LONDON - Stepping in to tackle a taboo subject of sex, hundreds of British mosques will condemn sex grooming in a unified sermon on Friday, June 28, highlighting Islam's emphasis on protecting children and the vulnerable.
"We are united in our stand against sexual grooming" Ansar Ali spokesman of Together Against Grooming (TAG) group, told BBC on Friday, June 28.
As Muslims, we are leading the effort to rid society of this crime, he added.
In an effort led by TAG group, Imams at about 500 mosques are expected to condemn the sexual grooming of children.
The sermon, written by Alyas Karmani, an imam and youth worker in Keighley, West Yorkshire, will highlight how the Qur'an emphasizes that Muslims must protect children and the vulnerable.
It open with a quotation from the Noble Qur'an forbidding "sexual indecency, wickedness and oppression of others".
These "disgraceful actions" must be wholeheartedly condemned, it adds.
The sermon also finishes with a call for action, reminding Muslims to speak out if they see any "evil action".
"There's a profound disrespect culture when it comes to treating women, imam Karmani said.
One of the reasons we feel this is the case is poor role models.
"Access to pornography, which also objectifies women, is creating a culture where men are now ambiguous when it comes to the issue of violence against women."
Along with TAG, a not-for-profit organization set up to tackle sexual grooming in the UK, the sermon is supported by the Muslim Council of Britain, the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board and the Islamic Society of Britain.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.7 million.
The majority of the multi-ethnic minority has Indian, Bengali and Pakistani backgrounds.
The sermon is part of a larger campaign tackling the worrying phenomenon among Asian men.
"We have been horrified by the details that have emerged from recent court cases and, as Muslims, we feel a natural responsibility to condemn and tackle this crime," said TAG spokesman Ansar Ali.
"Potentially on a Friday you've got hundreds of thousands of people walking into a mosque and you have their undivided attention, so what better medium to try and send a powerful message and raise awareness."
Ali added that the sermon was the first phase of a "hard-hitting" campaign following a number of high-profile child grooming cases involving Asian men in Bradford, Oxford, Rochdale and Telford.
Last year, nine Britons of Pakistani and Afghan descent were found guilty of exploiting girls, who were all white, in sexual activities in Rochdale and Derby in return for drugs and alcohol.
On Thursday, seven men who abused girls as part of a sadistic sex grooming ring based in Oxford were also jailed for life at the Old Bailey.
Two of the men were of east African origin and five of Pakistani origin.
While sexual grooming and child abuse affected all sections of society and was perpetrated by people of all ethnic groups, the Qur'an exhorted Muslims to "act against evil and injustice and create just societies", he added.
Another campaign was launched last April by an umbrella Muslim group; the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), urging all Britons to speak out against the practice.
The group stressed that the behavior of the convicts in grooming girls for sex totally contradicts with Islamic teachings, announcing its plans to plans for a national conference to educate people about grooming.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net