A number of Sikh, Hindu and British Parkistani groups have come to the defence of a Labour MP who claimed “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”
In a letter to The Times today, representatives of the groups – including Lord Singh of Wimbledon – praised Sarah Champion for taking a “courageous stand” in highlighting “a clear trend in criminality.”
The letter also accused the Labour leadership of having a “weak response” to the issue of grooming gangs.
Champion was sacked from Labour’s Shadow Cabinet after making the comments in an article for The Sun, but in an interview last weekend she defended her words, saying the “floppy left” in her party were too scared of being accused of racism to tackle child sexual exploitation carried out by grooming gangs.
In a letter today, representatives of groups including the Network of Sikh Organisations, the British Pakistani Christian Association and Hindu Council UK, said: “We commend Sarah Champion and the Muslim councillor Amina Lone for speaking up on a clear trend in criminality: the conviction of men of largely Pakistani Muslim heritage in sexual grooming cases.
“Despite being sacked from the shadow cabinet, Champion continues to make a courageous stand.”
The letter argues that it’s not just “white girls who fall victim” to grooming gangs, but youngsters from their respective communities.
“The common denominator is that victims almost always tend to be non-Muslim girls,” the letter reads , adding: “We are dismayed by the Labour leadership’s weak response.
“We are not willing to see the betrayal of victims, who are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.
“It’s not racist or Islamophobic to raise a matter of significant public concern. Smearing those speaking an inconvenient truth is unacceptable.”
Speaking after she left the Shadow Cabinet, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told HuffPost UK that he has a “lot of time and a lot of respect” for Champion but added: “We mustn’t demonise a community of people because the actions of people in abusing women, abusing children and grooming is illegal, is appalling and is wrong and they of course should be prosecuted for it.
“But you cannot say it is a feature of an entire ethnic community, it has to be a feature of those that undertake those criminal actions.”