Respect councillor leads campaign against grooming

Respect's Bradford council leader Alyas Karmani has written a sermon which will be heard in mosques throughout the country today which will condemn sexual grooming.

The sermon will highlight how the Koran emphasises that Muslims must protect children and the vulnerable. As the BBC reports it......
It was supported by leading Muslim organisations, a spokesman said.
The Muslim Council of Britain, the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board and the Islamic Society of Britain had all pledged to devote sermons to the issue of sexual grooming, said TAG, a not-for-profit organisation set up to tackle sexual grooming in the UK.
The sermon, written by Alyas Karmani, an imam and youth worker in Keighley, West Yorkshire (and Respect council leader in Bradford) opens with a quotation from the Koran forbidding "sexual indecency, wickedness and oppression of others".
These "disgraceful actions" must be wholeheartedly condemned, it adds.
It finishes with a call for action and reminds Muslims to speak out if they see any "evil action".
Mr Karmani said: "There's a profound disrespect culture when it comes to treating women. One of the reasons we feel this is the case is poor role models.
"Access to pornography, which also objectifies women, is creating a culture where men are now ambiguous when it comes to the issue of violence against women."

Mr Karmani said the sermon was being circulated in an effort to counter what he claimed was a taboo in mosques about talking about sex.

The sermon is the first phase of a "hard-hitting" campaign following a number of high-profile child grooming cases involving Asian men in Bradford, Oxford, Rochdale and Telford.
While sexual grooming and child abuse affected all sections of society and was perpetrated by people of all ethnic groups, the Koran exhorted Muslims to act against evil and injustice and create just societies.
On Thursday, seven men who abused girls as part of a sadistic sex grooming ring based in Oxford were jailed for life at the Old Bailey.
Two of the men were of east African origin and five of Pakistani origin.
Former Labour MP for Keighley Ann Cryer said she was "delighted" by the move, which she said showed the issue was being taken more seriously than in the past.
Ms Cryer said she was approached by mothers worried about grooming in 2002, and was frustrated when police, social services and mosque elders took no action.
"I just hope this message gets beyond the mosque to the non-attenders, because by and large the people who behave like this don't go to the mosque," she said.