Eastern Air – Jahangir Akhtar and Lord Ahmed – Not to be missed!

Waheed Akhtar’s wonderful Sunday evening show, Eastern Air last night dealt with the issue of child sexual predation.

No longer available, I am sorry.

Mohammed Ali – Chairperson of the Pakistan Muslim Centre; Muhbeen Hussain – Chairperson of Rotherham Muslim Youth Group and Cllr Mazhar Iqbal – Cabinet Member for Communities and Inclusion in Sheffield. Also Cllr Jahangir Akhtar – Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council and Lord Ahmed of Rotherham.

Cllr Ken Wyatt – Cabinet Member for Health and Well Being – Rotherham Council speaks to us from the Labour Party annual conference in Manchester.

1 thought on “Eastern Air – Jahangir Akhtar and Lord Ahmed – Not to be missed!

  1. First of all, well done to Radio Sheffield for continuing to encourage discussion on this issue. The more all sections of the community know about this and work towards solutions, the better.
    There seemed to be a consensus among interviewees, panel members and callers that the perpetrators cannot be regarded as true Muslims as they are doing things which cannot be condoned by the Islamic religion. Fair point, though the complaint about racial stereotyping is a weak one: no-one that I’ve heard is suggesting that this is a Muslim trait or that the community has shielded the criminals responsibile for the abuse; no-one is saying white people are not paedophiles as clearly they are in the majority of lone offender-type cases. The point is simply that the files made available to The Times suggest the vast majority of perpetrators in the Rotherham cases of organised exploitation are of Pakistani heritage. That is a fact and not a judgement.
    Jahangir Akhtar claimed the cases reported were ten to 12 years ago. Wrong. There spanned a decade. He said fears about community tensions did not refer to concern about an Asian backlash but about reprisal attacks on Asians by the rest of the community. How does he know that as I didn’t see that explanation in the news reports? He claimed that white girls were not being targeted but that the fact of them being white was simply that there are more white children in the Rotherham community. A statistical thing then, eh? That isn’t very convincing, frankly, if you read the first-person reports on some of the cases. And finally, he claimed that all of this was a big surprise to the council and they didn’t know about all these cases because the police didn’t tell them. That’s pretty much what the council was saying earlier in the week too. Is that really what they are claiming? Then what is the point of a multi-agency safeguarding board? I’d certainly like a police response on that but I find it very difficult to believe as information sharing is normal practice in child safeguarding. The 2010 report quoted by Andrew Norfolk seems to have been at least one bit of evidence that the police did make the council aware of the scale of the issue, doesn’t it?
    As Don said in his “cameo” appearance, the council still need to open up this whole issue to scrutiny. We need to know what they knew and when. If the police failed to inform them about vulnerable victims, there should be an official complaint from the council. If not, then someone is either lying or incompetent, possibly both. Let’s have it all out in the open!


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