Rotherham Grooming vs Jimmy Savile Report: BBC’s Trademark Hypocrisy

The BBC’s coverage of the Rotherham grooming scandal and the Jimmy Savile report was a fine example of unadulterated hypocrisy, writes Kasim Javed.

On Wednesday 24th February, six men and women were found guilty of offences relating to the sexual exploitation of teenage girls in Rotherham. A gang of three brothers, their uncle and two women were found guilty of 55 serious offences, some of which lay undetected for almost 20 years. The National Crime Agency (NCA) is also undertaking what it described as the “largest criminal investigation of its kind in the UK” into sexual exploitation in Rotherham with 9,000 lines of inquiry.

The following day, the BBC covered the live reporting of the Dame Janet Smith review into Jimmy Savile’s sexual abuse cases revealing a culture of secrecy by the BBC staff in which “celebrities used “their fame and positions as BBC celebrities to abuse the vulnerable.” The key findings of the report are:

  • The victims of Savile in connection with his work at the BBC include eight people who were raped and one instance of an attempted rape. Others faced sexual assaults
  • The majority of the cases took place in the 1970s
  • The largest number of victims was in connection with Savile’s work on Top of the Pops
  • The youngest victim of a sexual assault by Savile was eight years’ old
  • Eight informal complaints were made
  • Two senior managers are criticised for being “aware” or “probably aware” of Stuart Hall’s sexual assaults on BBC premises

Both are shocking cases of sexual abuse that went on for decades under a disgusting corporate culture on one hand and through neglect by local authorities on the other. Both cases involved grooming underage girls and the perpetrators were systematically exploiting hundreds vulnerable girls. Yet in the Rotherham case, “ethnicity” is part of the political debate even though two of the perpetrators were white, and in the other it’s not. It begs the question, was the Rotherham Case involving Pakistani perpetrators intentionally reported the day before to deflect attention and water down the Dame Janet investigation into the BBC? Maybe or maybe not, but the stark hypocrisy in the political debate is clear as day.

In normal circumstances, the political debate around such heinous crimes would be dealt within a social context in order to understand the causes, motives and circumstances in which they occurred without bringing in the ethnicity of the perpetrators into the equation. Take for example the “risk factors” and “warning signs” on the guidance that has been published on the APP (Authorised Professional Practise) owned by the “College of Policing” which is the official source of professional practise on policing. It lists over 25 factors that could lead to vulnerability of sexual exploitation including mental ill health, drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, dysfunctional families, going missing and others. It also states that “The demographic of offenders varies in terms of ethnicity, social background and age.” There is nothing in the guidance that indicates ethnicity is a factor in sexual exploitation.

In the ongoing coverage of the Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall scandal ethnicity was never discussed in the political debate whatsoever. No pundit has asked if ethnicity was a factor, there have been no mainstream news outlets that have asked the question “Do you think ethnicity is a factor?” Just imagine for a second, a pundit asked a commentator “Do you think because Jimmy Savile was white he exploited prepubescent girls? Or “Do you think the British community turned a blind eye to the 400 lines of inquiry connected to Jimmy Savile?” or “Do you think the Australian community silently condoned the actions of Rolf Harris?” Such racist questions would be mocked and there would no doubt be calls for resignations if a presenter asked such questions.

Then why are such questions given such credence in context of the Pakistani men that were prosecuted in Rotherham? Even though there were two white women who were also prosecuted, “Pakistani” received special media attention and suddenly “Political correctness” is quoted as a potential cause of neglect by the local authorities. Do the police fear being labelled racist when they single out black and Asians for stop and search or Muslim looking people for Schedule 7? Is political correctness quoted when black and Asians are more likely to face prosecution by police. Why is the race card suddenly brought up? Surely this is the police playing politics to attempt to absolve themselves of systematic failures in protecting vulnerable girls. Such a narrative is deliberate and seamlessly fits the anti-Muslim narrative which the BBC, other media and the police are exploiting.

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Sadly, some Muslim commentators are also giving the space for the media to perpetuate the false idea that grooming is inherently a problem within the Pakistani Community. Such commentators should bring their evidence before making such irresponsible statements and are directly contributing towards the anti-Islamic environment.

