As a Rotherham grooming gang survivor, I want people to know about the religious extremism which inspired my abusers

As a Rotherham grooming gang survivor, I want people to know about the religious extremism which inspired my abusers, by Ella Hill (a pseudonym). This is in a leftist newspaper, so it’s good to see that even they are beginning to understand that this problem has something to do with Islam.

I’m a Rotherham grooming gang survivor. I call myself a survivor because I’m still alive. I’m part of the UK’s largest ever child sexual abuse investigation.

As a teenager, I was taken to various houses and flats above takeaways in the north of England, to be beaten, tortured and raped over 100 times. I was called a “white slag” and “white c***” as they beat me.

They made it clear that because I was a non-Muslim, and not a virgin, and because I didn’t dress “modestly”, that they believed I deserved to be “punished”. They said I had to “obey” or be beaten.

Fear of being killed, and threats to my parents’ lives, made it impossible for me to escape for about a year. The police didn’t help me. …

Like terrorists, they firmly believe that the crimes they carry out are justified by their religious beliefs.

If anything, rising anti-Muslim hate will probably make groomers stronger in their convictions, and drive ordinary young Muslim men towards fundamentalism, grooming gangs and terrorism. The camaraderie, protection, money, and kudos that these groups offer, makes them a strong pull for anyone. Worryingly, several young men I have spoken to joke that being a gangster and going to jail are their “life goals”. …

In November 2017, the Swedish government held a meeting where they stated that: “Sexual violence is being used as a tactic of terrorism”, and as such, it was recognised as a threat to Sweden’s national security. …

Religious indoctrination is a big part of the process of getting young men involved in grooming gang crime. Religious ideas about purity, virginity, modesty and obedience are taken to the extreme until horrific abuse becomes the norm. It was taught to me as a concept of “othering”.

“Muslim girls are good and pure because they dress modestly, covering down to their ankles and wrists, and covering their crotch area. They stay virgins until marriage. They are our girls.

“White girls and non-Muslim girls are bad because you dress like slags. You show the curves of your bodies (showing the gap between your thighs means you’re asking for it) and therefore you’re immoral. White girls sleep with hundreds of men. You are the other girls. You are worthless and you deserve to be gang-raped.” ….

Most grooming gang survivors I know absolutely condemn anti-Islamic hate, and we’re uncomfortable with English Defence League protests. We certainly don’t want random attacks on “all Muslims”. You can’t cure harm with more harm.