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Warsi: Minority of Pakistani men see white girls as "fair game"

Category: England

Published: 18th May 2012 15:47:46

A "small minority" of Pakistani men see white girls as "fair game", Baroness Warsi has said.

It is important to 'speak out' and acknowledge the problem in order to tackle it, she added.

Lady Warsi, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, is co-chair of the Conservative party.

Her comments follow the jailing of nine men, eight of whom were of Pakistani origin, in Rochdale for sexually abusing young girls.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Lady Warsi said: "There is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game.

"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, are to be spoken out against."

Earlier in May, a group of Rochdale men where found guilty of a number of offences including including rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, after exploiting vulnerable girls as young as 13.

David Cameron has described the case as "truly, truly dreadful".

Following the trial, Greater Manchester Police (GMP), which led the investigation, played down suggestions there was a racial element to the case.

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: "It just happens that in this particular area and time, the demographics were that these were Asian men."

And head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the North West, Nazir Afzal, said it was wrong to put race at the centre of the case.

But Baroness Warsi said she had decided to speak out after her father urged her to "show leadership" on the controversial issue.

She said it was important for communities to take responsibility for condemning this kind of behaviour.

"In mosque after mosque, this should be raised as an issue so that anybody remotely involved should start to feel that the community is turning on them,"

"Communities have a responsibility to stand up and say, 'This is wrong, this will not be tolerated'", she added.

BNP leader Nick Griffin, who is also an MEP for the area, has called for a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the Rochdale case.

He said his party's supporters had demonstrated throughout the trial to draw attention to the issues it raised.

Lady Warsi echoes comments made by Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk who said it would be "daft" to ignore a "race element" to the case.

Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said it was "fatuous" to deny racial and cultural factors.

Last year former home secretary Jack Straw caused controversy when speaking about a similar case of abuse in Derby.

Mr Straw suggested some men of Pakistani origin see white girls as "easy meat".

"There is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men... who target vulnerable young white girls", he said.

Since the conviction of the nine men, further arrests have been made in a second sexual grooming inquiry in Rochdale.

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BBC News, 2012. Warsi: Minority of Pakistani men see white girls as "fair game" [Online] (Updated 18th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1429493/Warsi-Minority-of-Pakistani-men-see-white-girls-as-fair-game [Accessed 26th Jul 2014]

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