skip to content skip to search skip to navigation Listen Live skip to logon
Tuesday 16th September 2014
Max 23°C | Min 16°C

Muslim Youth: We Want Justice For The 1,400

Friday, 29th August 2014 18:25

A Muslim youth group in Rotherham has demanded justice for the children sexually exploited in the South Yorkshire town - but insisted the scandal should not be seen as a "Muslim problem".

A report into the abuse, which took place between 1997 and 2013, revealed than many of the perpetrators were of Pakistani origin.

However, in an emotionally charged press conference, British Muslim Youth founder Muhbeen Hussain said the Muslim community was united in calling for justice.

"We are not here to deny anything - the report clearly shows a large number of those individuals were Pakistani Muslim men," he said.

"But we don't support the sentiment that it is a Pakistani or a Muslim problem.

"It is clear what these individuals did but they are not part of our community - the only community they are a part of is the criminal community.

"There is nowhere in Pakistani Muslim culture that condones such actions, there is nowhere in the Islamic faith that supports these actions.

"We want convictions, we want justice for the 1,400."

On Tuesday, a highly critical report highlighted widespread failings at both Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police for allowing the exploitation to continue unchecked for 16 years.

Mr Hussain added: "The authorities, the police, the social services and the council were aware - but there is a misconception that the community was aware.

"We want every single child who has been scarred for life to get justice. We want resignations of those who were in charge."

Meanwhile, the chief constable of South Yorkshire Police has said he is looking into whether officers will be disciplined over the scandal and admitted the report made "painful reading" for his force.

"The report has outlined a whole host of issues. If people have done things wrong it may well result in people being disciplined," said chief constable David Crompton.

"We intend to put things right - we've got the resources in place to do it."

The comments come as it was revealed that a former council officer who worked at Rotherham between 2001 and 2003 is to be questioned by his current boss over what he knew about the town's sex abuse scandal.

Ged Fitzgerald, Rotherham's chief executive for those years and now in the same role in the Merseyside city, is to be called in by Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.