Tag Archives: Pakistan

Muslim Community Complicity in Criminality

“What we’re seeing on the streets of Birmingham and tower hamlets has not come out of the blue. It’s been building for generations. When we have drug dealers in our communities poisoning children the community turned a blind eye, some glorified them, others praised their mansions in Pakistan, the mosques happily accepted their money and prayed their funerals. When they acted out violence on the streets, we gave them respect and reverence, we looked up to them and we stayed silent. Then the younger generations saw them as their role models, we praised them fighting dogs, didn’t question where their money was coming from, the drugs, the fraud, the extortion. These criminals posed with local councillors, supported them and sometimes were from their extended families.

We were quick to take the moral high ground about atrocities around the world but remained silent on the thugs among our midst.

What we are seeing now is what we have been complicit in for years. Harsher sentencing and tougher policing won’t solve this. The solution must come from the communities where these people live and act unashamedly.”

~ Assed Baig

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FOR THE MOSQUE COMMITTEES IN THE UK…

“Bored of mosque committees and British Indian/Pakistani Muslims throwing tantrums when other Muslims suggest mosque Imam’s and lecturers need to learn English in order to effectively communicate with our youth and Muslims whose mother tongue isn’t Urdu. “Too hard to learn English and they don’t have time, we need to preserve our mother tongue”. Well I’m sorry but your reasoning is rubbish for 2 reasons:

1) Urdu isn’t an Islamic language – we’ve no need to learn it.

2) If your guys were able to learn how to cheat the welfare system by claiming incapacity while working cash in hand then they can sure as hell learn English.

So quit excluding people from your religion because of your desire to preserve your culture and either get on with learning English or go back to India/Pakistan where you’ll be right at home.”

– Naeem Masters

ROTHERHAM GROOMING: INCONVENIENT FACTS EXPOSED

rotherham-stats2-620x330

Rotherham grooming. We really should have read the Jay Report.

This week three brothers were given a 19 to 35 year imprisonment sentence for their abhorrent abuse of vulnerable young girls in Rotherham. A sensitive topic, and one that in no way detracts from the stories of the victims, is concern over the huge damage the press coverage of this case has caused the Muslim community as a whole and the Pakistani heritage community in particular. There is also a feeling of intimidation to acquiesce to demands to apologise and a fear that questioning the narrative will be portrayed as trying to reduce the significance of the crimes. Muslims stand united in condemnation of the criminals and in sympathy for the innocent victims. The only issue we have is the unbalanced furore over the Pakistani criminals and the virtual silence over the non-Muslims who have committed the same crimes.

The case began with a story in The Times in 2013 which forced authorities to take action to protect the victims of abuse who they had been aware of for some years but had failed to protect. The initial case involved a gang of Asian men who had been abusing young white girls they had picked up from the streets of Rotherham, many of them in social care and made vulnerable by a lack of adult supervision. The exposure of the initial gang led to other gangs being exposed and further victims of “on-street grooming” coming forward.

News coverage of gangs of Pakistani men abusing white girls exploded and the media constrained the story to the particular type of grooming the Pakistani men were involved in. To anyone following the story, it looked as though Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) was something unique to the Pakistani community. Just as we have seen with terrorism; repeated calls were made for the community as a whole to apologise and take responsibility. Muslim organisations such as the MCB and the Ramadan Foundation dutifully accepted collective responsibility on our behalf with press releases such as: “Child Abuse in Rotherham: We Cannot Let This Happen Again”[1] and by saying things like “Until British Pakistanis accept that this is a problem for our community we will not be able to eradicate this evil. Burying our head in the sand as the usual response is not good enough.”[2]

Rotherham Council commissioned an independent report into CSE in Rotherham which was led by Professor Alexis Jay and in August 2014 she published her “Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997 – 2013”.[3]

In an epic failure for the Muslim community it seems we did not actually read the report and instead have relied on the way it has been presented by the media. To this day most people accept as fact that CSE is carried out by “gangs of predominantly Pakistani men.” Unchallenged for 2 years an article on the Telegraph website says all “1400 girls have been sexually abused by Asian men”.[4]

What the Jay Report actually said was:

“As has been stated many times before, there is no simple link between race and child sexual exploitation, and across the UK the greatest numbers of perpetrators of CSE are white men. The second largest category, according to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, are those from a minority ethnic background, particularly those recorded as ‘Asian’. In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage including the five men convicted in 2010. The file reading carried out by the Inquiry also confirmed that the ethnic origin of many perpetrators was ‘Asian’. In one major case in the mid-2000s, the convicted perpetrator was Afghan.”

