This case is an important example of how the “fear of being labeled racist” can keep justice from being what its definition implies: impartial, just, unburdened and unobstructed by censure. The shocking investigation shows that the “Frontline staff did not report personal experience of attempts to influence their practice or decision making because of ethnic issues.” Unfortunately, “[t]his abuse is not confined to the past but continues to this day.”
By Georgiana Constantin l October 7, 2014
Children of all ages have been systematically exploited by men of Asian descent in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham, England, over a period of sixteen years.
Although the exact number of children being abused is not yet known and the scale of this torturous behavior is so far undetermined, a damning report commissioned by the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council titled, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013), states that what may be considered a conservative estimate is that of “approximately 1400 children [being] sexually exploited over the full Inquiry period.”
The Rotherham Borough Council seemed more interested in having potholes, flytipping and graffiti reported than sexual abuse of children. According to the Executive Summary, “This abuse is not confined to the past but continues to this day.”
One might ask how this type of behavior could have gone unnoticed and unpunished, especially for such a long period of time and into present day.
Tragically, according to the report, it would seem that “Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.” (Emphasis added.)
This issue is not exclusive to Britain, however. Australia, the U.S., France, Belgium and other Western countries are facing similar troubles, and now, tensions between Muslim populations and Westerners are the highest they have been in a long time, since most of these outrageous crimes seem to be committed by Muslim men against Western girls.
The Clash of Civilizations
Upon close inspection, the problem seems to have to do with, firstly, among other things, cultural differences. Child marriages are an accepted custom in most Muslim societies. This is a practice, however, that is looked upon as cruel in the West. This difference in the way of thinking of majority Muslim societies is exemplified by the Council of Islamic Ideology’s ruling that “Pakistani laws prohibiting marriage of underage children are un-Islamic.” Even though “the consummation of marriage is only allowed when both husband and wife have reached puberty” and, having such societal values does not automatically lead one to rape children in Western countries, it does prove that forcing civilizations to merge and become homogenous is not a practice which is destined to succeed. Clearly, culture is not an excuse for sexual abuse.
In today’s multicultural societies, “political correctness” attempts to right many perceived wrongs by trying to have the world do away with past prejudices such as intolerance or racism. Unfortunately, however, today’s notion of tolerance does not seem to be eliminating old prejudgments but rather ingraining new ones in hearts and minds.
As such, the second but most important component of the Rotherham issue is political correctness and the most recent attempt at societal censure which seems to be setting the tone for what fair and unbiased behavior should look like. Is this truly helping to fight bias, or is it simply making it harder for justice to maintain its objectivity and for people to keep whatever respect they may have had for one another from turning into outright hatred?
The Rotherham case is an important example of how the “fear of being labeled racist” can keep justice from being what its definition implies: impartial, just, unburdened and unobstructed by censure. The shocking aforementioned report on this case states: “Frontline staff did not report personal experience of attempts to influence their practice or decision making because of ethnic issues.” Yet, it seems that they “were acutely aware of these issues and recalled a general nervousness in the earlier years about discussing them, for fear of being thought racist.” How can there be justice when such fears grasp the hearts of people?
Is it not obvious that humans cannot keep their freedom under any authoritarian system or norm, be it Communism, Islamism or the newly imposed restrictions of political correctness?
Forcing the majority of people in a country to redefine their lives in conformity with the rules of minorities goes against the principles of Western democracy (the rule of the people which is expressed by the voice of the majority) and creates great societal tensions, especially when two very different civilizations meet in such a conflict.
If Human Rights Are Not Universal, What Good Are They?
The West’s current guidelines are found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), while, even though there is such a thing as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI), this particular guideline is in full accord with Islamic law, or Shari’ah, the same law which states that Muslims are to marry only other Muslims and that one is not to turn from their Islamic faith lest they be accused of apostasy and imprisoned or killed. The UDHR, however, states that men and women are free to marry each other “without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion” and that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change one’s religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest this religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” It is important to note that the Cairo Declaration was drafted in reaction to the Universal Declaration. So the question arises: Shouldn’t human rights be applied universally?
The simple fact remains that most Muslim states are theocracies, while the West considers itself secular. In the course of attempting to merge the two diametrically opposite cultures, church and state become one, where certain issues come into question. These include rape (which has a different definition in Islamic law than in Western law), incest, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, honor killings and other such practices, sparking controversy in and outside the Islamic world. Here, 7th century values come into conflict with modernity.
Obviously, the politically correct mentality that permitted these heinous crimes to be committed in Rotherham is one of the reasons why ethnic tensions have been on the rise in Europe and the U.S. If the current social trajectory and pace are kept, in the future, there can be no “coexistence.” Just as in the clash between the West and Soviet International Communism, freedom will ultimately prevail.
Why? Because of the simple truth that no matter what is being forced upon human beings, it is only a matter of time before they come to resent it, and, the politically correct version of tolerance is no exception: countries like France and Belgium have banned the burqa; Barcelona also banned burqas and niqabs from its public buildings. In the United States, although an amendment to the Oklahoma state constitution banning Shari’ah law was considered and overwhelmingly approved by the voters in 2010, the banning of Shari’ah was later ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. In America, federalism will take its course.
With such escalating anxieties, the fact that Great Britain is projected to become a majority Muslim country by the year 2050, and, along with the behavior of its citizens in the case of the exploited Rotherham children, gives one many reasons to doubt the viability of the country’s democratic future.
“The Arab world today is more violent, unstable, fragmented and driven by extremism – the extremism of the rulers and those in opposition – than at any time since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire a century ago,” writes Hisham Melhem in Politico Magazine.
As a consequence of such realities, trying to ignore the issues which are plaguing Arab society and, more importantly, trying to hide their manifestations in the West can only lead to disaster for all parties involved, as, this way, not only will the problems not go away, but rather they will be encouraged to intensify under the protection of the new, self proclaimed, “solution to all forms of discrimination” which is, discriminately, mostly applied in Western countries, in the form of political correctness.
Georgiana Constantin is a law school graduate who has studied International, European and Romanian law at the Romanian-American University in Bucharest and received her Masters from the Nicolae Titulescu University in Bucharest. Ms. Constantin, who is based in Romania, is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.