CAIRO - The guilty verdict in a child abuse scandal has brought the Pakistani community in Britain into the eye of storm, heightening racial tension in the European country, The Manchester News Evening reported Wednesday, May 9.
These criminals have brought shame on themselves, their families and our community, Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim campaign group the Ramadhan Foundation, said.
We reject their actions without reservation and send our thoughts to the victims and reject any attempt by the far right to tarnish the whole Pakistani community.
Their actions have no place in a decent society and today we can say justice has been done.
A Liverpool court on Wednesday convicted nine men of Pakistani and Afghan descent in a child abuse scandal.
The court found that the nine men exploited girls, who were all white, in sexual activities in return for drugs and alcohol.
Shafiq opines that the scandal has exposed a problem with the Pakistani community in Britain.
"There is a significant problem for the British Pakistani community, he said.
There is an over representation amongst recent convictions in the crime of on-street grooming.
He insisted that the case was about race.
There should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals, Shafiq said.
They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behavior that is bringing shame on our community.
I urge the Police and the Councils not to be frightened to address this issue, there is a strong lesson that you cannot ignore race or be over sensitive.
Last year, former British Home Secretary Jack Straw accused Pakistani immigrants of seeing white girls an easy meat for abuses, drawing accusations of stigmatizing the whole community.
Shafiq believes that the Pakistani community elders were to blame for failing to tackle problems facing the community.
Community elders are once again burying their heads in the sand, this concerns us all and we must speak out, he said.
The community elders need to learn from the reaction of young people and reject any attempt to silence the reaction from our community.
We have over the past twelve months seen tremendous progress, more Imams have spoken out in Friday sermons, workshops and activities for young people have happened in the community and there is a strong commitment to see this work through.
But police officials ruled out that race was behind the scandal.
There's no evidence they were targeted because they were white, a senior detective on the case told The Manchester News Evening.
They were targeted because they were there."
Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West, echoes a similar view.
I have dealt with sexual crime for many years at the highest levels. This type of crime happens in every community, he said.
It's not race that defines (the perpetrators). It's their attitude to women and young girls that defines them. It's about men wanting to exert their power over young women."Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million. The majority of the multi-ethnic minority has Indian, Bengali and Pakistani backgrounds.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net