It is no surprise at all that the second largest group nationally after whites is a minority, who else could it be? And ‘Asian’ is the largest minority group, twice as numerous as blacks. The key point regarding Rotherham is “In Rotherham, the majority of known perpetrators were of Pakistani heritage including the five men convicted in 2010.” She is clearly referring to the tiny number of previous convictions before the story blew up and victims started coming forward in larger numbers. This is confirmed by mentioning next that the current enquiry’s reading of the case files (rather than convictions) showed that many perpetrators were Asian. Previous convictions: “majority Asian” while other cases, presumably the new unresolved cases: “many Asians”, a very unspecific term and presumably the majority were therefore not Asian or she would have said it. It is hardly surprising when the first gang to be exposed was Asian that many of the suspects she would see first were Asians.

Then in August 2015 local Sheffield paper The Star published a story titled “Majority of Rotherham child exploitation suspects are white, claims new report”.[5] In fact the data was not that new but related to the time the Jay Report was being compiled. The story quotes offender profile data that was obtained from the South Yorkshire Police and which was in a draft report presented to the Council by Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Board.

“The number of offenders, including suspects, were mainly White (68%); 24% were Asian; 5% were from other BME communities; and 3% of offenders were female”.[6]

Not a single national newspaper reported this very illuminating data.

The data covered a key two year period between October 2012 – October 2014, that is, from before the story went public and victims started coming forward until the end of the period within which Professor Jay was collecting data for her report. She says in the Preface that “any evidence available to me up till June 2014 would be included in the report.” She claims to have had evidence pointing to there being 1,400 potential victims and alludes to having data on the ethnicity of the suspects which must surely be the same data the South Yorkshire Police had. No one can say it is an inaccuracy for her to claim that 24% of suspects being Asian is “many”, and it means the Asian community are over-represented in that sample, but it is not “the majority” or “mostly Asian” as reported by all sections of the media. This inaccuracy has been invariably understood by the public, and, in fact, has been ever since by politicians as well, to mean this is a uniquely Pakistani problem with just a few anomalous others.

The question must be: If the figures were known why were they not clearly presented in the Jay Report? And, why, when the media ran with it being a predominantly Asian phenomenon, Professor Jay made no apparent attempt to correct them?

The plot thickens

Rotherham council has been accused many times of cover-ups relating to this case.[7] In an interesting twist, the council demanded that the data showing that the majority of suspects were white be removed from the new report.[8] Not because they feared it was inaccurate, it was directly from South Yorkshire Police after all, but because “some of the data referenced could be misleading and was not telling services what they wanted to know”. Would it be misleading to have a clearer picture that the majority of perpetrators of the crime they are trying to tackle are not from the community everyone has come to expect? Surely facts are facts and the services could take them or leave them. And they said that “The data might not show enough distinction between CSE and other forms of sexual offence, for example, intra familial abuse.” Which was clearly not a very good excuse because the data specifically mentioned it was relating just to CSE.

It makes no sense whatsoever to remove from a central policy document titled “Child Sexual Exploitation – The Way Forward for Rotherham” the only reference available anywhere to the fact that 76% of perpetrators would not be as Asian as everyone would otherwise be expecting, and that 68% would in fact be white. Here’s the attendance register for the meetinghttp://moderngov.rotherham.gov.uk/mgMeetingAttendance.aspx?ID=13344

The chair of the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board resigned at the meeting and his replacement said:

“Collecting accurate data about Child Sexual Exploitation is an evolving process. Partners and ourselves continue to build on our knowledge and are using available data taken at a snap shot in time, but it is anticipated the data will become over time more reflective of the needs of victims and survivors of CSE.”

