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Child grooming gangs denounced as un-Islamic at Slough Central Mosque

‘Sadistic’ and ‘disgusting’ child grooming gangs were denounced at a sermon at Slough Central Mosque on Friday.

Dr Osman Latiff, a regular speaker at the Stoke Poges Lane mosque told worshipers that his faith teaches people to care and look after the vulnerable and not to exploit them.

Referencing high-profile cases of child grooming gangs in the UK, he said: “Whatever happens to these very vulnerable young girls is absolutely abhorrent, evil and disgusting and very, very against our religion.”

He said that Muslim men are not even allowed to ‘prolong the gaze’ on women, let alone to engage in sexual exploitation.

“It’s absolutely sadistic to prey on people because of that sense of vulnerability, it’s absolutely sadistic.”

Dr Latiff, a research fellow of the Royal Holloway University, acknowledged that a large proportion of men involved in these cases are of Pakistani origin, but objected to certain media outlets referring to ‘Muslim grooming gangs’.

“There’s nothing Islamic in whatever they are doing, what they’re inspired by is their desires.

“To say that they are Muslim gangs — horrendous — it really makes us feel upset.

“There really is no excuse, even if it was one case, it’s one case too many. It tarnishes the community and suddenly people are reading tabloid newspapers and they believe that this is what Muslims do.”

He said his faith teaches the importance of ‘treating all people with respect and treating all people with honour and not to violate the rights of others’.

He encouraged attendees to speak out against any injustices, referring to  Martin Niemöller’s ‘First They Came’ poem.

“For evil to prevail in any society, all it takes is for a good man to say nothing about the evil,” he added.

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