Bradford Imams are spearheading national condemnation of sex grooming by Muslim men by issuing a special sermon to be read in mosques across Britain this month.
The hard-hitting Islamic message, called a Khutba, has already been sent to 50 local Imams to be delivered during Friday prayers on June 28.
It forcefully demands all men obey strict Koranic teaching on respectful behaviour to women and children and behave with the highest morality.
Muhammad Mustaqueem Shah, general secretary of Bradford Imams’ Forum, said the sermon was being sent to religious leaders across the country.
“The target is to have it read out in a minimum of 500 mosques,” said Mr Shah.
Drafted by Imam and Bradford council Respect councillor Alyas Karmani, the title of the sermon is Tackling Street Grooming in the UK and it begins with the following sacred verse from the Koran: “Verily Allah enjoins justice and excellence, giving assistance and support to your family.
“And forbids sexual indecency, wickedness and oppression of others – He admonishes you that you may take heed.”
Mr Shah said this was a key teaching.
“This is very relevant to the issue, powerful and to the point,” he said.
The sermon continues: “Allah commands us to undertake all matters to the highest standard of excellence.
“As Muslims we are commanded to be just, fair and shun evil, wrongdoing and all forms of indecent and immoral behaviour.
“Failure to remember and act on this results in the society that we are part of declining in social and moral terms.
“Addressing every man today, I will speak to you of sexual grooming.
“There has been a lot in the news recently about men of Pakistani and South Asian background in Derby, Rochdale, Telford, Oxford and West Yorkshire who have been convicted of this evil and wicked crime.
“Unfortunately there are many such cases pending and this will mean the issue will continue to be in the headlines for some time to come.
“These incidents have been extremely evil and have included:
* Trafficking of children as young as 11 for sexual purposes
* Getting 12-year-old girls to take heroin
* Physical assaults and sexual assaults on boys.
“These actions are reprehensible and we condemn those involved and support the victims who are innocent children. Islam is a religion of mercy and compassion and places a strong obligation on safeguarding and protecting the weak and vulnerable from abuse – particularly women and children.”
e-mail: chris.tate @telegraphandargus.co.uk