Today is a historic day to stop child grooming, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation has said ahead of mosques delivering sermons to hundreds of thousands of Muslims today, condemning street grooming by gangs.
Mr. Mohammed Shafiq said: "Today in hundreds of mosques across the United Kingdom Imams will deliver a sermon setting out to tackle this menace and what needs to be done.
"When I first spoke out in 2006 I was all alone, it has been a difficult journey with death threats, ridicule and personal attacks but it has all been worth it. Then the Ramadhan Foundation was on its own campaigning and now there are hundreds of Imams taking their place.
"I applaud all the Imams and the 'Together against Grooming' campaign but our work must not stop after one sermon".
We have been horrified by the details that have emerged from recent court cases and as Muslims we feel a natural responsibility to condemn and tackle this crime.
Sexual grooming and child abuse afflicts all sections of society and is perpetrated by people of all ethnic groups.
The Koran and traditions of our Prophet exhort us to act against evil and injustice, and create just societies. This is the start of what will be a nationwide project in which we seek to work with others to eradicate this practice from all communities.
We wish to show our support for the victims (madhloom) of this terrible crime, many of whom are innocent children and we wish to affirm that Islam as a religion of mercy and compassion places a strong obligation on safeguarding and protecting the weak and vulnerable from oppression (dhulm) and abuse particularly of women and children.
We must work towards preventing such actions from occurring in the future as this action is reprehensible and forbidden according to the teachings of Islam.