Thursday, June 12, 2014
Multicultural molester of young girls
The chief executive of a Muslim women’s association has been jailed for sexually abusing three young girls in south London in the 1970s and 80s.
Zafar Iqbal, 67, molested and groped the girls, all under the age of 14, on several occasions, but the abuse only came to light in 2010.
The attacks saw the charity chief take the young girls to addresses in Peckham where he would force his tongue into their mouths as he molested and groped them, a court heard.
Iqbal, who set up the council-funded Southwark Muslim Women’s Association in 1979, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in jail after being found guilty of 25 counts of sexual abuse earlier this year.
The charity aims to support women, children and the elderly in a range of activities, including learning English, and still lists Iqbal as the main contact on the Charity Commission website.
His work included running a creche and educational and recreational programmes and it is believed his wife Abida also worked for the charity.
As part of his work Iqbal was introduced to The Queen and rubbed shoulders with Deputy Prime Minister Harriet Harman.
The sex attacks took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s and only ended when Iqbal got married and moved away.
However the council only informed police in 2012 when the abuse allegations surfaced.
Iqbal was arrested and interviewed by detectives from the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command (SOECA) before being charged with 45 counts of indecent assault in August 2013.
After a trial he was found guilty of twenty five charges of sexual abuse against his victims who were all under 14.
He was jailed for seven and a half years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for his whole life after being sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court yesterday.
Detective Constable Martin Sharp, of the SOECA, said: ‘I would like to take this opportunity to praise the three young women that Iqbal abused and highlight their courage in coming forwarding and reporting to the police Iqbal’s crimes.
‘The support they gave the investigating officers during this investigation was instrumental bringing Iqbal to justice today.
‘Zafar Iqbal no doubt thought the passage of time meant that he had escaped justice for the appalling offences he committed against three small children. I hope that his conviction and sentence gives other victims of sexual abuse confidence to come forward.’
A Southwark Council spokesperson said: ‘He worked for the charity for a number of years. It helps Muslims with a range of things, including learning English.
‘We are appalled by this man’s actions and we are undertaking an urgent review of Southwark Muslim Women’s Association and its association with the council.’
The council informed police after allegations of Iqbal’s abuse surfaced in 2010, it added.
The spokesman added: ‘Southwark Muslim Women’s Association is an independent organisation funded from many sources, including the council. The convictions are not related to activities on the premises of the organisation.’
The Met said it began investigations in late 2012 after one of Iqbal’s victims came forward. Previous allegations were anonymous and so the force was unable to pursue them.
In the financial year ending March 2013, the Southwark Muslim Women’s Association (SMWA) had an income of just under £386,000. Iqbal had been on sick leave from the charity during that year.
In the annual report he wrote: ‘It has been a frustrating year for me personally. The SMWA has been part of my life for more than 30 years so to be away from work due to ill health has been very difficult.’
Just five years ago, Iqbal was feted for his ‘excellence in education’ at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence.
He was introduced to the Queen in 2010 as part of The City Bridge Trust’s 800th anniversary celebration.
In 2009, Ms Harman, then Deputy Prime Minister, invited Iqbal and other members of the Association to the House of Commons where they were photographed together.
Earlier this year Ms Harman was forced to express ‘regret’ over links between a paedophile group and the National Council of Civil Liberties when she was its legal officer in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Paedophile Information Exchange was an affiliate of the NCCL while she, her husband, trade unionist Jack Dromey, and fellow Labour politician Patricia Hewitt held office there.
Is Libertarianism Un-Catholic?
By Thomas E. Woods Jr.
The new regime in the Vatican has made much about the need to be open, to be welcoming, and to encourage the faithful to discuss their views—even when they contradict Church teaching.
As usual in situations like this, such encouragement extends to the left only. If you disagree with the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, you can concelebrate Mass with the highest authority in the Church. If you want to babble and writhe on the floor in a liturgical setting, you will be greeted with open arms, once you stand up. But if you are concerned about bishops’ conferences and statements about the economy that seem cribbed from the 1976 Democratic platform, none of the happy talk about openness applies to you.
I present to you, as Exhibit A, a recent conference on libertarianism and Catholicism, sponsored by the Catholic University of America. The conclusion of the conference was decided in its very title: “Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism.”
In addition to a slate of speakers you’ve never heard of, attendees got a chance to hear Mark Shields, the Democratic mouthpiece and commentator from CNN’s old program Capital Gang. Then there were some labor union representatives, who no doubt oppose Pope Leo XIII’s teaching that workmen’s associations are fine as long as no violence is used or threatened and people are free to accept any job they wish.
