I had somehow overlooked the fact that Nazir Afzal is not just a regional CCP but also the Crown Prosecution Service’s lead on child sexual abuse and violence against women and girls. Amelia Gentleman in the Guardian points out what this means:
His role means he has oversight of all child sex abuse cases in England and Wales. “So I know that the vast majority of offenders are British white male,” he says, setting the number at somewhere between 80 and 90%. “We have come across cases all over the country and the ethnicity of the perpetrators varies depending on where you are … It is not the abusers’ race that defines them. It is their attitude to women that defines them.”
Engrave those words in letters of fire on your inner bulletin board. It is their attitude to women that defines them. And this, Christina Hoff Sommers & her fans please note, is why so-called “equity” feminism is an insulting joke. Attitudes matter. Racial attitudes matter, and so do other attitudes; attitudes to women matter. This sick idea that all efforts to change attitudes for the better is “radical” in a bad bad bad sense is reactionary and ugly and wrong.
Afzal also makes a shrewd factual point.
Where there is involvement of Asian men or men of Pakistani origin, he points to a practical, rather than cultural explanation – the fact that in the areas where grooming scandals have been uncovered, those controlling the night-time economy, people working through the night in takeaways and driving minicabs, are predominantly Asian men. He argues that evidence suggests that victims were not targeted because they were white but because they were vulnerable and their vulnerability caused them to seek out “warmth, love, transport, mind-numbing substances, drugs, alcohol and food”.
He says the failures in Rotherham were very little to do with “political correctness” and far more to do with incompetence – just not doing the job of policing very well.
…he believes that the cases were not pursued properly because “everyone involved was not as competent as they should have been. I can only speak for the cases I’ve dealt with, but it usually comes down to poor investigation; we didn’t investigate early enough. People have not been as good at their job as they should have been. They haven’t asked the right questions. As a result the victims did not have the confidence to come forward.”
He is disturbed at the number of times cases were dropped because police were concerned that they would be too difficult to prosecute because “the credibility of the young woman was damaged by her chaotic lifestyle”. Sometimes police would decide not to pursue a case because the victim had criminal convictions herself. “My view is that this is exactly what you would expect with a victim. That she has been led astray and manipulated by the abuser. He’s not going to look for the young girl who has never been in trouble. They deliberately target the ones who have the most chaotic backgrounds, the most troubled lives.”
I can all too easily imagine being incompetent that way myself. The victims are doubtless very off-putting in a lot of ways, and I’m not at all good at ignoring off-putting qualities. It’s a difficult skill.
Afzal has received criticism from all sides for his work in this area. Members of the Asian community have asked him: “‘Nazir, why are you giving racist or Islamophobes a stick to beat us with?’ My response to that is that we as a community should be carrying our own stick. Then there won’t be a reason for people to launch blanket attacks on the whole faith and the whole community.” He had hope for more “vocal” condemnation of the child sexual abuse scandals by the Asian community, as well as more support of his work combating “honour”-based killings and forced marriages – two other issues he has focused on in the past decade. “I do feel that there’s a deficit of leadership in some parts of the Muslim community. They could be much more challenging of certain behaviours,” he says, adding that this is the most effective way to counter the threat of Islamophobia. “The silence of people who may know something or have heard something only hurts our children.”
It would help if the media and others listening for vocal condemnation of the child sexual abuse scandals asked more women for their thoughts. I know a lot of liberal Muslim women they could ask; I know a lot of people who know a lot of liberal Muslim women they could ask. The trick is to get the media to know them too.