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Maajid Nawaz: It Is Not Racist To Talk About Muslims In Grooming Gangs
10 December 2017, 17:06
British-Pakistani researchers have found that 84% of all people convicted since 2005 for the specific crime of gang grooming were Asian.
Maajid Nawaz's Quilliam Foundation found that the demographic background of those who exploit youngsters in a paedophile ring was different to those who act in grooming gangs.
Quilliam's researchers found 264 people have been convicted for the specific crime of gang grooming since 2005, and of those offenders 222 or 84% were Asian.
This is markedly different from the ethnicity of child sex offenders in paedophile rings, 100% of whom, according to the most recent figures, released in 2012 by the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, were white.
In a number of cities across the UK, gangs of predominantly British Pakistani men have been convicted for targeting vulnerable white young women and girls.
Questions have been raised about the connections between ethnicity and the offenders, and two British-Pakistani researchers from the Quilliam Foundation have said that the link is important, adding its voice to the debate with what it describes as an evidence-based view.
Maajid Nawaz said it was absolutely crucial that people could discuss the link between grooming gangs and British South Asian Muslim heritage without being called racist or bigoted.
He argued that silencing moderate discussion actually created more space and opportunity for actual Islamophobia that would fill the void created by a lack of rational debate.
He said: "Why are we still, despite the years of evidence mounting up, uncomfortable talking about this issue? And accepting that there is a hugely disproportionate number of British South Asian Muslim men involved in what can only be described as a despicable crime?
"The fact is that since 2011 these sort of crimes have occurred in cities up and down the country, they are spreading.
"They have occurred in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford, Telford, Leeds, Birmingham, Norwich, Burnley, High Wycombe, Leicester, Dewsbury, Middlesborough, Peterborough, Bristol, Halifax and newcastle and only in two of those cases were the men not of British South Asian Muslim heritage.
"All of the victims, in all of those cities and the list was very long, except three were white teenage girls.
"The fact that 84% of these cases involve British South Asian Muslim men must beg the question, why?
"If we are not asking the question, I can guarantee you somebody else will be asking the question.
"Then you sit back and wonder 'why is the far right rising?'
"I'll tell you. When you silence those liberal, secular, humanist and reasonable voices who are attempting to have a rational conversation around facts, when call those voices anti-Muslim, Islamophobic, bigoted or racist, and moderate voices are intimidated from speaking up, what happens as a result is the fringes, the extremists, then those extremist voices rise to the forefront.
"That is the consequence of those do-gooders who are attempting to be politically correct."
Watch the clip at the top of this page.