Now who, in this new atmosphere of openness, was permitted to defend the libertarian view? I trust you get the picture clearly enough by now to know the answer. The conference was straight out of Stalin’s Russia. We must smash the deviationists! None of the “pastoral concern” shown for anyone and everyone else in the world was in evidence here.
What is this dangerous doctrine, against which Church leftists must combine? Libertarianism teaches that individuals should avoid violence when interacting with each other, and should resort to force only in self-defense.
That is all it is. Libertarianism is not strictly about “individualism,” “atomism,” or any of the typical caricatures. It is concerned solely with the use of violence in society. It says that you should not steal, and you should not hurt anyone. It says all of us—whether or not we wear an official-looking uniform—should be bound by these elementary moral rules.
When stated that way, libertarianism doesn’t sound so scary, which is why its opponents never do state it that way. Libertarianism doesn’t mean selfishness, it doesn’t mean not helping anyone, it doesn’t mean not working together with other people on projects that benefit the community. It doesn’t mean “autonomy,” “erroneous” or otherwise. It simply says that civilized people don’t stick a gun in their neighbors’ ribs to get them to cooperate. That’s how thugs behave.
(There are objections to the libertarian view, to be sure. I’ve answered some of them in “The Libertarian Speech I Would Deliver to the Whole Country” and “Applying Economics to American History.” “‘Monopolies’ will devour us” is a common one; I’ve answered that here. As a matter of fact, a professor at a pontifical university contacted me several months ago to say that that article changed his mind on the subject.)
Libertarianism can be understood as an extension of the Church’s just-war tradition, which deals with violence among states, to questions involving violence among individuals. This is altogether proper, since states are, after all, simply aggregates of individuals.
As the just-war tradition has developed over the centuries, a principle especially relevant to our discussion began to emerge: war—that is, organized violence—is to be undertaken only as a last resort. This is not so remote from the libertarian message, which confines the legitimate use of violence to defensive actions only, never to aggression.
The keynote address at this conference was delivered by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Madariaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa and a close confidante of Pope Francis. Just about everything the Cardinal is quoted as saying at the event, however, is wrong. Inequality is not more extreme today than it was 100 years ago (although other than envy or spite, what reason could we have for spending a solitary moment caring about this, especially when the welfare of all of mankind has increased dramatically?).
It is not true that the rich and not the poor benefit from globalization; the twentieth century saw the greatest progress against world poverty in the history of mankind. And if the rich enjoy luxuries today, they are luxuries that allow them to do what they could already have done 75 years ago, except today perhaps faster or more stylishly. The rich could already fly where they wanted, drive where they wanted, study where they wanted, etc. Today, more people than ever before in history can do all these things. If the poor 500 years ago had to travel on foot while the rich traveled in horse-drawn carriages, while today the poor ride in run-down cars while the rich ride in fancy cars, inequality has obviously decreased in the only sense that matters.
The Cardinal called “trickle-down economics” a “deception.” I know of no one in the world who describes his system of economics as “trickle down,” so the Cardinal is simply being uncharitable in referring to a point of view he opposes. The central point, that an increase in the standard of living across the board can occur only by means of an increase in the amount of capital per worker, is not even debatable, so I fail to see how it can be a “deception.”
I have explained the process numerous times: in this video for the Mises Institute, for example, and in this article, among many others. This is how the free market, of its very nature, leads to rising living standards for everyone.
Is “inequality” just grounds for interpersonal violence? If so, why would it not likewise be grounds for international conflict? If it is unacceptable for me to be much wealthier than my neighbors, why—especially for someone like Cardinal Maradiaga, who is fascinated by large aggregates—would it not be just as unacceptable for my country to be much wealthier than its neighbors? This is a recipe for endless violence.
The 80/20 Pareto rule that seems to apply to all areas of life—20 percent of the workers do 80 percent of the work; 20 percent of Italians in 1906 owned 80 percent of the land (this is where Pareto first noticed the principle); 20 percent of your clients amount to 80 percent of your business, etc.—has held true for wealth distribution consistently and across time and space. It may be quixotic to wage war on a phenomenon so universal.
It is a phenomenon, moreover, that hurts no one and helps everyone. Someone who earns $50 million a year did not earn it by stealing it from me. I would have to have it in the first place for that to be true. And I would be spiritually sick if I spent my time dwelling enviously on his annual earnings. A spiritual leader should be scolding me, not egging me on, if I’m sitting around demanding my fair share of wealth I did absolutely nothing to create. In a free market, which the Cardinal should support, the man in question acquires that wealth by satisfying consumers and improving other people’s standard of living. I should be celebrating that, not ignorantly resenting it.
