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Muslim leaders to condemn grooming

Source BBC News@ tienganhvui.com


Men listening to sermon at mosqueThe sermon against the sexual grooming of children is expected to be heard in about 500 mosques


The sexual grooming of children is expected to be condemned by Muslim leaders across the UK later in a sermon to be read to thousands of worshippers.


Imams at about 500 mosques are expected to read the sermon to congregations during Friday prayers, said organisers Together Against Grooming (TAG).


The sermon will highlight how the Koran emphasises that Muslims must protect children and the vulnerable, said TAG.


The sermon was supported by leading Muslim organisations, a spokesman said.


'Disgraceful actions'

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, 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 against talking about sex.


Court cases

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, said TAG spokesman Ansar Ali.


"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," said Mr Ali.


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", he added.


"We are united in our stand against sexual grooming and, as Muslims, we are leading the effort to rid society of this crime."


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.





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