Apart from its sheer depravity, what also depresses me most about this case is the widespread refusal to face up to its hard realities.
The fact is that the vicious activities of the Oxford ring are bound up with religion and race: religion, because all the perpetrators, though they had different nationalities, were Muslim; and race, because they deliberately targeted vulnerable white girls, whom they appeared to regard as ‘easy meat’, to use one of their revealing, racist phrases.
Indeed, one of the victims who bravely gave evidence in court told a newspaper afterwards that ‘the men exclusively wanted white girls to abuse’.
But as so often in fearful, politically correct modern Britain, there is a craven unwillingness to face up to this reality.
Commentators and poli-ticians tip-toe around it, hiding behind weasel words.
We are told that child sex abuse happens ‘in all communities’, that white men are really far more likely to be abusers, as has been shown by the fall-out from the Jimmy Savile case.
One particularly misguided commentary argued that the predators’ religion was an irrelevance, for what really mattered was that most of them worked in the night-time economy as taxi drivers, just as in the Rochdale child sex scandal many of the abusers worked in kebab houses, so they had far more opportunities to target vulnerable girls.
But all this is deluded nonsense. While it is, of course, true that abuse happens in all communities, no amount of obfuscation can hide the pattern that has been exposed in a series of recent chilling scandals, from Rochdale to Oxford, and Telford to Derby.
In all these incidents, the abusers were Muslim men, and their targets were under-age white girls.
Moreover, reputable studies show that around 26 per cent of those involved in grooming and exploitation rings are Muslims, which is around five times higher than the proportion of Muslims in the adult male population.
To pretend that this is not an issue for the Islamic community is to fall into a state of ideological denial.
But then part of the reason this scandal happened at all is precisely because of such politically correct thinking. All the agencies of the state, including the police, the social services and the care system, seemed eager to ignore the sickening exploitation that was happening before their eyes.
Terrified of accusations of racism, desperate not to undermine the official creed of cultural diversity, they took no action against obvious abuse.
Amazingly, the predators seem to have been allowed by local authority managers to come and go from care homes, picking their targets to ply them with drink and drugs before abusing them. You can be sure that if the situation had been reversed, with gangs of tough, young white men preying on vulnerable Muslim girls, the state’s agencies would have acted with greater alacrity.
Another sign of the cowardly approach to these horrors is the constant reference to the criminals as ‘Asians’ rather than as ‘Muslims’.
In this context, Asian is a completely meaningless term. The men were not from China, or India or Sri Lanka or even Bangladesh. They were all from either Pakistan or Eritrea, which is, in fact, in East Africa rather than Asia.
There was a telling incident in the trial when it was revealed that one of the thugs heated up some metal to brand a girl, as if she were a cow. ‘Now, if you have sex with someone else, he’ll know that you belong to me,’ said this criminal, highlighting an attitude where women are seen as nothing more than personal property.
The view of some Islamic preachers towards white women can be appalling. They encourage their followers to believe that these women are habitually promiscuous, decadent and sleazy — sins which are made all the worse by the fact that they are kaffurs or non-believers.
Their dress code, from mini-skirts to sleeveless tops, is deemed to reflect their impure and immoral outlook. According to this mentality, these white women deserve to be punished for their behaviour by being exploited and degraded.