WaPo Can’t Bring itself to Name Islam in Rotherham Editorial

What about the I-word?

Sure, nobody expects The Washington Post Editorial Board to earn a “Profile in Courage” entry anytime soon. But with its Sept. 16 editorial on the systematic decades-long sexual abuse of children in Rotherham, England, the Board showed the same cowardice that enabled the Rotherham abusers.

According to the Post, “Sorting out why officials closed their eyes or looked the other way as an estimated 1,400 young girls were raped and brutally exploited from 1997 to 2013 will require Rotherham and the rest of Britain to come to grips with uncomfortable questions about race, class and gender.” But what about the uncomfortable questions about Islam? Unlike a previous report in its own paper, the editorial never mentioned that. 

Oh, the Post tip-toed up to the I-word, but never summoned the will to use it. Instead, and without apparent irony, it stated, “Among the disturbing explanations for this complicit indifference is the fear of appearing insensitive or even racist since the perpetrators were members of the local Pakistani community.” Police and officials didn’t want to “rock the multicultural community boat,” in the words of a local official. 

So according to the Post, it was an ethnic thing – something Pakistani Christians will be distressed to learn. It had nothing to do with a religion that views women as chattel, that forces pre-pubescent girls into arranged marriages with old men, that sometimes features forced female circumcision, and whose Sharia law punishes women for their own rapes. 

How could a faith that countenances stoning adulteresses and throwing acid in the face of uncovered women engender sexual violence against girls? And why would Rotherham authorities be skittish about questioning men whose coreligionists respond to cartoons with murder and rioting? 

Perhaps it’s unsurprising that to the Post, such sexual abuse can only be about “race, class and gender.” After all, the Catholic Church isn’t involved.