Some Pakistani men think white girls are "fair game" for sexual abuse, according to the chair of the Conservative Party Baroness Warsi.
The peer, whose parents are from Pakistan and is the UK's most senior Muslim politician, made the comments during an interview with the Evening Standard in the wake of the Rochdale sexual grooming case.
“There is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game,” she told the paper. “And we have to be prepared to say that. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first.
“This small minority who see women as second class citizens, and white women probably as third class citizens."
It follows last week's conviction of nine men, eight of whom were Pakistani and one man who was from Afghanistan, who were sentenced as a separate investigation, after Liverpool court heard they abused girls as young as 13.
One of their victims had told police officers that she was being abused more than four years previously.
The conviction of the men kick started a fiery polemic, after presiding Judge Gerald Clifton told the defendants: "One of the factors leading to that was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion."
According to the paper Baroness Warsi was encouraged to speak on the issue by her father.
Trevor Philips, the chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, has said attempts to ignore the race of the men convicted of sexual exploitation in Rochdale are 'fatuous' and worrying.
Philips said that the cultural background of the Asian men involved in the sexual grooming, abuse and rape of young girls in Rochdale and Oldham was a factor in determining the crimes they committed and should not be ignored.
However the claim that race was a factor in the crime has been disputed by some.
Nazir Afzal, the head of the CPS in the North West and the man responsible for deciding to prosecute the sex gang said that it was not a matter of race.
"All of these people had one thing in common, they were all men. Most of them were taxi drivers but nobody is talking about the fact that this is an issue for the taxi driver communities," he said.
The Independent Police Commission is currently conducting an internal inquiry into why the abuse went un-prosecuted in 2008.