim rape in that city. Last Sunday, he posted online some of the results of his research in the form of a documentary, The Rape of Britain. It’s a bombshell.
Although based on interviews with many victims of Muslim rapists in Telford – which have resulted in a master list of some two hundred suspsects – the documentary focuses its attention on one of them, Nicole, whom we see at length in conversation with Tommy. Now in her twenties, she was eleven years old and working the evening shift at an Indian restaurant – answering the phone, preparing delivery orders – when she was molested for the first time by one of the men who ran the establishment. Soon she was also being raped by others who worked there, some of whom violated her frequently, others of whom did so just once. In addition, her employers began pimping her out to their friends, a process that continued for the next two or three years. When they weren’t either raping her or pimping her out – constantly addressing her as gurrah, “white bitch” – these men were selling illegal drugs and laundering money. Nicole, then, was only one small part – one source of profit – in a large criminal operation that is, by all indications, still going strong.
As it turned out, the “white bitch” was smarter than her abusers recognized. During the years when she was their sex slave and prostitute, Nicole kept detailed records of every time she was raped – the time and place, and the rapist’s full name and address. Talking with Tommy, she rattles these names off. Barber. “Bugsy.” “Charlie.” Aqeel. Aqeeb. Rizwan. Tariq. Mutashabir. Kam. Sham. Waqas. Balraj. Each of them a grown man who not only molested Nicole but, in most cases, did so on multiple occasions – and did the same thing to a number of other girls, as well. Two of these men – the ones who ran the whole operation – turn out to be, as Tommy puts it, “pillars” of Telford’s Muslim community: one is the chairman of the Telford Muslim Forum; the other is a local lawyer who has delivered sermons against grooming gangs at a Telford mosque. No surprise there.
And what happened when Nicole’s parents finally found out what was being done to her and took her to the police? She handed over the records of her abuse that she’d been keeping since age eleven. The police spent hours interviewing her and her parents. Eventually, sixteen men were charged – fifteen of them Muslims, one of them Sikh. But only the Sikh was prosecuted. Why? Nicole was never given a real answer. But not long before the charges were dropped against those fifteen men, Nicole saw one of her pimps hand an envelope stuffed with cash to a Telford police officer, whom she also names. It seems more than likely that the purpose of the payment was to secure the dropping of the charges against those fifteen suspects.
Tommy’s investigation into Telford’s grooming gangs isn’t the first. An earlier probe – the “flagship” investigation, as he calls it – led to only eleven convictions. During the last two years, moreover, a law firm called Eversheds Sutherland has been carrying out what it calls an “inquiry” into the gangs. Its stated aim is to “raise public awareness” of the problem – not to bring justice to the victims. Tommy tells us that while Telford cops have supplied the inquiry with forty years’ worth of evidence and the names of over 300 suspects, at least twelve former employees of the town council and seventeen former employees of the police department have, for whatever reason, “chosen not to assist” the inquiry. Whatever it may conclude, Tommy is right in his summation of the big picture: Nicole and other girls in Telford were the victims not just of rape by Muslim gang members but also, as he puts it, of a “deliberate attempt” by public officials “to cover up these crimes against little girls for fear of being called racist, or in the interest of ‘community cohesion,’ or…because of corruption.”
Indeed, by the end of The Rape of Britain, the Telford police look every bit as morally reprehensible as the pimps and rapists themselves – as far as possible on the ethical scale from the conscientious constables and incorruptible inspectors portrayed in the old movies some of us grew up on. To be sure, we have yet to learn the details of what went on between Telford police and the pedophile Pakistani predators. How much money, for instance, changed hands? Did any cops protest when asked to ignore child rape? Tommy does share one clue to the nature of the relationship: it’s a photo showing one of Nicole’s rapists with several members of the Telford police. He’s standing; they circle him, kneeling, like courtiers surrounding a prince. On the social-media website where Tommy found it, the photo is accompanied by a note by the Telford Muslim who posted it, celebrating it as evidence that the grooming gang has the local cops under control. “DOGS ON THEIR LEAD,” commented one of his brethren. (Islam, of course, views dogs as unclean.)
Toward the end of The Rape of Britain, we see Tommy on the streets of Telford, confronting the three key Muslim perpetrators in Nicole’s case, as well as the police officer whom she saw accepting an apparent bribe. When Tommy identifies himself to one of the Muslims as a journalist, the man spits back: “You’re not a journalist. You’re a racist!” Editors and reporters across Britain, from the Guardian to the Telegraph, from ITV to Channel 4, would doubtless agree. But the truth is that Tommy is one of the few real journalists left in Britain. While he was raising bloody hell about grooming gangs, the mainstream media were staying mum about them – and smearing him. Yes, the Times finally stepped up to the plate, whereupon other major media felt obliged to provide dutiful reports on arrests, prosecutions, and convictions in child-rape cases. But few of them have gone beyond that. And none, so far as I know, has carried out an investigation anywhere near as extensive and serious and responsible as the one that Tommy has pursued in Telford.
How terribly alone Tommy can seem in his campaign to uncover the facts about grooming gangs and to secure justice for their victims! As he noted in his 2015 book, Enemy of the State, there’s just one non-working-class Brit who’s as blunt as he is about the depredations of Islam. That person is Douglas Murray, the gifted and gutsy author of The Strange Death of Europe (2017) and The Madness of Crowds (2019). As Tommy pointed out, “[i]t makes a world of difference,” given the nature of the British class system, when someone like Murray – a high-profile graduate of Eton and Oxford – says pretty much the same things that Tommy, a lad from Luton, gets pilloried for saying. “Lads like me march and we’re thugs,” wrote Tommy. “Middle class tweedies march and the nation is speaking.”
As it happens, on the day after Tommy posted The Rape of Britain online, Murray was a guest on Greg Gutfeld’s show, Gutfeld, the flagship program of Fox News and the late-night program with the highest ratings in the U.S. Every night, Gutfeld and four guests discuss four topics in the news. How terrific it would have been if Gutfeld had shown a clip or two from Tommy’s documentary and allowed Douglas to discuss the grooming gangs – a subject about which most Americans, I suspect, know nothing. Instead, Gutfeld’s topics that night were (1) emojis of “pregnant men”; (2) Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren pulling their songs from Spotify; (3) Colorado State University’s efforts to protect students traumatized by the First Amendment; and (4) Justin Trudeau’s condemnation of the trans-Canada trucker convoy.
Ah, well. Given that Tommy Robinson is as universally savaged by mainstream American journalists as he is by their British counterparts, it would have been salutary to hear a few positive words on Gutfeld about his heroic efforts to do for tens of thousands of cruelly abused British girls what tens of thousands of credentialed British journalists have refused to do. No, I don’t expect Gutfeld to invite Tommy on his show (I’m sure that the honchos at Fox News would flatly forbid such a thing), but perhaps the next time the far more posh, and therefore far less toxic, Douglas Murray is a guest on the program, a moment or two might be set aside to inform Americans about this crisis of incomprehensible proportions – and about the man who, in spite of every attempt to shut him down, has reminded us of the power of one individual to make a difference.