1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Trevor Phillips attacks political correctness for failing to tackle Muslim child sex gangs

Discussion in 'Personal' started by delmamerchant, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    The reference to Mo was reason enough to refer to historical facts.

    Edit- what's wrong with the facts?
    InkyP likes this.
  2. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VIi, was 13 when she gave birth to him.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  3. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    I'm not sure whether you are referring to the marriage of Muhammad to Aisha or not, but to be honest, I don't have the patience to wade through the link you provided. This is because I prefer to read peer-reviewed, hopefully dispassionate and reputable academic sources when it comes to issues like this.

    It's part of the territory of being a teacher really. As an educator, I want to be able to arrive at an informed opinion, even if a desire to follow the truth wherever it leads takes me into uncomfortable territory. In other words, I don't want pre-rational, intuitive biases to intrude. Plus, I wouldn't want to make myself look foolish by drawing on writing that is of dubious provenance.

    Anyway, Tariq Ramadan's recently published Islam: the Essentials has this to say on this issue:

    'Tradition recounts that she [Aisha] was six years old at the time of marriage and nine when it was consummated, as was often the custom. But a substantial body of research has raised doubts about her age and, when cross-checked with the historical events that form a part of Muhammad's biography, most of the evidence indicates that Aishah would have been between sixteen and eighteen years old. The Prophet had remained monogamous for twenty-five years. But he married eleven women after taking up residence in Medina. Most of these marriages consolidated alliances with the clans, in keeping with the custom of the day. He continued to nurture regional relationships that helped neighbouring tribes and nations understand that the Muslims were not the 'mindless madmen' that the rulers of Mecca, the Quraysh, suggested they were.'

    Then there's Asma Afsaruddin's The First Muslims: History and Memory:

    'A'isha entered Muhammad's home as his wife at a tender age; the range of years given is between six and nine. The marriage was not consummated until she reached puberty; again, the a range of years between nine and twelve is given in the sources, reflecting the trend in this period not to keep accurate logs of such events and thus to guess at people's ages. Child marriage was not an uncommon practice in the Arabian peninsula at this time (as elsewhere), often being contracted for political purposes between leading families. Since A'isha was the daughter of Abu Bakr, one of Muhammad's closest companions, this liaison carried significant political overtones.Be that as it may, there developed genuine intimacy and strong devotion between A'isha and the Prophet.'

    Finally, Paul Hedges (an Associate Professor of Interreligious Studies) confronts this issue directly. The following is an extract from his book Towards Better Disagreement: Religion and Atheism in Dialogue:

    'Was he [Muhammad] a paedophile?....This allegation relates to one of his wives, Aisha, who we know was a child when they first became betrothed. But before we come to this, I will briefly address Muhammad's many wives. Muhammad's first wife, Khadija, was a successful businesswoman, reportedly around 15 years older than him, and he was one of her employees when they wed. It seems to have been a stable marriage, and while she was alive, he did not take any other wives. Amongst Muhammad's later wives, the majority were widows of Muslims, and following traditional customs, were married to those who would look after them (in a very different society than we live in today, this was perhaps a practical necessity).

    Aisha was the daughter of of one of his companions, Abu Bakr, and the marriage was probably more about political union. It is recorded that for the first years they were married, Aisha lived as a child within Muhammad's household and was treated as such; therefore, it was a number of years before the marriage was consummated. we do not actually know at what age the consummation took place; birth certificates did not exist so people either used community memory or guessed. As such, one traditional recorded age, found in a much later account, that she was nine years old, is not reliable; indeed, estimates have put her anywhere from nine to 19 years old.

    However, in Arab society at that time - indeed, in almost every pre-modern culture - adulthood and the onset of puberty were considered as identical. It is also noteworthy that our contemporary notions of childhood are very modern, and such concepts have been culturally variable. It is quite likely, therefore, that that the consummation happened at that time; indeed, in Islamic law it would not be seen as legitimate to be married prior to puberty. This is certainly far younger than we would consider adulthood today, but this was a norm 1,000 years ago. In fact, as late as the eighteenth century in England, the age of marriage was officially set at 12 years, while the age of consent to have sexual intercourse with a girl was ten years old. Whether we regard this as desirable or not, we have problems imposing our norms back onto a situation over 1,000 years ago, unless we wish to suggest that almost every adult before the last 100 years ago was a paedophile.

    My note about eighteenth-century England is not alone, as the government of the French Revolution at the end of that century raised the legal age of marriage from 12 to 13 years old for girls.....

    While many Muslims accept the dating that Muhammad first slept with Aisha when she was nine years old....if so, it indicates that puberty came early, and from a historical point of view, this means Muhammad consummated his marriage to Aisha when she became an adult within her society, that is, it was regarded as a consensual relationship between between two legal adults (as far as we can make out). That some Muslims (by no means all) today understand Muhammad's example as providing a justification for marrying off their nine year old daughters is, though, certainly a problem in the contemporary context.'

