Rotherham and the reformation of manners

To recite the shahadah when you’re accosted on the streets is to accept the basic premise of your attackers – that Islam now has universal jurisdiction. There’s way too much of that already. In essence, the entire establishment of a South Yorkshire town accepted that the cultural mores of Islam superseded whatever squeamishness they might otherwise have about child rape.

That’s not a small concession. As recently as the 18th century, 25 per cent of all unmarried females in Britain’s capital city were whores; the average age of a prostitute was 16; and many brothels prided themselves on offering only girls under the age of 14. In the 1790s, a “good man” could stroll past an 11-year-old prostitute on a London street without feeling a twinge of disgust or outrage; he accepted her as merely a feature of the landscape, like an ugly hill – as the burghers of Rotherham appear to have accepted it. A century later, there were still child prostitutes, but there were also charities and improvement societies and orphanages – and the Victorian innovation of a “social conscience”…

Wilberforce pulled off his “reformation of manners” – to the point where we, children of the 20th century, now mock our 19th-century forebears as uptight prudes, moralists and do-gooders. In fact, 19th-century Britons were for the most part no better or worse than their great-grandparents. As I suggested to Michael Graham on the radio, most people don’t think in terms of “good” or “evil”, they go along with whatever the prevailing mores are.

So now, in the new multiculti Britain, the child sex trade is back, as part of the rich, vibrant tapestry of diversity – along with Jew-hate, and honor killings, and decapitation porn. The solutions to the internal contradictions of multiculturalism are (a) David Cameron’s expanded security state; (b) Afsun Qureshi’s universal prostration before Islam; or (c) an end to mass Muslim immigration. The last is too obvious for any viable western politician ever to propose it.