Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Pakistani Sex Convictions Spark British Race Row

Trevor Phillips, chairman of Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission
Trevor Phillips, chairman of Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission
A race row has erupted in Britain after a gang of mostly Pakistani men were convicted in a high-profile "sexual grooming" case.

Last week, eight men of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan were found guilty of sexually exploiting underage girls in the northern English town of Rochdale.

Some of the girls were as young as 13 years of age.

In handing out sentences of between four and 19 years for the offenses, presiding Judge Gerald Clifton sparked a fiery debate when he said that one of the underlying factors behind why the girls were abused "was the fact that they were not part of your community or religion."

Somewhat surprisingly, the judge's comments were backed up by the chair of Britain's Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, who said it would be "fatuous" to deny that racial and cultural elements had not played a role in the crimes.

Speaking to the BBC, Phillips also said that because the men were from "closed communities" it may have helped them abuse the girls without fear of being reported to the authorities.

"I worry that, in those communities there were people who knew what was going on and didn't say anything, either because they're frightened or they're so separated from the rest of the communities that they think, 'oh, that's just how white people let their children carry on, we don't need to do anything,'" he said.

Phillips' comments were condemned by many, including leading parliament member Keith Vaz, who chairs Britain's Home Affairs Committee. He admitted that the offenses were "appalling" but said they should not be used to "stigmatize a whole community."

However, the equality chief did receive support from some conservative commentators.

“If you want to look at what happens when you have no sense of common identity, look at Rochdale and events in Rochdale, where you have groups that are absolutely and mutually uncomprehending," controversial historian David Starkey told "The Daily Telegraph."

“Those men were acting within their own cultural norms. Nobody ever explained to them that the history of women in Britain was once rather similar to that in Pakistan and it had changed.”

Regional Chief Crown Prosecutor Nazir Afzal admitted that "cultural baggage" may have played a role in the sex crimes.

"What some communities believe is there is a right of self-determination for men but not women," he told the right-wing "Daily Mail" newspaper. "Women are seen as lesser beings."

Nonetheless, Afzal stressed that the racial aspects of the case should not be overplayed.

"By focusing on race, you are diverting from the reality, which is men," he said. "Most of them were taxi drivers but no one is talking about this as an issue for the taxi drivers’ community."

Nine more Asian men have since been arrested in Rochdale in a follow-up inquiry.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
May 16, 2012 13:11
It's not very reasonable to ignore religious and ethnic notions when it comes to certain perception in Muslim culture. Why ignore some basic facts:
just read some excerpts of the following link

and then ask yourself why Muslim girls get killed in European and Muslim societies when they dont adhere to purportedly binding traditions to marry a Muslim man they dont choose... it's more than hundred girls in many European and Muslim societies per year...Some girls just do simply want to be together or to marry a Non-Muslim man. What's the problem?

...and why do many Muslim men (even kids, boys) talk about Non-muslim girls and women in a very denigrating way and treat them as objects...?
No doubt, some Western Non-Muslim men behave the same way in terms of certain implications and consequences but try not to ignore or to euphemize the religious motivation, legitimization, manipulation and instrumentalization...

Having women and men in Arabic societies to propose and/or to promote institutions that sell Non-Muslim girls and women to Muslims as sex-slaves is incredible. (undoubtedly, Moldowa, Ukraine...are no examples either.
yet, to draw the lines in terms of religious and ethnic really shocking!

it's like a new way of institutionalizing religiously motivated racist fascism...
Nations and people should be judged by the way they treat their women and the women of other ethnic and religious tribes, peoples...

That some people would condemn Phillips and Clifton just reflects the dimension of immunity which has been introduced apparently when talking about specific seems not very wise to turn a blind eye to such issues...the motivation for certain actions is not irrelevant.

by: Farhan from: Saudi
May 17, 2012 10:32
Im really surprised by the Anonymous comment, and her thinking, as i think it is a she....she says that these all are crimes that muslim men are doing and taking that as an excuse, she wants to commit another crime....if she is a muslim she should know that a muslim women cannot marry a non muslim as according to islam....rather a muslim men can marry a non muslim women from a religion where they have a book.....i am ashamed of men performing these bad deeds but i cannot take that as an excuse to commit crime...
In Response

by: mullah from: thelandofinfidels
May 17, 2012 18:47
What is there to be surprised about? For once someone came out and said the truth. Why is it in islam than muslim women cannot marry a non-muslim, while men have choice? Doesn't that automatically make women second class citizens with restricted choice based on gender? Also, would you care about her comments if these men were not muslim?

by: Imran Siddiqui from: Toronto
May 17, 2012 17:02
These monsters must stay in jail for longer period of time. Almost all are Brits of Pakistani origin and I am sure that all overseas Britshers of Pakistani origin are disgusted by the action of these men. However, to blame an entire community is also criminal.

There were 45000 sexual offences recorded in 2010/11. Were all these committed by Britshers of Pakistani origin? No, infact majority of these crimes were committed by Whites. now do we blame the entire White race in Britian for these crime? No, absolutely not.

Instead of blaming Pakistan, please fix your own culture and legal system so that women of all races are protected from monsters.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

Most Popular

Editor's Picks