    Hopefully, the above extracts provide examples of how this issue gets treated in academic circles. I appreciate that this post may be tangential to the thread itself and the horrendous events in the North East, but as this controversial topic has been raised, I thought that it might be reasonable to try to address it.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

  5. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Some people need to think of it as a Muslim problem or an Asian problem in order to distance themselves from it.
    In my experience, these are the same types of people who, when hearing about young women alleging that they've been attacked will immediately start to question whether she was asking for it, looking at how she dressed, and suggesting that people who walk around with their boobs out are asking for trouble.
    There is no concern for the victims or preventing further crime, it is all about being able to blame someone else for society's ills.
  6. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

  7. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    I have at least one Muslim friend who claims that it is a cultural problem in some Pakistani heritage communities.
  8. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I can see that some men coming from a country where girls are often married in their early tens will believe they have done nothing wrong. This is not a defence just an explanation of why they think it's OK, it's not OK, but it's also not a reason to suggest that all Muslim men are guilty of this.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I don't think it is mostly about cultural/religious beliefs/practices over the age women should start having sex, but a lot more about cultural/religious and racial misogyny.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    What do they have in common?

    • They are men.
    • They are sure nobody will "waste" time going after them as the "authorities" look at the girls in much the same way as they do: lost, uncared for, hopeless, unproductive, useless. And they're right.
    If there's resource you can exploit? Then some people will exploit it. Like the modern slavery gang-masters. You offer someone with learning difficulties a home in a caravan and give them the odd burger and you're doing everyone a favour! You keep them off the streets and give them a job. Why! It's a public service! :(o_O

    Teachers used to do it. Take advantage of children. There was no religious element to that.

    It's the same phenomenon as a boss angling for sex with the promise of a pay rise or just job security.

    As The Donald would say: bad people.
  11. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

  12. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I don't think it's a product of a particular culture but I think this sort of attitude:
    where people use race or religion to distance themselves from other people plays a part. It's easier to victimize and terrorize someone if you think they are not like you, not like your family.
  13. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    I used to be part of a committee for a charity that supports the parents of children involved in this. One of the things we tried to maintain was that this was not a racial crime, but a crime against children. It was/is a fact that a high proportion of perpetrators have a Muslim/Pakistani background, but the crime is not defined by race or religion per se.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Working in light entertainment in the 70 and 80s on the other hand is an almost certain indicator of guilt.
  15. Laphroig

    Laphroig Lead commenter

    Are there any cases of British Asian gangs trafficking British Asian girls?doesnt the difference in the backgrounds if perpetrators and victims suggest a racial element? I'm trying to make sense if these cases.
  16. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

  17. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Lord Macdonald, a Liberal Democrat peer, told BBC Radio Four's Today programme there was “a major problem in particular communities” of men viewing young white girls as “trash, regarded as available for sex”.

    Sarah Champion, Labour's Shadow Women and Equalities Minister, claimed grooming gangs have so far been made up of predominantly Pakistani men who were involved in such cases “time and time and time again”.

    "This isn't racist, this is child protection".
    Sarah Champion, Labour's Shadow Women and Equalities Minister
    frangipani123 and zizzyballoon like this.
  18. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    I don't know, but it would be hard to discern whether any such tendency was a result of opportunity rather than design. These gangs largely targeted girls who were already vulnerable, who perhaps didn't have someone keeping an eye on them. One of the consequences of social conservatism in a community is a tendency to not give a lot of freedom to young women, so it may be that Asian girls weren't available in the same way. You can bet, however, that abuse of women and girls still goes on, it's just that it will follow the normal pattern it does in other communities - behind closed doors, by parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins. And with a culture of silence to protect the guilty.
    Laphroig, InkyP and schoolsout4summer like this.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Immigration of European Prostitutes[edit]
    In the early 20th Century, European prostitutes were visible in the major cities and seaports of British India.[1] As seaports became more prominent in India, more European women immigrated to serve as prostitutes.[1] Many British authorities tolerated the immigration of European prostitutes in the hope that men would engage in sex with them, instead of Indian women.[1]

    Although, state-regulated prostitution was seen as a necessity to satisfy sailors and soldiers, European women constituted another racial crisis for the British authorities,[7] giving rise to fears about sexual intercourse between “native” males and white women. They perceived this type of sexual interaction as undermining to colonial hierarchies based on class and race. They were even more anxious about the production of mixed-race children from such unions, as it threatened European racial purity.[7] However, there were fewer concerns about unions between British men and Indian women, although they too could and did produce children.[8]

