Foreldre, sosialarbeidere og lokalpolitikere hevder at fengslingen av to menn på henholdsvis 46 og 32 år er en del av et mønster hvor grupper av voksne muslimske menn utnytter mindreårige, etnisk britiske og sårbare jenter fra arbeiderklassen for sex.

Zulfqar Hussain, 46, og Qaiser Naveed, 32, ble fengslet for 5 år og 8 måneder for bortføring og barnemishandling, etter å ha utnyttet to jenter under 16 år ved å gi dem alkohol og narkotiske stoffer før de hadde sex med dem. Begge pikene var i en svært utsatt posisjon, der den ene var plassert i fosterhjem og den andre på et barnehjem.

Imidlertid mener flere at dette ikke er et enkeltstående tilfelle, men at rettssaken mot de to mennene avdekker en urovekkende utvikling der voksne muslimske menn bevisst «skjemmer bort» mindreårige jenter med tanke på å utnytte dem for sex og kriminelle aktiviteter:

A hidden world in which Asian men «groom» young white girls for sex has been exposed with the jailing yesterday of two men for child-abuse offences.

Once the girls have moved into these social circles, they are encouraged to rebel, with peer pressure leading to petty crime, says Samantha Pratt, of CROP, the Leeds-based Coalition for the Removal of Pimping.

Fremgangsmåten nettverket benytter overfor de mindreårige er stort sett den samme; mennene «skjemmer bort» den aktuelle piken med komplimenter og gaver. Når hun først er kommet inn i gruppen, går hun på rundgang blant medlemmene og blir senere presset til kriminelle aktiviteter.

This is now the only contact Jackie has with her daughter, who, two years ago, became seduced by men who gave her presents and compliments, in exchange for sexual favours among their extended network of brothers, cousins and friends. She had just celebrated her 14th birthday.

The socialising took place in the park, the railway station, the street corner. Mandy, once a normal chatty schoolgirl, became a stranger whom her mother would glimpse circling the local shopping centre, accompanied by more than a dozen Asian boys aged from 14 into their twenties.

Then she began to disappear, at first for hours, then days and nights. Finally, her mother would learn later, she would end up in certain houses in predominantly Asian neighbourhoods.

«They call them slag dens,» said Jackie.

Presents, including jewellery, make-up and a string of new mobile phones, were soon followed by bruises and threatening phone calls. Jackie recalls how her daughter began wearing a dressing gown during the day to cover any telltale marks of abuse.

Rettssaken har pågått samtidig som voksende bekymringer for noen muslimske menns holdninger til hvite jenter har gjort seg gjeldende. Foreldre i innvandrertette områder har gjentatte ganger klaget over at piker så unge som 12 år er blitt en målgruppe for voksne menns målbevisste seksuelle tilnærmelser. Myndighetene har så langt vært lite villige til å ta i problemstillingen, noe flere mener skyldes frykt for rasismeanklager:

The trial came amid growing concern at the attitudes of some Asian men towards white girls which campaigners for women claim few people wish to address.

Parents have complained that in parts of the country with large Asian communities white girls as young as 12 are being targeted for sex by older Asian men yet the authorities are unwilling to act because of fears of being labelled racist.

Ann Cryer, a Labour member of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, has been at the forefront of attempting to tackle the problem after receiving complaints from mothers in her constituency about young Asian men targeting their under-age daughters.

Although campaigners claim that hundreds of young girls are already being passed around men within the Asian community for sex, she said that attempts to raise the problem with community leaders had met with little success, with most of them being in a state of denial about it.

Cryer tror mønsteret som har avtegnet seg er en del av en kulturkonlikt der muslimske menn blir fanget mellom to kulturer, og at mindreårige blir målet fordi voksne kvinner i større grad er klar over noen av problemene som kan oppstå ved et forhold og derfor har flere forbehold mot å involvere seg med muslimske menn:

The family and cultural norms of their community means they are expected to marry a first cousin or other relative back in a village in Mirapur or wherever the family comes from. Therefore, until that marriage is arranged they look out for sex.

«At the point in their lives when they are ready for this sort of activity, Asians cannot go to Asian girls because it would be a terrible breach of the honour of the community and their family to have sex with an Asian girl before marriage.»

She said that the reason Asian men targeted very young white girls was because older white girls knew that a relationship with an Asian youth was unlikely to last as the community would seek an arranged marriage with someone from the Asian sub- continent.

Politiet og grupper som arbeider for kvinners beskyttelse insisterer på at den målbevisste jakten på mindreårige jenter ikke begrenser seg til det muslimske miljøet, men innrømmer at de er bekymret for holdningene noen unge muslimske menn utviser overfor hvite jenter.

Foreldrene til de mindreårige jentene hevder imidlertid at de kriminelle nettverkene får fortsette å utnytte unge piker fordi myndighetene ikke er villige til å gripe inn av frykt for å skade etniske relasjoner i områder med store etniske minoriteter.

However, Ms Cryer added: «I think there is a problem with the view Asian men generally have about white women. Their view about white women is generally fairly low. They do not seem to understand that there are white girls as moral and as good as Asian girls.»

De mindreårige pikene som blir fanget inn av miljøet ender ofte som kriminelle selv. Flere av ofrene har etter press fra mennene utført mindre alvorlig kriminalitet. Også det er et gjentagende mønster:

The victims become criminalised themselves, she said. «A lot of these kids are getting ASBOs and being treated as if they are naughty teenagers. But these men are puppeteers.»

This is a universal pattern, familiar throughout communities across Britain. Julie (not her real name), whose 13-year-old daughter fell prey to this kind of sexual exploitation, believes that, in her case, sensitivity about perceived racism led to a reluctance to tackle the problem. «There must be hundreds of girls going through the same thing. But I felt I had a brick wall to knock down before you even got to the real issue. I do believe if it had been white guys, it would have been reported a lot sooner.»

She believes that the men have no respect for the victims. «These guys think the girls are white trash. They know what they can get away with.»

Styreformann i rådet for moskèer i Lancashire, Abdul Hamid Qureshi, sier at det seksuelle misbruket av barn er et generelt samfunnsproblem, og avviser at forbud mot sex før ekteskapet og forventningen om å gifte seg arrangert fører til at muslimske menn misbruker mindreårige hvite jenter for sex. Muslimske piker faller også som offer for misbruket, om enn i mindre omfang:

«We in the Muslim community are failing in the sense that there are young people in society with little or no moral values. After the age of 12, nobody is engaging with them. We have to transform ourselves.

«It is not just white girls being exploited. Asian girls are involved too, but their numbers are less. There is less access to them, and the criminals are more likely to be deterred by their fathers and brothers, who they know will come after them.»

Times Online: Grooming of white girls for sex is exposed as two Asian men jailed
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