IT’S a good job the miners of 1984 weren’t led by Muhbeen Hussain, otherwise the strike would have been over in a heartbeat.
Mr Hussain is the founder and chairman of British Muslim Youth, the organisation which issued what I can only describe as an incendiary declaration to shut out South Yorkshire Police.
Steeped in belligerent and threatening language, the message on Monday was clear: Rotherham Muslims should no longer communicate with the law.
It added that any Muslim organisation that breached this pact of silence towards the police force would be ostracised.
Also in Mr Hussain’s – pictured above – defiant manifesto of anti-police rhetoric was a veiled incitement to vigilantism.
Given everything that Rotherham has been through since the Alexis Jay report exposed the industrial-scale sexual abuse of 1,400 vulnerable young girls at the hands of Asian paedophile rapists, this was the last thing the town needed.
So incensed was I by the tone, language and the seeming belief that this organisation was above the law –thinking it could speak for all Rotherham Muslims – that I demanded they stand down, admit they’d made a mistake and apologise.
EDITOR’S COMMENT: EDITOR DEMANDS MUSLIM GROUP STANDS DOWN FROM ANTI-POLICE BOYCOTT
So I am pleased to see that the shortest ‘boycott’ in the history of boycotts was called to an end today. But I am infinitely more saddened at the level of damage this ill-informed bit of posturing has done.
The speed of British Muslim Youth’s u-turn speaks for itself; they should be embarrassed by what they’ve done because they’ve certainly managed to embarrass every right-thinking Muslim that calls Rotherham home.
Thanks to them, the national media is back, poring all over the community once again – for all the wrong reasons – and the racist right-wing moths are drawn to this flame of community destruction, reignited by this idiotic political own goal.
Let’s get one thing straight, there is no doubt in my mind that the actions of a perverse gang of depraved Asian men have led to these heightened community tensions.
Those who routinely passed around underaged vulnerable young girls as pieces of meat for their own sexual gratification must be locked up forever, in my view. And in order to ensure that happens, each and every individual in Rotherham has to agree to help, not pull the shutters down on society, as British Muslim Youth did.
Mr Hussain contacted me to complain about being disappointed not to have been able to have his say as part of my editorial leader piece yesterday, so I offered to meet and interview him personally in order to give him an opportunity to deliver an unfiltered explanation for this catastrophic faux pas.
I only hope the intervention of The Star and MP Sarah Champion has come soon enough, and that out of this potentially explosive mistake comes the beginning of a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship between all sections of the community and its authorities.