Cops ‘not protecting’ community from far-right opportunists
ROTHERHAM Muslims are boycotting South Yorkshire Police following a surge of racist violence stoked up by the far-right capitalising on last year’s Asian grooming gangs scandal.
An elderly Asian man has been murdered and racists have threatened to rape Muslim women since the Jay report into the grooming of young girls for sexual abuse by mainly Asian men was published in August 26 2014.
Rotherham’s Muslim community has repeatedly condemned the perpetrators and called for their prosecution — but the far-right has still targeted the town.
A packed meeting including representatives of all Rotherham mosques, Muslim community leaders and supportive trade unionists voted on Sunday evening to boycott South Yorkshire Police, saying they are not protecting the community, and accusing police of using the grooming issue to deflect attention from their own failings.
The Muslim community “has been under perpetual attack and demonisation” despite its wholesale condemnation of child sexual exploitation, said a statement passed by the meeting.
“There is a perception in the minds of many ordinary people that all Muslims are now potential child abusers, or that they have been involved in some sort of a cover-up,” the meeting ruled.
“This is further perpetuated by 14 far-right demonstrations in our town that have zapped poison into our local community.
In turn our women have been threatened with rape, children attacked, mosques vandalised, men physically assaulted while out earning their livelihood and an elderly man murdered.”
Hate crime recording project Tell Mama has had 27 attacks reported to them in Rotherham in the last 12 months.
“South Yorkshire Police have piggybacked on this hostile environment towards the Muslim community by deflecting the attention from their own failures by scapegoating us,” said the meeting.
“South Yorkshire Police say one thing when speaking to a Muslim audience, yet when speaking to a different audience, the Muslim community is simply cannon fodder.
“It is against this backdrop that we, the Muslim community of Rotherham, have voted for all Muslim organisations and institutions which claim to represent Muslims in Rotherham to cut all lines of engagement and communication with South Yorkshire Police.
“We will not be treated as criminals any longer.”
South Yorkshire Police is already steeped in controversy over its involvement in the brutal attack on striking miners at Orgreave in 1984 and its role in the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in Sheffield in which 96 Liverpool football fans died in 1989.
Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin said: “We appreciate the frustrations of the Rotherham public in relation to continued demonstrations, which do have an impact on the local economy and community cohesion.
“We have made representations to the Home Office and are seeking legal advice to see what our options are for future demonstrations.
“We work closely with the Muslim community and join them in their condemnation of all forms of child sexual exploitation.
“We accept that we have made mistakes in the past but we are absolutely committed to identifying those who commit this despicable crime and bringing them before the courts.”
Two men have been charged in connection with the murder of 81-year-old Mushin Ahmed in Rotherham.