Sermon condemning sexual grooming goes out to 500 mosques
A sermon condemning sexual grooming will be delivered Friday in hundreds of mosques across Britain following recent child abuse cases.
The speech will highlight how the Koran condemns all forms of sexual indecency and urge Muslims to protect children and vulnerable people in their communities.
The move follows cases in Oxford, Telford and Rochdale involving Asian men convicted of sexually abusing young girls, though police chiefs have stressed that the crime is not restricted to a single ethnic or religious group.
Organised by not-for-profit group Together Against Grooming (TAG), the sermon is part of a campaign to tackle street grooming and will be read out by imams in around 500 mosques nationwide.
TAG spokesman Ansar Ali said: “We have been horrified by the details that have emerged from recent court cases and as Muslims we feel a natural responsibility to condemn and tackle this crime.
“Sexual grooming and child abuse afflicts all sections of society and is perpetrated by people of all ethnic groups.”
The sermon, or Khutbah, was written by Alyas Karmani, an imam and youth worker in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and will be delivered at midday prayers on the Muslim religious day.
Backed by leading Muslim organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain, the speech begins with a quotation from the Koran denouncing “sexual indecency, wickedness and oppression of others”.
It ends with a call for action, urging anyone who sees an “evil action” to act or speak out.
Karmani told the BBC there was a “profound disrespect culture” in the treatment of women, citing a lack of role models as one cause.
“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,” he added.
On Thursday seven members of a paedophile ring who abused girls in Oxford were jailed at the Old Bailey — five of them for life.