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Hard times

These must be difficult times for members of the Muslim communities in the UK. Of child grooming and Charlie Hebdo, it could be argued that the ISIS issue is on balance the less harmful. The UK suffered far worse at the hands of the IRA and we did not hold the IRA responsible. The Khmer Rouge massacred millions for an ideology even more difficult to understand than extremist Islamic fundamentalism. The Child grooming in Rochdale, Rotherham and Banbury is far more concerning. The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, most of the men were Muslim. Secondly the vast majority of the victims were white.

My personal belief, having examined the court records, is that among some, if not all, the men concerned there was a dismissive attitude and double-standard towards the women informed in part because they were not Muslim. I am not in a position to argue whether a fair reading of the Qur'an would justify such a “ two tier” view of human society. Nor am I qualified to assess whether the idea among Muslims that belief in a true and absolute God conveys some kind of social hierarchy - surely a concept at odds with the teachings of the Qur'an that all human beings are equal. If it is widely held it needs to be strangled. More importantly, it is belittling to God. Belief is a Gift of the God who made Heaven and Earth and we should be grateful, thankful and treasure the gift of faith.

A family is entitled to two versions of the truth. A mother who is asked why her daughter has been off school is entitled to say the girl was in bed with flu when in truth she is suffering the horrific consequences of heroin addiction. Entire communities cannot have internal and external truths. Apart from anything else the internet makes a purely internal discourse impossible and there may come a time when the Muslim communities will struggle to justify their denial of the very real problems that exist.

Ken Mafham is a Muslim Insitute Fellow and a Town Planning Consultant with 40 years experience. His work has taken him to Mauritius, Bauch State Nigeria , Merseyside and the East Midlands. He has also taught lessons to 30-40 individuals a week for the last fifteen years, from Year 1 to A level. This leaves little time for hobbies but he does like to play the violin and sing. Not both at the same time though.