Rotherham Muslim group urges Islamic community to boycott South Yorkshire Police

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A Muslim group in Rotherham has called on the town’s Islamic community to boycott South Yorkshire Police as they believe the force has ‘scapegoated’ them.

The British Muslim Youth in Rotherham claimed in a statement on the group’s website that since the Rotherham chid sex abuse scandal last year, South Yorkshire Police has “deflected their own failures” by targeting Muslims in the area.

The statement read: “It is against this backdrop that: we, the Muslim community of Rotherham, have voted for all Muslim organisations and institutions (whether religious or secular), which claim to represent Muslims in Rotherham, to cut all lines of engagement and communication with South Yorkshire Police. This policy will be in effect until and unless South Yorkshire Police can treat our community with respect and fairness, just as we have done with the police force going back many decades.”

“Any Muslim groups or institutions in Rotherham that do not adhere to this policy of disengagement will also be boycotted by the Muslim community.”

In response Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, commander for Rotherham’s Local Policing Unit, said: “We are aware that there have been increased tensions in Rotherham since the publication of the Jay report last year.

“We have not had any formal approach from British Muslim Youth to address the issues raised in their meeting yesterday, which is disappointing because we are in regular contact with representatives from the Muslim community to discuss issues affecting Rotherham.

“I am making efforts to speak to the group urgently to resolve this matter, as disengagement potentially puts the community at risk if an individual or a section of society feels they cannot speak to police about issues that concern them.”