Together Against Grooming
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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. Why do you feel this work and project is necessary?
 
A.  We are struck by the harrowing accounts and the details that have emerged through the recent cases that have gone to court. The victims, who are essentially children, have suffered terribly and it will take them and their families a long time to recover from the trauma. These could be our children. As Muslims we are taught by our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that:
 
”If any of you see an evil, then change it with your hand, and if you cannot, then change it with your tongue, and if you cannot, then hate it in your heart, and that is the least of faith.”

Q. Why are you holding the 28/6 khutba campaign and what difference will this make to the issue of sexual exploitation?
 
A. We believe that the 28/6 KHUTBA AGAINST GROOMING campaign is a really important event. If we can persuade several hundred mosques to hold a sermon on the same issue on a single day it will send a powerful message and go a long way to raising awareness to the harm caused by street grooming as well as the position of Islam on it. Of course we do not believe that the Khutba event alone will make a difference but we do believe that this will be a great springboard from which to launch the rest of our work in this area.
Q. Are you focusing your work only on the Muslim community and if so why?
 
A. We are concerned about sexual exploitation of children and young people no matter which community the victims or perpetrators belong to. The focus of the TAG project is the street grooming model of sexual exploitation. In the recent cases the vast majority of perpetrators in many parts of the country have been from a Muslim background. This has focused media attention on that community and rather than being defensive about it we believe that we should be proactive in doing what we can to make a difference. That is not to say that we in any way accept that this is an issue purely for Muslims or reflect in any way on Islam.
 
Q. Is this there a racial and/or cultural dimension to the issue of street grooming?

A. Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children's Commissioner for England, speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight Programme of 14 May 2013 said that they had done extensive research on this issue and they could not find any evidence of this. It is true that the cases that have recently gone through the courts and are pending the perpetrators are almost exclusively from a Muslim background. However the research from the Children’s Commission for England reveals that overall both perpetrators and victims of grooming come from diverse backgrounds.
 
Q. By highlighting this issue in this way through mosques are you not demonising the Muslim community and making it seem as if sexual exploitation is just an issue for Muslims or more prevalent in Muslim communities?

A. We believe that it is right for the members of the Muslim community to show leadership and be proactive in this issue. That reflects best on us and being defensive does not serve our cause in the best way. Having heard accounts on the suffering of the victims and the impact on their families we believe doing nothing is not an option. Of course we reject the charge that Muslims or Islam is part of the problem but we feel strongly that Muslims can be part of the solution.
Q. Sexual exploitation is a huge issue. Can you really make much difference?
 
A. Sexual exploitation is a big issue and has got several facets to it. That is why we are focusing on the street grooming model. If we all work together we believe that a difference can be made.
Q. How can I help and or support the project?
 
A. We require volunteers to help in a number of aspects of this work. We need people with a variety of skills such as project management, fund raising and dealing with the press and media. We desperately need funds. If you can help with any of this please get in touch through our website or our Facebook page.
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Khutba Against Grooming: 28th June 2013

We are embarking on a campaign to ask all mosques in the UK to devote the sermon for the Friday Prayers on 28 June 2013 to the issue of grooming. We are aiming for several hundred mosques to send the same message on a single day and believe that that would have a powerful impact on the Muslim community and we would go a long way to raising awareness about this issue.
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