by Mohammed Seedat
The word “culture” is used often when discussing the horrific Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham: within the Police, amongst Rotherham’s Pakistani community, within the council, in Labour group and of course of the victims.
The BBC Asian network morning phone-in show always provides a raw glimpse in to the notoriously politically-incorrect and diverse British Asian zeitgeist.
On Wednesday’s show there was more denialism from an alarming number of British Pakistani callers about the role of a certain type of violent misogynistic culture that’s developed and become acceptable in too many Pakistani social circles.
Rotherham will not recover easily. Perversely the Police’s reluctance to be labelled racist has resulted in increased community tensions. As the Alexis Jay report outlines there were multiple agency failures in a community with deep rooted cultural issues. Unfortunately only Pakistanis within these communities can fix the cultural issues that have no place in any modern society. The cancerous core of community leaders, imported imams and violent paternalism is rotten.
There is no “magic-bullet” campaign that can change the nasty strain of misogyny that has infected parts of the Pakistani community. A community wide change in consciousness is required and only then can this disease be treated – a task that will likely fall on the younger generation rather than upon impotent “community leaders” who have proved so ineffective.
That does not mean the council has no role to play. The Jay Report is damning of the council: “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”. This was suppression of justice from the very top – and the report explains how the council could get away with it because “in Rotherham the local Asian community are reported to rarely speak about them [the perpetrators]. The subject was taboo..” (Section 11.4).