Which, as the data has not resurfaced in any form whatsoever, we can take to be council speak for: “We buried it”

The South Yorkshire Police have confirmed they have 300 suspects but did not mention the racial profile data which they obviously have available and said “they would not rush into making arrests”.[9] It looks as though the world will continue to believe those 300 suspects are all Pakistani for some time to come. The police did however confirm that at least 2 suspects are serving or former Rotherham Councillors.[10]

Fear of being seen as racist?

Another key aspect of the case and one that plays into anti-Muslim propagandists’ hands is that nothing was done to protect white girls from predatory Muslim men because of a fear of being seen as racist.[11]

South Yorkshire Police have denied it had been reluctant to tackle CSE or that “ethnic origin had been a factor” in its decisions.[12] The Jay Report is used repeatedly by the media and government to back up the myth but in fact it says:

“Within the Council, we found no evidence of children’s social care staff being influenced by concerns about the ethnic origins of suspected perpetrators when dealing with individual child protection cases, including CSE.”

The only hint towards this is where the report mentions an undefined perception that some senior people wanted to “’downplay’ the ethnic dimensions of CSE”. This is nowhere near meaning people should avoid investigating or prosecuting minorities simply because they were minorities and indeed they found no evidence of that. The fact is, as mentioned above, the Jay Report emphasises that the majority of convictions in Rotherham until that date had been of Asian men and also that the council had dealt with 12 cases of forced marriage in the Asian community, an equally sensitive topic, in the first few months of 2005 alone. It seems that the idea that there was a completely hands off approach to dealing with the Asian community is not borne out by the evidence.

While it isn’t a very good excuse for not tackling a crime committed by 68% white perpetrators, it is a convenient way to shift the blame back onto the Asian community; to say fear of offending them prevented the authorities from doing their jobs. The narrative becomes: “perhaps if Asians weren’t so damn touchy these girls would have been protected”.

Are Asians over-represented nationally in child abuse?

The short answer seems to be no. The white population of the UK is 86%. The Crown Prosecution Service’s lead on child sexual abuse says that white perpetrators account for between 80 and 90% of child abuse crimes.[13] The new specific crime of “on-street grooming” is where Asians are over-represented relative to their population. This has been attributed to the night-time economy many Asians work in; takeaways and taxi driving. Asians are more often on the street so that is naturally where their crimes might occur.

No-one should try to say any child abuse crime is more or less than another because of where it takes place but that is what is being attempted. We must be more careful not to allow non-Muslims to draw a line around a specific way Muslims are committing a widely committed crime in order for them to portray us as the only ones committing that crime. If the police are tasked with tackling that form of the crime, as they have been with on-street grooming, then of course the statistics will show an over representation, Muslim organisations will start apologising again and it will all go to fuel the Islamophobic media feeding frenzy.

 Written by Abdullah Thomson

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] http://www.mcb.org.uk/child-abuse-in-rotherham-we-cannot-let-this-happen-again/
[2] http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/crime/pakistanis-must-face-up-to-this-grooming-evil-says-community-leader-1-7746484
[3]http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/1407/independent_inquiry_cse_in_rotherham.pdf
[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11059138/Rotherham-In-the-face-of-such-evil-who-is-the-racist-now.html
[5] http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/majority-of-rotherham-child-exploitation-suspects-are-white-claims-new-report-1-7392637
[6]http://moderngov.rotherham.gov.uk/documents/s100912/CSE_The_Way_Forward_2015_18%20Consultation%20Draft.pdf
[7] http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/how-rotherham-council-tried-to-cover-up-child-
abuse-scandal-1-7088847
[8] http://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/crime/misleading-claim-on-most-rotherham-cse-abusers-being-white-wrongly-included-in-report-1-7587779
[9] http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/586677/Rotherham-child-abuse-scandal-300-more-suspects-identified-by-police-so-why-no-arrests
[10] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11695826/Rotherham-child-sex-abuse-300-new-suspects.html
[11] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11059138/Rotherham-In-the-face-of-such-evil-who-is-the-racist-now.html
[12] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-28934963
[13] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/03/nazir-afzal-there-is-no-religious-basis-for-the-abuse-in-rotherham