Even though, Islam may not have been mentioned thus far in the specific debate of Rotherham, rather “Pakistani Community” was the cause of concern; it doesn’t take a genius to juxtapose the two. The overwhelming majority of Pakistani’s are Muslim. By painting a misogynistic picture of Pakistani’s as though there is something inherently wrong within their community is an innuendo to the Muslim community and Islam, albeit the fact that perpetrators have been cultivated in a secular liberal culture.

Most Perpetrators are statistically White from known data

Historically the ethnicity of the perpetrators hasn’t been recorded and so there is limited research available. However, from reputable organisations, the reality of sexual exploitation, irrespective of the style i.e. street grooming, is that the perpetrators are mostly white. Research conducted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) on “localised grooming” – where children have been groomed and sexually exploited by an offender having first met in a public place – looked at 1,217 offenders.

The findings, published in 2011, found 30% of offenders – 367 – were white. Some 28% were Asian, of whom 11 were Bangladeshi, 45 were Pakistani and 290 were described as “Asian Other”. Of the victims, 61% of the 2,083 victims were white, while just 3% were Asian. Some 33% were of referred to as “other”.

Prof Malcolm Cowburn, a criminologist based at Sheffield Hallam University, who has studied issues related to sexual violence over the last 15 years, said he “had not seen any empirical evidence to say that one group of people has a greater proclivity to sexual violence than any other”.

“The larger issue is of problematic masculinity and how certain men view women, children and their sexual rights. I don’t think it lies within ethnicity but within gender,” said Prof Cowburn, whose work has been published in the Journal of Sexual Aggression and the British Journal of Community Justice.

A leaked report from the Public Health Rotherham looked at the ethnic backgrounds of suspected abusers in the past two years and found some 68 per cent of identified suspects are white. These findings have been subjected to internal political wranglings and apparently the final report did not include any of these findings.

According to the NSCPCC, a study by the Children’s Commissioner Inquiry found that where ethnic group was recorded, then majority of perpetrators were White and the second largest group were Asian.

Therefore, based on then logic that a particular ethnicity is more of a prospect to commit this crime, then it is the white Caucasian British community that should be asked if they are “burying their heads in the sand”.

Ethnicity is the wrong question; there is a problem with over-sexualisation of British society

According to an official home office report into children’s exposure to sexual imagery, author Dr Linda Papadopoulos said there was a clear link between sexualised imagery and violence towards females. She further mentioned, “Both the images we consume and the way we consume them are lending credence to the idea that women are there to be used and that men are there to use them.” This effect according to her distorts young girl’s views about themselves, “Unless sexualisation is accepted as harmful, we will miss an important opportunity… to broaden young people’s beliefs about where their values lies,”

Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at Kent University, said society as a whole and adults were to blame. He said: “The whole of society is hypersexualised – sex becomes the common currency through which adults make their way in the world and continually send a signal to children that sex is all that matters. One of the big problems that we are faced with is that increasingly adults have lost the capacity to draw a line between their own attitudes and those of children and increasingly we’re recycling adult attitudes about sex through the prism of children.”

Britain is a society that is predicated on secular liberal concepts. Irrespective of being a; Pakistani/Muslim or another ethnicity or faith, everyone is subjected to this Godless belief system that has cultivated values of materialism, individualism and a hedonism. Such values are bound to have an effect on social behaviour when the boundaries of morality have been exponentially declining ever since its inception. Sexual exploitation and street grooming are atrocious and sickening crimes, but have we forgot about the societal context in which these crimes have occurred where street prostitution, legal brothels and a legal pornographic industry flourish? Where young children are taught to explore their sexuality from a young age and society glorifies the sexual freedom that the law protects? It would be incredibly naïve to deflect criticism from the ideological values of this secular liberal society when trying to understand the root causes of sexual exploitation.

In conclusion, race/ethnicity has no bearing on crime and there is no serious evidence that can defend this claim. Secondly, it is the secular liberal belief system that is responsible for the declining morality in society and cultivating such self-indulgent values that give oxygen for sexual related problems society. Even the UK Good Childhood Inquiry concluded that abuses against children were the results of beliefs of “excessive individualism” and “that the prime duty of the individual is to make the most of their own life.” Finally, the only thing that can explain why the media and some commentators are bringing the Pakistani community into the debate as though there is some inherent problem within their genes, is to deflect criticism from the endemic sexual abuse that exists in this society and to juxtapose the belief of the perpetrators with some sort of misogynistic ideas that the Pakistani/Muslim community hold, as a pre-requisite to reform Islam. This is of course part of a wider political and ideological debate against Muslims and Islam.


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