This question was posed to me the other day. I didn’t know the answer.
After some research I found out he was supposedly a Roman Catholic. To me this did not matter. Why would it? His reputation was is in tatters and his victims must live with his actions for the rest of his lives.
He was permitted to get away with abusing vulnerable people for many years. His repulsive acts have been well-documented over the past few weeks.
His religion however has not been mentioned. The reason is because many commentators, journalists and editors don’t feel his religion had anything to do with the way he acted.
Then again, we could well blame his culture. Could it be that Jimmy Saville as a supposed 'fine upstanding member of the community' was a paedophile because of the way he was brought up?
Was it his Britishness that made him into this pervert? Maybe it had a lot to do with where he was born?
Asking these questions does kind of make me sound slightly weird.
This should come as a defining moment for the media. Not just the BBC but all members of the press.
Most Asians will know where this is going. But this is not a time to gloat like some people have been doing.
In the past two years sections of the community have had to question how and why members of their race and religion were involved in vile and sickening acts.
Many within the community have openly spoken up against the actions of a minority and rightly so.
When a perpetrator was Asian his background, religion and upbringing was explored. This was a regular occurrence.
This was soon followed by countless debates and discussions about how we could ‘culturally’ and ‘religiously’ challenge these problems.
Now, I have to say I don’t mind all of these things being questioned. Yet, as a writer I find I have seen journalists only look to print stories because there was in fact an ‘Asian / Muslim angle’ to the story.
The problem many people will have is that in that the preceding weeks since this scandal broke, there has been an eerie silence when it came to Jimmy Saville’s background.
Should it matter at all? Should a whole religion and community be somehow implicated in this?
I don’t care what his religion he was. I don’t care how he was brought-up. What I do care about is what the victims went through and how they have to deal with being treated in this way.