CeASR Seminar- ‘For Rotherham’: Resurgent Nationalism, Global Anti-Muslim Racism and the Racialisation of Child Sexual Abuse
Speaker: Dr Waqas Tufail, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Leeds Beckett University. Crime, Justice and Society Programme
In March 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand, an Australian white supremacist carried out a massacre of 51 Muslims in two mosques in the city. It was widely reported in the aftermath of this atrocity that the perpetrator had the phrase ‘For Rotherham’ emblazoned on his weaponry. This seemingly made reference to a child sexual abuse scandal that had taken place in the town of Rotherham in the UK.This paper addresses some of the complex and inherent tensions that exist for feminists and anti-racists in the context of sexual abuse scandals involving ethnic minority perpetrators and argues that the narratives of liberal elites play a key role in legitimising forms of anti-Muslim racism more readily associated with neo-conservatives and the far-right. Located within a national and international context of rising nationalism and violent anti-Muslim racism, and based on an in-depth and ongoing, ethnographic study, this paper offers a localised, case study analysis that encompasses race, crime, gender, nationalism and social policy.