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RUSTIC EARTHEN KITCHEN CHARMS

clay pot biryani

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY FROM SISTERS MAGAZINE – https://www.sisters-magazine.com/2016/02/07/rustic-earthen-kitchen-charms/

“Are you serious?” my husband looked at me, amazed, as if I had asked for the most unusual thing in the world. I had just asked the waiter, at a fine dining restaurant, if I could take home the empty clay pot that contained the biryaani we had relished minutes ago. My husband had flatly refused to ask the waiter himself, suggesting that he’d buy one for me from the market instead. However, I wanted this biryaani pot because, apart from it being a reminder of the wonderful dinner we had just had, it would also be a good way to recycle.

My interest in clay pots began this summer while vacationing in India. It all started with some cold lassi – a traditional milk and yoghurt drink – served in clay tumblers. While most people would usually just discard the clay container afterwards, I brought it home with me to reuse, and have since been collecting earthenware.

The tradition of pottery in the Asian subcontinent is as old as human civilisation itself and is considered a sensual art form, identified with the feminine qualities of grace and delicacy. During early times, each village had its own potter, who held a respectable place in society because they made a myriad of articles used in the regular household. An example is the clay-made piggy bank that children used to have. This only had a one-way slot for coin insertion so that when the piggy bank was full, the custom was to smash it on the ground and retrieve the collected money.

The main use of clay pottery, however, was for making cooking vessels. These clay pots worked best for dishes that require cooking on a low heat for hours, like mutton curry, goats’ trotters, black lentil curry, etc. Hyderabad, India, is famous for its ‘dum ki biryaani’ that is slow cooked in a huge clay pot. In some parts of India and Bangladesh, there is a special, heavily-spiced fish curry that is cooked only in earthen cauldrons. In Pakistan, women prepare and store pickles in clay jars. Sweets like kheer – rice pudding – is also set, chilled and served in clay bowls.

Cooking in clay pots is a great way to add flavour and reduce fat in our diet. Unlike vessels of other materials, food cooked in clay pots is less likely to stick – thus reducing the need for more oils. The pot is always soaked in water for at least fifteen minutes before use so that it is saturated with water and because clay is a porous material, steam evaporates slowly when it is heated in the oven. During cooking, the food inside the clay pot releases liquid and cooks in its own juices. These juices remain sealed inside the pot until it is completely dry – which is around the time the food has cooked completely – hence adding to the flavour.

With the arrival of modern cooking vessels like non-stick pots, casseroles and pressure cookers, clay pots slowly disappeared from households. Besides, with the fast pace of today’s lifestyle, the slow cooking process in clay pots became quite an inconvenience.

However, it’s nice to see that efforts are being made to rediscover and revive the use of clay pots today, especially in high-end restaurants where food is served in earthenware. There are several advantages to bringing the ancient cooking vessel back: healthy food, being environmentally-friendly, a touch of tradition, jobs for potters and aesthetics (yes, food served in a clay pot is very appealing). In fact, it has gained so much popularity that some restaurants are giving decorative token clay pots for desserts! Finding food served in clay pots in India or Pakistan is common, but I am pleasantly surprised to find them here in the U.A.E – like biryaani, desserts and even tea!

I make an effort to use clay pots regularly because of the health benefits, added flavours and for being eco-friendly. Of course, another important factor is that I take a lot of food pictures for my blog and I know that serving them in traditional clay pots will make the presentation even better. Now, whenever we dine in a restaurant that serves in clay pots, I try to ask the staff if I can take the pot home, and they almost always agree. As a result, I am now the proud owner of six clay cups for tea, two clay bowls for sweets and one gorgeous handi or round-bellied clay pot in my collection – all of them complimentary tokens from restaurants! As much as I love cooking and serving food in them, family members and guests are equally delighted to experience eating out of a clay pot.

Nadia Masood lives in Dubai, UAE and writes about travel, food and photography on her website http://nadiamasood.com.