With two arrested, suspected of preparing an attack in 2015, another in June, an NHS doctor from the city now serving ISIS in Syria and three other Muslims convicted of terrorism offences, Islamic extremism is spreading quickly through Sheffield. It’s not the first city to come to mind when you hear of gang violence, but it’s been a big problem. For example, between 2005 and 2010 there were 62 serious or fatal shootings. With young people going in and out of prison, some may be converted to Islam or radicalised inside and Islamist ideology has been known to merge with modern gangster culture – termed Jihadi Cool – and this toxic blend may spread once they’re released.
Nearby, in Rotherham, an infamous child-grooming scandal of horrific proportions was uncovered in 2014. Though the headlines may have said “Asian,” it’s no secret that the perpetrators were mainly Pakistani Muslims and there is evidence to suggest that the police and council workers allowed these crimes to continue for fear of being called racist or stirring community tensions. It was here that the so-called counter-jihad group Britain First were attacked by a huge gang of radicalised Muslims when they returned to a pub after their march.
Similarly, when Rebel Media journalist Tommy Robinson went to Rochdale in order to confront a Muslim Labour councillor, Aftab Hussain, for giving a character reference for gang rapists in court, Robinson was faced with a group of young Muslims blocking the road. The car he was in had its windows smashed and was rammed by another vehicle. It’s of worrying concern that in a town where ongoing child abuse was allowed to happen, members of the local government are defending these gangs, then when people try to confront them, Islamist gangs come out to defend them.
A link can be drawn between the grooming scandal in Rotherham and the threat of Islamic extremism in Sheffield – the local law enforcement, South Yorkshire Police. If they were unwilling to arrest paedophile rings in Rotherham just because the perpetrators were Muslim, it’s highly unlikely that the police would properly confront radicalised Muslims spreading – or even acting upon – Islamic extremist views, hence why Sheffield has produced an ISIS militant and at least six potential terrorists with three of them in prison.
Similarly, Rochdale in Greater Manchester has produced twenty of the 269 Jihadists on the BBC’s database including the suicide bomber Salman Abedi. The day after the ISIS militant blew up twenty two people in Manchester, killing and maiming teenage girls, the police went straight to the mosque that radicalised him to reassure Muslims that the centre would be protected, despite their hosting of the most notorious Islamic hate preachers.
Counter-extremist and reformist Muslim Maajid Nawaz recently revealed that the local Prevent officer in Manchester, Samiya Butt, had been sharing material from a group called MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development). The director of MEND, Azad Ali, was deemed an Islamic extremist by a high court judge after the Telegraph reported that he’d justified the killing of British soldiers and praised Anwar Al-Awaki. Not only is the government officer for preventing terrorism flirting with extremists herself, but Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham has attended MEND’s events. Perhaps coincidentally, MEND recently held a conference in Sheffield with “standing room only.”
It is quite clear that those with the responsibility of ensuring community cohesion are doing anything but. They’re instead condoning some of the worst criminals this country has seen in recent decades, allowing sexual predators to target vulnerable children, only to dance around these atrocities to be politically correct. These same local authorities are working with and possibly being infiltrated by people with Islamic extremist views.
If the government is to be efficient in breaking up paedophile rings and be effective in countering extremism and preventing acts of terrorism, then a major purge of the public sector and local government is needed to remove any authority figures who are condoning Islamism. When a government officer for preventing terrorism (Samiya Butt) is distributing material from a group led by an Al-Qaeda sympathiser, it’s clear that this country has to do better.