Are Muslim girl sex slaves really a reality? Some people have made some very serious allegations against certain so called ‘Slavery’ organisations in the UK. This article looks at the realities behind what these allegations are and whether or not they can be substantiated.
In modern day Britain, we have a thriving sex industry. There are many licensed brothels where girls and women can choose to go for a legal service. Girls can go to these places of work, knowing they will be treated in a respectable manner. They are also protected by certain legislation that makes brothels fully legal. This is not true for all the areas in the UK however.
In some towns and cities in the UK, such as Rochdale, they are treated very differently. Girls are said to be prostituted on the streets and are considered the property of men. There have even been cases of young girls running away from home to be with men. One such case involved two teenage girls who were trafficked from Manchester to the Philippines. Their trafficker was arrested and the girls returned home only to be abused again.
If a woman goes to a Church or other spiritual institution for guidance and counseling, and if she reports a case of child sexual abuse, and if the religion or institution finds her to be lying, she can be severely punished. The same can happen if she goes to the police. This is why there is a growing group of British Muslim Women Against Sexual Abuse who are challenging the abusers in the mosques and in the councils of faith groups throughout the country.
What happens when a woman complains of an assault or rape? First the abuser will try to find a defense. He will deny any wrongdoing. He may try to get a free attorney. In many countries, especially in Pakistan and the Middle East, the sentence is death.
There will be other victims, too, of this form of crime. These will include the girl’s relatives, neighbors and even family friends. She will be shunned by her community. She will be considered an outcast. This is happening increasingly, even in Britain, where most crimes against girls and women are reported to the Police.
Is all this fair? Are we making a double standard against Islam in the West? Are we condoning this? Those who attack and abuse non-Muslim women are not doing so because they are religious fanatics. They are doing so because of ignorance and a failure to educate themselves about human rights and what is and isn’t permissible in Islam. While these issues are definitely important, the focus needs to be on tackling the root causes of child sexual abuse, which are poverty, domestic violence and attitudes that promote and tolerate female genital abuse.
Is it right to look the other way when a woman is abused? Of course it is. But we cannot expect every country to live up to its moral obligations. A small minority of societies do so, but the vast majority does not. And we live in a free and democratic world, with all the benefits that it affords – including the right to choose and enjoy a healthy sexual life, free from harm.
So how should we tackle this growing problem? There is no law or legislation that can be brought in to eradicate child sexual abuse. But governments must take action. The first step is to develop a sensitive and proactive approach towards combating this menace. We should ensure that our educational systems to teach our young girls about sex and consent as naturally as they do in other subjects. We should make sure that our moral values are not being preached against one another.
The best way to combat child sexual abuse is to re-invent the family structure. Where necessary, a guardianship system must be implemented. Where guardianship is not practiced, it is advisable to entrust such duties to trusted relatives who understand the value and role that a daughter plays in the society. It is also essential to protect girls from physical and psychological abuse. This can be done by ensuring that they are shielded from abusive situations.
All this should be wrapped in a socially acceptable and comfortable set of beliefs and norms. We must create awareness that girl children are innocent and pure and should be shielded from all evil. They have the right to know and to find out the truth. That is part of their rights as human beings. It is not fair to abuse them and deny them the basic right of knowledge.