    Generally, Indian women were not seen as violated or as victims when they engaged in prostitution with British men.[8] Although sexual intercourse between British men and Indian women was acceptable, the British authorities would have preferred they interact with European women instead. Stephen Edwardes, police commissioner of Bombay from 1909 to 1917, noted that brothels of European women were accepted so that British men did not have to engage in sexual relations with Indian women. Growing social disapproval of sexual relations with Indian women compelled the authorities to accept prostitution as a necessary evil.[1]

    A concern for the welfare of prostitutes was mounting. International forces were pressured to take action against the trafficking of women and girls.[9] However, this concern was primarily focused on European prostitutes. There was a growing concern for “White Slavery”, a term that was coined in the 1880s to describe the international trafficking in European prostitutes.[7] A mass obsession grew over the concern for sexually pure European women who could be violated in “uncivilised lands” as the result of trafficking.[9] Because of this concern for European women, both feminist and Christian abolitionist movements made the fight against “White Slavery”, a focal point in their respective agendas.

    In most cases, European prostitutes were considered “poor whites” or “low Europeans”, indicating their perceived low socio-economic class.[7] Evidence shows that many of the trafficked women, as well as their traffickers, were Jewish. References to these women as “low Europeans” or “less white” were often based out of anti-Semitism.[1] Terms such as “less white” denote an overall view that somehow these women were less valuable. The League of Nations was also compelled to take action. Due to mounting pressure, the League of Nations formed a committee to combat trafficking of European prostitutes.[9] Growing pressures forced the British imperial authorities to react.[7] The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1912 was passed in response to hysteria over “White Slavery”. This Act allowed for speedy legal action against pimps and traffickers and introduced harsher punishments for those procuring women for prostitution.[7] Ultimately, the British in India would bow down to the strains caused by the First World War and the abolitionist movements.[7] Brothels would only remain lawful in British India until the 1930s.[1]

    Religious Clashes[edit]
    Although the British were proactive in state regulation, they had misconstrued ideas about Indian culture and local religions. These cultural misunderstandings contributed to how and to what extent practices regarded as prostitution by the British were regulated. One misunderstanding that adversely affected Indian life was the British perception of Devadasis. These women, who were dedicated to Hindu temples, maintained sexual relations with men of high social status. They were usually non-monogamous sexual relations with a variety of social elites.[8] This offended the traditional British conceptions of marriage and moral conduct. The sexual nature of the Devadasi occupation was widely condemned by most Britons.[10] Therefore, British officials focused on the sexual roles of the Devadasis, instead of the religious significance, and encouraged laws against them.[8] The British viewed the traditional Hindu practice of devoting certain young women to the temple as the exploitation of a minor for the purposes of prostitution,[10] and from the 1860s onwards convictions for “temple harlotry” became increasingly common.[8] The clash between British and Indian culture became increasingly apparent as the British legislators enforced more laws against Devadasi practices. Eventually, the Indian Penal Code included the Devadasi practice as a punishable offense.[10]

    Although British moral sensibilities were no doubt disturbed by the sexual practices of Devadasis, they were also unaccustomed to the traditional rights Devadasis enjoyed. Under Hindu Law, Devadasis were granted property and inheritance rights, often unheard of by women.[10] It can be concluded that British perceptions of traditional gender roles, and the rights associated with them, were undermined by Hindu traditions. Therefore, the British administration decided to over-ride Indian customs they believe violated “natural reason”.[10]

    Although certain forms of prostitution were permitted by the British, Devadasis were profiled as an illegitimate form of prostitution by the British.[8] It can be concluded that since the Devadasis served no purpose to the British, they were easy targets of prohibition. This apparent contradiction by the British authorities when prosecuting prostitution underscored the inherently different understandings of what constituted prostitution by the indigenous inhabitants and the colonisers.

    Justification for prostitution[edit]
    The British authorities offered several justifications for the British regulation of prostitution in colonial British India. One justification of such state regulation of prostitution was the notion that prostitution was a vital safeguard against homosexuality.[11] Specifically, access to prostitutes was necessary to protect British military men from engaging in homosexual behaviour. Therefore, military administrators approved of brothels in cantonments.[1] One 1917 committee report by the Government of India claimed that homosexuality would invariably take hold if men were denied access to women.[11] This apparent fear of homosexuality had colonial roots. Many European colonialists viewed homosexuality as non-British perverse behaviour. They often believed that same-sex practices were “natural” to other peoples, such as Indians, Arabs, and Africans.[11]

    The British saw another further need for prostitution, especially amongst the military. It was seen as necessary to stave off boredom among soldiers and to reinforce imperial dominance through sexual control of Indian women.[1] The British preserved and regulated prostitution through mandatory licensing and medical examinations, not out of concern for prostitutes, but out of concern for their own military men.

    From Wiki. Obviously.

    All I did was Google "the Raj exploiting women" and this was what I got. British men wholesale exploited white women and Indian women. Because they could!

    It happens everywhere and always has done.
  20. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    @BillyBobJoe I was going to say something like this but you expressed it better.

Share This Page