I applaud the UK justice system for coming down hard on them; they deserve it.
In Pakistan, we need to enforce our own laws against sexual crimes, and we need to change societal attitudes about the value and status of women.
How do we understand the Asian paedophile rings without falling back on lazy, racist stereotypes of Pakistani Muslim men?
We now have laws against sexual harassment and honour killings, acid attacks and domestic violence, and the Hudood Ordinances, those medieval, bizarre distortions of Islamic law that General Zia wielded to terrorize Pakistani women, have been scrapped.But society’s hangover from other, less enlightened times still remains: it’s the taboo of secrecy and shame that makes Pakistani parents guard their daughters so strictly – in our country there has simply never been legal recourse or support for victims of sex crimes.And the men in Oxford and Rochdale, some of whom hail from the poorest, least educated, and most closed-off parts of Pakistan, still carry those attitudes with them.The circumstances were the same: groups of men with either Pakistani or Muslim backgrounds were caught grooming young, vulnerable white girls and treating them like sexual slaves while authorities looked the other way.
Journalist Allison Pearson wrote a blistering blog post in the condemning the police, social services, and legal system’s fear of being seen as racist, which meant hundreds of girls were betrayed by the very mechanisms that were meant to protect them.
Why not admit that there is an element of misogyny in all religions and cultures that emphasise sexual purity in women and divide girls into “good” and “bad” categories?