(Oh, but CEO salaries are too high, say people who simultaneously favor laws making corporate takeovers more difficult, thereby shielding CEOs who receive excessive pay.)
The Cardinal then says individual acts of charity are not enough. We need the state. We need violence.
“Maradiaga,” writes Religion News Service, “also argued that personal charity was insufficient to solve global problems.” “Solidarity is more than a few sporadic acts of generosity,” the Cardinal said.
Now it’s true: we can defend the Cardinal against the claim that he’s calling for violence when calling upon the state’s intervention, if we pretend that violence isn’t really violence when it’s threatened or carried out by the state. We can pretend coercion and voluntary action are the same thing. We can do all these things if we want to redefine the normal meanings of words. But unless transforming the world into a giant Orwell novel appeals to us, this is an unpromising route.
I trust I shall not be accused of “private interpretation” of the New Testament when I note my failure to locate either of the following statements or even remote insinuations in the words of Christ:
(1) Concern for the poor is the same thing as favoring a welfare state.
(2) If moral suasion fails, employ violence to carry out your egalitarian program.
The constant talk about inequality, as if a burger-flipper’s low wage has to do with the fact that a rich person has millions of dollars, instead of the fact that unskilled labor is easily replaceable, only feeds into the juvenile mentality that will keep these low-wage earners exactly where they are. Think the way ahead in the world is to get into the street and scream that other people owe you more stuff? Then you will never get anywhere. If you want to get ahead, work at it. Don’t wait for people to give things to you. Don’t go out with a sign and scream for them to give you more, when apparently no one else on earth considers you worth more, else some other employer would already have hired you.
Liberal Activist Raped By A Black Man, Turns And Blames White Men For It
Amanda Kijera was on a humanitarian trip to Haiti, when she was violently raped by a black man. The act was both coincidental and devastating, as Kijera was actually in Haiti to dispel the “myths” that violence against women on the island was overstated by women’s rights organizations.
The intention of Kijera’s trip was to push back on the portrayal of black men as “savages” in the media. Her hope was that she would eliminate misconceptions and push back against common views imposed by “the man.”
However, Kijera’s trip took a turn for the worse when one of the men she had worked to protect cornered her on the rooftop, and raped her numerous times.
“The experience was almost more than I could bear,” Kijera wrote about the incident, “I pleaded with him to honor my commitment to Haiti, to him as a brother in the mutual struggle for an end to our common oppression, but to no avail. He didn’t care.”
According to Kijera, she eventually stopped fighting him, claiming that there was nothing she could do to stop him from raping her repeatedly. After the tragic experience, she placed the blame on a very unexpected course.
“Women are not the source of their oppression; oppressive policies and the as-yet unaddressed white patriarchy which still dominates the global stage are,” she explained. She also went on to argue that it is up to the United Nations to support people who are forced to bear the brunt of black male aggression.
Kijera makes the outrageous claim that dependency on white people causes them to act out against them. She alludes that this was the reason for her attack.
While the circumstances Kijera were forced to endure were unacceptable, her commits make the unspoken conclusion that the incident would not have happened if it weren’t for white men.
The loving grandparents forced to fight tooth and nail to stop social services giving away their grandchild
Katrina Parker made herself a promise the first time she held her beautiful, newborn granddaughter. Whatever it took, Katrina would protect this baby.
‘It was a lightning-bolt moment,’ she says. ‘I loved India with the same intensity you feel for your own child. Until then, I hadn’t realised you could care so deeply for a little one you’d had no hand in making.’
It was that profound connection that kept Katrina and her husband Lee going, even when it seemed India might be lost to them for ever — swallowed up by a stubborn care system that at times seemed more worried about defending itself than about the little girl’s welfare.
For when it became clear that Katrina’s 21-year-old daughter, Sarah, was too mentally unstable to care for her own child, Essex social services made decisions about baby India’s welfare that rode roughshod over Lee and Katrina’s wishes.
Far from being consulted — as they should have been — the couple found themselves excluded.
In fact, they came within two heart-stopping days of losing India for ever after Essex began proceedings that would have resulted in her adoption by strangers.
‘Being made to give up on her would have been like a bereavement,’ says Katrina.
‘The shocking thing is how close we came to that point. Essex were so hell-bent on keeping us out that they seemed to forget what was best for India.’
It was only after an exhausting 18-month fight that Lee and Katrina were finally made India’s official guardians, in a ruling enforced last August.
