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Rochdale grooming prosecutor Nazir Afzal calls on Muslims to 'stop blaming victims of child sex abuse'

Author: Katherine Bainbridge
Publication: Manchestereveningnews.co.uk
Date: July 2, 2017
URL:   http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/rochdale-grooming-prosecutor-nazir-afzal-13271237.amp

On the eve of a new documentary about the scandal Mr Afzal has written an article criticising the attitude of some of his fellow Muslims towards the issue of grooming

Nazir Afzal OBE

The lawyer who brought the Rochdale grooming gang to justice says Muslim communities ‘must do more to fight a cancer of violent misogyny’.

Nazir Afzal initiated the prosecutions of the sex trafficking gang after he became Chief Crown Prosecutor in the north west, which eventually led to the jailing of nine gang members.

He overturned a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute and asked police to look again at the issue of grooming in Rochdale.

On the eve of a new documentary about the scandal Mr Afzal has written an article criticising the attitude of some of his fellow Muslims towards the issue of grooming, saying ‘too many people blame the victims rather than the perpetrators’.

Nazir Afzal from the CPS

Writing for the Mail on Sunday Mr Afzal said: “There are parts of our country now where violent misogyny is equally accepted and even celebrated. What worries me is that these are largely Asian areas with little appetite in the community to do anything about it.

“There’s no escaping the fact that Asian and Pakistani men are disproportionately involved in localised street grooming of vulnerable young girls. Our jails are filling up with Muslim prisoners and yet the crimes they’re committing have become a taboo subject.”

Mr Afzal says he has tried to engage with Muslim audiences to talk about how to deal with these crimes, but doing so is ‘frustratingly difficult’.

He added that there is ‘sterling work’ being carried out in the Asian community to challenge misogynistic views, ‘but too frequently those groups making a real difference exist without much support from the wider community’.

“So-called Muslim community leaders would prefer these issues were ignored,” he said.

He added that ‘communities hold the key’ and has called on Muslims to ‘help break a cycle of ignorance and stop it from happening in the first place’.

“It sickens me that there are people in the Asian community who don’t want women to be empowered, they don’t want women to support each other and would prefer women to be oppressed and do what men want them to do,” he said.

“Forcing the Muslim community to do more to deal with these problems as to be the starting point to drove grooming gangs out of existence.”
 
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