A group of 11 men plied girls as young as 13 with drink and drugs so they could use them for sex, a [Greater Manchester] court has heardwrites the BBC in a story that is perhaps as significant for what we learn from the story as for what we do not learn. (Because what we do not learn, you understand, is totally irrelevant, has no bearing on the story — whatsoever — and only goes to show the racism of intolerant Westerners like myself who dare to notice that kind of things.)
Liverpool Crown Court heard how the men, aged between 22 and 59 and from Oldham and Rochdale, "acted together to sexually exploit the girls".
All deny conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child under 16.
Rachel Smith, opening the case for the prosecution, said one 13-year-old fell pregnant to one of the defendants and had an abortion.
She said another girl felt flattered by the attention but that she quickly became regularly heavily drunk, depressed and "incapable of getting herself out of the situation".
Another teenager recalled being raped by two men while she was "so drunk she was vomiting over the side of the bed", she added.
Miss Smith said: "No child should be exploited as these girls say they were."
'Raped and assaulted'
The court heard that some of the girls were raped and physically assaulted and some were forced to have sex with "several men in a day, several times a week".
Miss Smith said the girls were given alcohol, food and money in return for sex but that there were times when violence was used.
So far, so good (so to speak). But look at the picture of the defendants. What is clear to the average viewer is never addressed in depth by the BBC piece, let alone mentioned at all: all the defendants are or appear to be from the Middle East or, alternatively, they are second- or third-generation immigrants. (Incidentally, there is no mention of the origin of the girls, either, whether they are of Western extraction, whether they share the defendants' Muslim and immigrant background — my guess — or whether they are a mixture of both…) Indeed: a look at the defendants' names seems to confirm the "hunch" that the 11 men are Muslim — every single one of them.
Kabeer Hassan, 24, Abdul Aziz, 41, Abdul Rauf, 43, Mohammed Sajid, 35, Adil Khan, 42, Abdul Qayyum, 43, Mohammed Amin, 44, Qamar Shahzad, 29, Liaquat Shah, 41, and Hamid Safi, 22, [along with a 59-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons] have all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child under 16.As an aside, anybody is free to plead not guilty to conspiracy, of course. However, needless to say, in at least some Muslim quarters (see how I am being a good politically correct Westerner and how I am making an effort not to "put all Muslims in the same bag"?!?), doing so would be entirely natural in the circumstances, while pleading guilty would seem untoward, in view of the fact that in Muslim society what happened might fit in with the Koran's temporary marriage (Nikah mut‘ah) condition…