Their story shines a disturbing light on how easily relatives, particularly grandparents, can be frozen out of the adoption process, and the way social workers can collude to hide vital decisions about vulnerable children.
Often families have no idea why they are being shut out of a child’s life.
For their part, the Parkers may never know the case against them. Shielded by the notoriously secretive family courts system, Essex Council has yet to explain why the couple faced so many hurdles in their attempts to adopt India.
Indeed, Lee and Katrina can reveal some of the facts now only because the judge who upheld their appeal against Essex Council’s decision to have India adopted has released a copy of the judgment he made 16 months ago.
While Lee and Katrina may be unable to tell the full story, what they can say about their experience of social services is damning enough.
Today, India is an enchanting two-year-old with big blue eyes, blonde hair and a wide smile. The bond she has with her grandparents is abundantly clear. She runs to Katrina for a cuddle before clambering up beside Lee — whom she calls ‘Pappy’ — so that he can read her a story.
Watching them interact, it’s obvious that they are capable and loving parents.
Lee, 41, a former retail manager, and Katrina, a stay-at-home mum, live in a semi-detached house in Colchester. Married for 13 years, they have five children: Holly, 13, Autumn, 11, Stanley, nine, and twins Honey and Bluebelle, five.
Katrina, 39, also has two children from an earlier marriage, Bradley, 19, and Sarah, 21, who were raised by Lee as his own. After completing an apprenticeship with a music studio, Bradley is now studying a business course. Sarah is, of course, India’s mother.
Judge Newton, who granted the Parkers the right to appeal against Essex Social Services, described them as a family of ‘high achievers’.
Holly and Autumn are on the gifted and talented registers of their school, and all the children are impressively polite and well-spoken. They attend drama classes and, between them, have built up a growing list of stage and screen appearances.
But although her younger siblings have flourished, Sarah has a history of mental health issues dating back to her mid-teens.
She moved out of the family home at 17, against Lee and Katrina’s wishes, and came under the care of local social services. Despite her parents’ best efforts to stay in touch, her contact with them was sporadic.
However, when India was born in November 2011, Lee and Katrina were both there. ‘Believe me, the instant connection with India was nothing to do with feeling broody,’ says Katrina. ‘Neither Lee nor I were remotely interested in having another baby. As far as we were concerned, our family was complete.’
For her first few months, India was living with Sarah at a nearby mother and baby unit and Lee and Katrina saw them nearly every day. (India’s father is not allowed contact with his daughter.)
Initially Sarah coped well, breastfeeding India and looking after her attentively. She never harmed India but she became unstable, and the following January they were placed in a specialised mental health unit in Chelmsford. That was when Sarah again cut contact with her parents.
‘We could see the warning signs that our relationship with Sarah was breaking down,’ says Katrina. ‘We were worried enough to see a solicitor and investigate how to make an agreement with Essex Social Services to ensure our permanent right to contact with India.
‘But before we had a chance to go further down that road, circumstances changed.’
At the end of February 2012, without Katrina or Lee’s knowledge, India was taken from Sarah and placed with a foster family under an interim care order. This was despite Government recommendations that in such situations, members of the immediate family should be consulted.
The Parkers believe that Essex Social Services’ agenda was always to have India adopted.
‘There are, unfortunately, certain assumptions made about you when you’ve got a big family: that you’re irresponsible or chaotic, that you’re out for what you can get from the system,’ says Katrina.
None of those applies to us, but those prejudices have a lot of power, and I think from the start that social services were biased against us. They thought they could find someone more suitable.’
Katrina is articulate about the countless meetings, assessments, interviews and court hearings that followed while she and Lee battled to get India back.
Her composure slips, however, when she talks about how powerless she felt to help Sarah or to protect her other children.
Through tears, she says: ‘The children became very, very close to India because she spent a lot of time with us in the months after her birth. There was a huge amount of love for her.
‘One of the most difficult aspects of the whole case was trying to explain to them why she had suddenly vanished from their lives.’
As soon as the Parkers discovered through their solicitor that India had been placed in care, they applied for guardianship, triggering a series of assessments by social services.
The Parkers describe the process that followed as riddled with incompetence, distortion and dishonesty from social workers who knew that the privacy rules and reporting restrictions then applied in family courts meant their decisions were unlikely to be held to account.
‘They gave us smaller and smaller hoops to jump through,’ says Katrina. ‘We were supposed to trip up.’
