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Press Release

 

28/06 - 500 MOSQUES UNITE AGAINST SEXUAL GROOMING

  • 500 mosques pledge their support to tackle sexual grooming by delivering a Friday sermon to their congregations
  • Leading Muslim organisations , including Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) and the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), condemn sexual grooming and exploitation
  • Sermon will highlight how the Qur’an condemns all forms of sexual indecency and role of Muslims in safeguarding young and vulnerable


28 June 2013: 500 mosques across the UK are joining forces to help tackle street grooming on Friday 28 June 2013 when they will deliver sermons to hundreds of thousands of Muslims condemning the practice. The campaign organised by TOGETHER AGAINST GROOMING, a not-for-profit cross-community organisation set up to tackle street grooming by gangs, will see imams and religious leaders address their congregations highlighting how the Qur’an condemns all forms of sexual indecency and the responsibility on Muslims to ensure they do all they can to safeguard children and vulnerable people in their communities.
 
With Friday being a religious day for Muslims and consisting of the Jummah Salah (midday prayer), a particularly significant prayer which results in hundreds of thousands of Muslims up and down the country visiting their local mosques to hear the Khutbah (sermon), TOGETHER AGAINST GROOMING has generated support from leading Muslim organisations such as Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) and independent mosques who will devote the topic of the sermon to the issue of sexual grooming. The campaign also has the support of imams working in prisons, who have pledged to deliver the sermon.   
 
The sermon opens with a quotation from the Qur’an which forbids Muslims from “sexual indecency, wickedness and oppression of others”, adding: “We wholeheartedly condemn the disgraceful actions of those involved in these cases.” It also uses the example of the Prophet Mohammed and his companions when they took action against the reprehensible act of female infanticide in order to highlight the clear Islamic obligation upon Muslims today to safeguard and protect innocent children from abuse and oppression. It finishes with a call for action and reminds people of the Prophet Mohammed’s edict: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong) – and that is the weakest of faith.”
 
This is the first phase of a hard-hitting campaign following a number of high profile court cases involving Asian men in Oxford, Telford and Rochdale convicted of sexually abusing young girls. In March 2013 the West Yorkshire Police announced that it had arrested 54 suspects of sexual grooming over a five month period in the Bradford district.
 
Commenting on the launch of TOGETHER AGAINST GROOMING, Ansar Ali, spokesperson for the Group, 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 Qur’an and traditions of our Prophet exhort us to act against evil and injustice, and create just societies. This is the start of what will be a nationwide project in which we seek to work with others to eradicate this practice from all communities”.
 
The 28/06 Together Against Grooming campaign is unprecedented – we have brought together mosques and imams from all over the UK irrespective of differences to collectively deliver a hard-hitting sermon on a single issue. We are united in our stand against sexual grooming and, as Muslims, we are leading the effort to rid society of this crime.”

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For further information, please contact:-
Name:                         Ansar Ali
Telephone numbers:     0796 721 3268, 0786 665 0695, 0774 126 2288
Email:                          ansar@taguk.org
Website:                      www.taguk.org
 
Notes to editors
About Together for Grooming
A grass roots group that has been established to work with others to respond to the issue of sexual exploitation of children and vulnerable young people. It is part of the Community Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) that was launched in May 2013. The particular focus of the TAG project is to carry out practical work and raise awareness of the “street” or “localised” grooming model of sexual exploitation in response to a number of recent cases where the perpetrators have mainly been from an Asian/Muslim background.

 
   

 

 
   
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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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