Where are Respect? Where are you Yvonne Ridley, where are the local young Mirpuri origin voters who want an alternative to the misogynistic biraderi leadership; the anti education, pro caste leadership who have so damaged their community and those young people of ambition?
Have the community leaders been wielding the big stick? Bullying some, ostracising others to ensure unity behind the Mosque committee’s will, and withdraw from Respect?
Or have Respect realised they can’t win, and have decided that the pleasure of simply splitting the Mirpuri vote and thereby keeping out Ali, Akhtar and Mahroof isn’t worth the subsequent persecution and approbrium heaped upon their heads..
It is of interest because of the impact upon local elections in central Rotherham. Even more so is the insight it gives into how the Mirpuri community is responding to the Jay and Casey reports…are they changing leadership. Or are they retrenching and putting up the barriers, seeking protection behind the old ways?
The candidates, Mohammed Ilyas, Taiba Yasseen & Tajamal Khan put forward with the mosque’s approval and selected by Labour, are all of the Ali/Akhtar/Mahroof mould; from that relatively small group of self nominated leading families.
Don’t be fooled by the selection of a woman, Taiba, and think the community is somehow liberalising. The fact is that she was selected from a women only short list. Taiba is fairly well known for saying a lot while doing very little…other than acting as a representative for the Taxi Drivers Union.
Equally appreciate that Ian Paul Jones is a political ally of the old guard Mirpuri, and was only selected for Rotherham West with their nod of approval.
Nothing is as it seems.
Many had hoped that the disgraced coterie would have backed off or that rebellion within the community would have allowed some fresh leadership to emerge. Instead we have three candidates from the same crew, the apologist CSE wing of the Mirpuri.
So where are the dissidents? Will they vote for other Party’s or withdraw in disgust from a political process so dominated by their ignorant, self seeking misogynist old guard?
I feel a genuine concern for the community’s young people. They must feel trapped between a white community that can appear to reject them, and elders who proffer them little for the future. Many of whom talk up Islam, while actually using it for self interest and ignoring their own preachings.
Which way will they go?