They were accused of missing meetings they’d never been told about — and invited to meetings that never happened. On one occasion, having struggled to find childcare, they arrived at a morning hearing scheduled in Basildon, 35 miles from where they live in Colchester, but were barred from the court room because Sarah and social services decided on the day that they should not be party to proceedings.
In the spring of 2012, a social worker dropped in on the Parkers at home without warning one day.
Katrina had been away with 11-year-old Autumn while she filmed a small part in the Disney movie, Maleficent, which stars Angelina Jolie.
Katrina recalls: ‘We found the social services sitting on the doorstep when we got back from the children’s ballet class.
‘This was a completely untypical day. Our car had broken down, so we got back very late, and Bradley had made the sort of mess of the house that teenage boys do when their mums aren’t nagging them.’
The social worker put in a report saying that their four-bedroom house was ‘hectic’ and too small.
‘That was what they chose to focus on,’ says Katrina, ‘although two previous visits by different social workers had said that we had enough space for India and mentioned nothing about a mess — nor did subsequent inspections.’
To make matters far worse, in August of the same year, a legal blunder meant that the Parkers’ application for India’s guardianship was withdrawn.
The blunder led to a cascade of problems, and the couple became ineligible to attend the final hearing in October 2012 to decide India’s future.
Lee and Katrina’s own barrister told them in October 2012 ‘to go home and tell your family it’s over’; that they had no hope of stopping India’s adoption.
The only reason that the Parkers were able to halt the process is because a sympathetic professional — whom they cannot name in order to protect her identity — told them about a limited two-week right of appeal that had almost lapsed. If it had not been for their panicked last-minute challenge, India would have disappeared for ever into the adoption system.
Judge Newton, who later quashed the previous ruling that India should be adopted, wrote in his report that it was ‘manifestly unfair’ that ‘interested and committed grandparents’ had been prevented from putting their case at the full hearing.
There followed five further gruelling court appearances and an intensified period of social services assessment that included everything from medical reports to CRB checks before they learned that India was, finally, theirs.
Delighted and relieved though the Parkers are to have eventually won, many questions about the case remain unanswered. Why did social workers seem to reject their case from the start? Why were they shut out of hearings? Why exactly did Essex Social Services have a dramatic change of heart and award them guardianship?
The council issued a statement claiming: ‘The case involved very complex and finely balanced decisions … As the case progressed, the council was able to change its position to support the grandparents.’ The Parkers dispute this harmonious version of events. They say that social services were pushing right up to the final judgment to have India adopted.
We were refused the right to see documents such as emails between social workers, which means we can’t prove anything,’ says Katrina.
‘However, we strongly suspect they were under pressure to meet targets on adoption, and India was perfect because she was a beautiful little girl who would be easy to place. ‘Essex must have been furious when we threw a spanner into the works by winning our appeal. Up until then, things were going completely their way.’
The Government is trying hard to speed up the adoption process, allocating an extra £50 million this year with the aim that cases should take no more than 21 months to resolve.
While this might be excellent news for families desperate to adopt, it could mean that relatives such as Lee and Katrina have even fewer opportunities to challenge rulings.
Does Katrina have any sympathy for beleaguered social services? ‘Of course,’ she says. ‘I’ve got no problem with social workers raising legitimate concerns. A lot of them are very good at their jobs.
‘But you should be entitled to defend yourself and have full sight of the evidence against you. Until there’s more transparency in the system, how can you know it’s fair?’
Katrina admits to being badly bruised by the past two years.
‘You become less trusting,’ she says. ‘Social services are supposed to protect vulnerable people, but this experience would make me very apprehensive about approaching them on my behalf or anyone else’s.
‘At the back of my mind is the scary thought that twisted and inaccurate pronouncements about our family are sitting there on file as matters of record. Once written down, they become “facts” that we can’t remove.
‘What if one of the children bangs their head and the hospital isn’t satisfied with our explanation when we take them to A&E? There we are, in black and white, classified as a problem. The whole nightmare could open up again.’
Lee and Katrina lodged a complaint in February against the conduct of Essex Social Services, which was passed on to the social services ombudsman. Their case is being examined by an independent investigator.
As for Sarah, she is entitled to see India once a month, although she has not always taken the opportunity to do so.
India’s happiness and security is balm to the wounds inflicted by the Parkers’ battle with social services. They call her a ‘blessing’.
‘All the way through, we took the attitude that we would doggedly fight anyone and everyone for her,’ says Katrina. ‘It was never a difficult decision for us. Every second of the stress and effort was worth it when we look at her now, smiling and settled.
‘We were very, very lucky. I just wonder how many people you never get to hear about who were not.’
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.