The October 2018 conviction of twenty men from Huddersfield in Britain for assorted rape and sexual-assault charges has reignited a moral panic about Muslim and Asian men and a supposed ethnic proclivity for sexual abuse. This has been stimulated by anti-Muslim activist and former English Defence League organiser Tommy Robinson illegally live-streaming events from the court, leading – in what seemed a calculated act of martyrdom designed to incite – to his prosecution for contempt-of-court proceedings. Ever since the Rotherham convictions of British-Pakistani men for sexual abuse, The Spectator magazine has also been making unsubstantiated claims of ‘revelations of unhindered Muslim sex-trafficking of thousands of young girls’. The paranoia about Muslims and sexual abuse has spread internationally. It features on Australian new sites and blogs, with the Melbourne Herald Sun among those foregrounding the topic. The fact that this narrative has been prioritised amid revelations about the abuse within the Catholic Church and the Australian care and adoption system gives some sense of the disproportionality.
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