What do victims of the Fort Hood massacre have in common with scores of raped British girls? Both are evidence that failure to speak and act against Islamist threats due to fear of being called a racist or "Islamophobe" can lead to terrible suffering. While the missed signs concerning Major Hasan are well known, the UK scandal deserves attention as a study in official blindness.
MP Jack Straw sparked a firestorm in January when he highlighted a particular genre of sex crime: gangs of "Pakistani heritage men … who target vulnerable young white girls" and groom them as sex slaves. He hypothesized that Pakistani girls are off limits, so whites are "easy meat."
Some branded Straw a bigot, but sexual grooming by UK gangs does exhibit a clear cultural profile. University College London investigators "identified 17 court prosecutions since 1997, 14 of them in the past three years, involving the on-street grooming of girls aged 11 to 16 by groups of men," the Daily Mail summarizes. "Three of the 56 [found guilty] were white; 53 were Asian. Of those, 50 were Muslim and a majority were members of the British Pakistani community." Also note that 22 of the 27 victims of a recently convicted "Asian" gang from Derby are white.
The real disgrace is that Straw had to sound the alarm yet again in 2011. Former MP Ann Cryer warned about the problem in 2003; Muslim leader Mohammed Shafiq did the same in 2008. Why was it allowed to metastasize for so long? As exemplified in the shelving of a 2004 British documentary on the topic, PC-driven silence, especially by law enforcement, aided the rapists.
Now the finger pointing is in full swing. "To stop this type of crime you need to start everyone talking about it, but everyone's been too scared to address the ethnicity factor," lamented West Mercia Police detective Alan Edwards. Mick Gradwell, a retired Lancashire officer, seconded him. Police are "not coming out and saying it because you can't feel comfortable, because of allegations of institutional racism," he contended. Pakistanis also have joined in. "It is important that political correctness or fear of offending any particular group of people does not get in the way of protecting those who are vulnerable," community activist Shokat Lal stated in 2010.
However, is the core issue one of ethnicity or religious ideology? Martin Narey of Barnardo's, a charitable organization, inadvertently spotlighted Islamism when he criticized the focus on Pakistani street groomers: "My staff would say that there is an overrepresentation of people from minority ethnic groups — Afghans, people from Arabic nations — but it's not just one nation." (What do they have in common?) Sikh leader Indarjit Singh was more explicit, blaming "Islamic extremists [who] view all 'nonbelievers' as legitimate targets," including Hindu and Sikh girls.
The good news is that recent cases and Straw's remarks have made blindness untenable. There are hints that British authorities are taking the epidemic of rape gangs more seriously, though much work needs to be done to combat sexual slavery of this and other types. The bad news, of course, is that lives have been shattered because officials spent years walking on eggshells rather than fully protecting the public. With gangs of Muslim sex traffickers emerging in the U.S., now would be an excellent time to process these harsh lessons on how silence creates victims.
April 7, 2011, Update: Charges from the Daily Mail: "Police 'hid' abuse of 60 girls by Asian takeaway workers linked to murder of 14-year-old."