Grooming Gangs: Quilliam & the Myth of the 84 Percent

By J.Spooner & J.Stubbs

Background - The construction of a racial crime threat

Group-Based Child Sexual Exploitation: Dissecting “Grooming Gangs” is the recently released research report by UK counter-extremism think tank, the Quilliam Foundation. Produced by their CEO, Haras Rafiq and researcher, Muna Adil, this report revolves around research conducted by them in relation to what they define as ‘Grooming Gangs’ (an apparent subset of Child Sexual Exploitation, or ‘CSE’) and the ethnicity of the offenders in “this specific crime profile”. ‘Grooming gang’ is a relatively recent term for what is stated by Adil and Rafiq to be linked to a unique, CSE-based crime profile. Unfortunately, however, there is a distinct lack of any specific background information regarding the origins of this term in Quilliam’s report.


The faces of the Quilliam gang. Courtesy of @MiltantAntifa

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics

- Mark Twain, 1906

In August 2017, Labour MP Sarah Champion fashioned an opinion piece for tabloid paper The Sun, titled “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls … and it’s time we faced up to it”. Champion’s comments, combined with her subsequent resignation, polarised public opinion, rehashing the ‘grooming gang’ debate and igniting the media into an all too familiar frenzy. Amongst her most fervent defenders were those from the Quilliam Foundation. Chairman, Maajid Nawaz, dedicated an on-air segment to defending her comments on his radio show:


The Quilliam report begins with a short foreword, highlighting the public debate over grooming gangs, before Rafiq and Adil then attempt to frame their research as a “serious”, “academic report” with an “objective approach” that provides “academic and nuanced context”. This report is many things, but “Academic” it is not. Indulging in vacuous terminology such as “Politically Correct Brigade” or “Regressive Left”, using only a select handful of serious references and filling their ‘Case Studies’ section using broadsheet and tabloid sources, are just a few things the authors do that would make any serious scholar question the overall purpose of this piece.


As could be expected, a rather brief introduction offers very little. It starts with Rafiq and Adil explaining the purpose of the report is to “explore and analyse” the grooming gang “epidemic”. The 300-word introduction then goes on to quote two definitions of grooming, one from a government report and one from the Crown Prosecution Service. Shortly after this, the Introduction concludes by stating:


Next, the Methodology section of Rafiq and Adil’s report opens with the following sentence:

  • Reporting that the data they have used has come from cases where the offender has been clearly identified and convicted
  • Observing that their data set is not a comprehensive database of these convictions
  • How many cases did they decide not to include and for what reasons? ( for instance, was it a large percentage? How did they decide on what was clearly identified?)
  • How did they verify the ethnicity of the offenders once they identified that they fitted the definition? (Was it just by name? Appearance?)


“Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything Kent. Forfty percent of all people know that.” - Homer Simpson, 1994.

Initially, the authors provide statistics from three separate research studies: Firstly, they relay statistics from the 2013 Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) report. Secondly, they provide us with the figures from their own research. Finally, they refer to another CEOP study from 2011, before then jumping back and forth between the three reports.

  • “Often linked to each other via some association, whether that be a loose acquaintance or a more formal network of a criminal or business nature”
  • “The abuse is carried out by more than one perpetrator and can involve multiple victims”
  • Make inferences about CEOP’S definitions which CEOP itself does not even attempt to make.
  • Falsely characterise CEOP’s own terminology.
  • Omit all the stated limitations of the CEOP reports.
  • Make an unevidenced claim about Asians being more likely to commit CSE in groups.
  • Found over a hundred white offenders less than us, using the same grooming gang definition.


It is in this section that the author’s hypothesis is explained in scarcely intelligible terms and where their deception becomes more apparent. Two major claims stand out within Rafiq and Adil’s Analysis section:

  • The authors provide no evidence that most offenders are Muslim.
  • The authors provide no evidence that the majority of victims are white.
  • The authors provide false and/or misleading evidence that the background of the offenders influenced their crimes.
The BNP was quick to promote Quilliam’s linking of “Muslims” to “Rape Gangs”.

Case studies

“Google is not a synonym for research’.”
- Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol, 2009.

Earlier in the report, Rafiq and Adil declare:


The Quilliam Chairman has made his views on the report crystal clear.
  • Grooming and the ‘Asian sex gang predator’: the construction of a racial crime threat — Institute of Race Relations — 2013.
  • “If only someone had listened” Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups Final Report November 2013.
  • Rotherham, rochdale, and the racialised threat of the ‘Muslim Grooming Gang’. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy -2015.
  • Child Grooming and Sexual Exploitation: Are South Asian Men the UK Media’s New Folk Devils? International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy - 2015.
  • Muslim and Dangerous: ‘Grooming’ and the Politics of Racialisation, Waqas Tufail, 2016.
  • All three of the CEOP, the OCC and the Home Office are in agreement that groomers of children target their victims according to their vulnerability and not their race.
  • The CEOP theorises that greater levels of freedom afforded to white children may make them more vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
  • All three studies(1,2,3) describe the under-reporting of ethnic minority victims a) by the victims themselves owing to their unique cultural considerations and b) in how the Police document the crimes due to a racial bias. They “were more likely to identify children who were White British” (OCC).

Preying on Prejudice: Our final thoughts

“In recent weeks, he has become obsessed with Muslims, accusing them all of being rapists and being part of paedophile gangs” - Sarah Andrews, partner of British terrorist Darren Osborne, the Finsbury Park Mosque Killer.

Devastating scenes from the Finsbury Park Mosque Attack.

“You rape our women and you are taking over country. You have to go” - Dylan Roof, 2015.

Jamelle Bouie explained that the nine African-Americans massacred by Dylan Roof were just the latest in a long line of innocent black victims to die at the hand of the white man for “raping our women”. Antisemitic media produced by the Nazis replicated this highly emotive propaganda, as the Holocaust Research Project explains:

Finsbury Park Mosque Terrorist’s partner said that his “attitude changed after he watched Three Girls, a BBC TV drama about the Rochdale grooming scandal“.


In March, Quilliam were to increase their toxic influence on the public debate when Maajid Nawaz appeared as a panelist on Sky News’ The Pledge. For reasons not explained, Nawaz was afforded a three minute monologue to push his propaganda — a propaganda which was replete with fabrications and misrepresentations.

  • “Type 2” is defined as the grooming of children for CSA purposes by a group of 2 or more adults who have targetted their victims based on the group’s sexual interest in children i.e. not ’ordinary paedophilia’.
  1. Quilliam’s own shoddy report does not claim that 84% of “rape cases in the UK” involve “South Asian Muslim men”.
  2. Quilliam’s own shoddy report makes no claims on the number of ‘Muslims’ convicted of grooming related offences. Police don’t record the religions of those they have arrested.
  1. The 85% figure quoted is a fabrication. Quilliam’s report makes no mention of having collated data on Type 2 groups. However, the CEOP report they cite has Type 2 groups at 100% white.
  2. Once again, Nawaz has conflated Asians with ‘Muslims’ in the manner of a garden-variety racist (or an “anti Muslim extremist”) to demonise Muslims.

Deposing the posers