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UK mosques focus on anti-abuse message

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June 28, 2013 07:34 AM EST | AP

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LONDON — Some 500 UK mosques are planning sermons condemning the sexual abuse of children, following the sentencing of seven men of South Asian origin convicted of a series of crimes against underage girls.

The effort organized by the group Together Against Grooming means that the message was being delivered at Friday prayers at participating mosques.

Grooming is British term used for a process of luring vulnerable people into prostitution and other sexual activity by giving them attention, gifts, drugs and alcohol.

The anti-grooming group wants imams to stress that the Quran rules out all forms of sexual abuse and that Muslims have a responsibility to protect children and other vulnerable people.

Spokesman Ansar Ali says it is unprecedented for Islamic leaders throughout Britain to band together to deliver a collective message on the same day. A number of prominent Muslim groups in Britain have endorsed the new group.