Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Maajid Nawaz's Must-Watch Take On Tommy Robinson's Imprisonment
30 May 2018, 11:39 | Updated: 23 October 2018, 15:16
Maajid Nawaz has a long history with Tommy Robinson. This is his take on the former EDL leader's imprisonment.
The EDL founder - whose real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon was listed on court documents - was sentenced to 10 months for contempt of court. He was given a further three months for breaching the terms of a previous suspended sentence.
Robinson was arrested on Friday outside Leeds Crown Court after using social media to broadcast details of a current trial which is subject to blanket reporting restrictions.
Standing in for James O'Brien, Maajid said: "For too long in this country, we have ignored the issue of grooming gangs. Of young vulnerable teenage girls who have been victimised, drugged, raped and abused.
"Whether it's the Rotherham case or all the other cases that were replicated across the country, it is both the conclusion of the prosecutor in the Rotherham case, British Pakistani Muslim Nazir Afzal or indeed the official inquiry into why it took so long for these young vulnerable under-age girls to get justice - both of those concluded that fears of racism prevented us from coming to the defence of vulnerable under-age girls.
"Fears of racism meaning that the state was scared that it would be accused of being racist if it rightly arrested and prosecuted largely British Pakistani Muslim men in their abuse of under-age white teenage girls.
"If we hadn't all been silent, if we had all addressed this issue head on when it needed to be addressed, when it was time to address it, then the void would not have emerged for the populist agitators to fill that gap and become popular actually as a result of addressing what is a legitimate issue.
"They ended up hijacking what should have been the concern of every right-minded citizen in this country.
"There have been multiple cases now and it's beyond any level of doubt that there's a disproportionate number of British Muslims involved in grooming gangs against under-age white girls. And to say that is to say is to report on the facts. It's not to be racist.
"I just wish that those young girls had seen justice served for them as fast as the judge served Tommy Robinson justice in this case.
"Because in this case it's very easy for us to pick on the bogeyman, but actually the truth is that our silence over decades in this country is the real bogeyman and that's the real thing we should despise, our own cowardice in the face of grooming of young girls up and down this country and our conspiracy of silence."