Muslim leaders across the UK are delivering sermons today to speak out against sexual grooming of children
Around 500 imams and religious leaders will address their congregations highlighting how the Koran condemns all forms of sexual indecency.
Sermons will also focus on the responsibility placed on Muslims to ensure they do all they can to safeguard children and vulnerable people in their communities.
The move comes after five members of a seven-man sadistic paedophile ring found guilty of grooming vulnerable underage girls were given life sentences at the Old Bailey. Two other defendants were both jailed for seven years
The campaign is being organised by Together Against Grooming (Tag), a not-for-profit cross-community organisation set up to tackle street grooming by gangs.
Tag spokesman Ansar Ali said: “We have been horrified by the details that have emerged from recent court cases and as Muslims we feel a natural responsibility to condemn and tackle this crime.
“Sexual grooming and child abuse afflicts all sections of society and is perpetrated by people of all ethnic groups.
“The Koran and traditions of our Prophet exhort us to act against evil and injustice, and create just societies. This is the start of what will be a nationwide project in which we seek to work with others to eradicate this practice from all communities.
“The June 28 together against grooming campaign is unprecedented – we have brought together mosques and imams from all over the UK irrespective of differences to collectively deliver a hard-hitting sermon on a single issue.
“We are united in our stand against sexual grooming and, as Muslims, we are leading the effort to rid society of this crime.”
Friday is a religious day for Muslims and consists of the Jummah Salah – or midday prayer – a particularly significant part of the Islamic week which sees hundreds of thousands of Muslims up and down the country visiting their local mosques to hear the Khutbah, or sermon.
The Tag campaign has been backed by leading Muslim organisations such as Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) and independent mosques.