Child Sexual Exploitation Demonstration

British Muslim Youth took a national platform regarding Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) after the finding of the Jay report. However for many years the organisation has been campaigning and speaking against it.

On 28th September 2013, the Founder of the organisation; Muhbeen Hussain, spoke against CSE as the ‘Times reported widespread abuse of girls by Asian men in the country’. Muhbeen Hussain argued all communities should “stand against” the exploitation on various platforms.

The organisation continued its efforts to speak against CSE even when it formed as a national organisation on the 7th July 2013. The launch itself discussed various strategies on dealing with the issue.

The importance of the issue to the organisation was of such that the launch included speakers such as Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a lifelong campaigner against CSE, who was once a lone voice in speaking out against the problems of CSE. Qari Imam Asim MBE, a leading Imam standing firmly against CSE, was also amongst the speakers at the event. They spoke and highlighted their stance on the national issues surrounding CSE.

Further in August 2013, the Times Andrew Norfolk’s report highlighted clear failings and issues linking to CSE within Rotherham. The British Muslim Youth at that time demanded for arrests to be made and an independent inquiry on the full horrors of the problem, on BBC Radio Sheffield.

In August 2014 came the Jay report highlighting the horrors, to the extent that even previous finding such as the Norfolk report couldn’t predict. Many on this occasion became silent, whether that was because of fear of speaking out, shock at the sheer number or because they felt fearful of reprisals. The British Muslim Youth took the lead from the very first day.

Within the first few days local, nation and international media stations had interviewed BMY. A common question was being asked time and time again: what is the communities view. Many organisations gave their opinions on the community’s viewpoint. British Muslim Youth wished to go further and show the whole nation and the world that the Rotherham communities true response was.

Within the first few days of the story breaking, the organisation organised a live community/press conference, with cameras going live nationally via various national media outlets. With tensions already high due to the report, it’s findings and the large-scale fear of reprisals this was a significant moment for the town of Rotherham. Whilst Muhbeen Hussain addressed the live television audience, he spontaneously took the risk to ask the audience for their emotions and views. The public on air denounced the actions as “not in their name” and called for arrests and prosecutions of the perpetrators. The also condemned the local authority and South Yorkshire Police for its grave failure to protect the victims.

Never before had a minority community being put in headlines, tarnished and questioned as a whole on CSE and come out in the first few days in collective voice standing firmly with the victims of the crime.

As days went by, more and more members of the community felt that everyone must come out on a united platform. Not in an apologetic fashion or even a reaction to the far right, but to send a clear message that there will be no place for criminals within Rotherham; the community is stood united and will work towards justice for the 1400 victims of CSE.

Similar types of cases of CSE had hit other towns and cities across the UK but this case and its sheer number of victims was on a larger scale.

However, so was the response. Never before in any other town and city with these reports have the minority community led a united stance, a united demonstration against CSE.

Saturday 20th September 2013, was the day in which the British Muslim Youth held its demonstration campaigning for the Justice for the 1400 victims. Hundreds turned out from all aspects of Rotherham united on this call for justice. Various different groups supported the event and speakers included Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan