Earlier this month (Dec 2013) on BBC Radio 4’s World at One, Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale said there was “no doubt” ethnicity was a factor in grooming cases. He said “We still need a breakthrough, I think, in terms of the Asian community” Simon Danczuk’s use of the term ‘Asian’ in this context is grossly insulting to the Hindu and Sikh communities.
Those convicted in Simon Danczuk’s constituency for grooming of white British girls in May 2012, included 8 men of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan. Judge Gerald Clifton who sentenced the men said they treated the girls as though they were worthless and beyond respect” he added “One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion”
The men were of predominantly Pakistani Muslim origin.
As in Simon Danczuk’s example, by masking the identity of perpetrators by using vague terminology ‘Asian’, we are unable to have a mature discussion or get to the root cause of an emerging pattern of criminality. This is important because…..
· 1 Use of the word ‘Asian’ is unfair to Sikhs, Hindus and other communities who are of Asian origin and have not been involved in the emerging pattern of convictions for sexual grooming.
· 1.1 The reported convictions of men for sexual grooming of white British girls, almost always involve men of Pakistani origin.
· 1.2 There is reluctance by both government and media to discuss the disproportionate representation of Muslims in such cases.
· 1.3 Victims are almost always non-Muslim girls
· 1.4 The Hindu and Sikh communities have been complaining about targeting of their girls by Muslim men for decades
· 1.5 In August 2013, Muslim men were amongst those convicted for the sex grooming of a Sikh girl in Leicester.
· 1.6 Communities who themselves fall victim of this emerging pattern of criminality, should not be besmirched by the vague terminology ‘Asian’.
· 1.7 In order to help find a solution to the problem, we need to be clear on the identity of those involved. We will not be able to do this if we mask the identity based on misguided views of protecting a vulnerable community of perpetrators and not looking at the vulnerable community of victims.
· 1.8 Political correctness by some of our elected representatives is stifling an important debate.
· 1.9 We believe that in this case the government itself is sanctioning the use of term Asian as a way of clouding responsibility.
The Network of Sikh Organisations
Sikh Media Monitoring Group
Hindu Council UK