The heads of UK Sikh, Hindu, and Pakistani Christian organisations have said that Sarah Champion should not have been “sacked” from Labour’s front bench for speaking out on the racial aspect of grooming gangs.
“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”, they wrote in a letter to The Times.
Champion was forced to resign as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities after pointing out that Britain “has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls”, in an article for The Sun last month.
Labour MP: ‘Floppy Left’ Fails to Confront Child Grooming, Slams Corbyn’s ‘Multicultural Policies’ https://t.co/njg81Avupv
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 2, 2017
The letter, signed by Lord Singh on behalf of the Network of Sikh Organisations and by groups including the British Pakistani Christian Association and Hindu Council UK, noted it is “not just white girls” who have been targeted by grooming gangs.
“For decades Hindu, Sikh and Christian organisations have raised concerns about grooming gangs. The latter have plagued our communities, so much so that a BBC documentary on the targeting of Sikhs was aired a few years ago.
“The common denominator is that victims almost always tend to be non-Muslim girls,” stated the signatories, 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,” continued the letter, which praised Champion for “continu[ing] to make a courageous stand” on the issue, alleging that the Left “turns a blind eye to sex crimes”, and stating she would “rather be called a racist than turn a blind eye to child abuse”, since being pushed from Labour’s front bench.
— Allie Hodgkins-Brown (@AllieHBNews) September 1, 2017
The letter was signed by Lord Singh of Wimbledon, Network of Sikh Organisations and crossbencher; Mohan Singh, Sikh Awareness Society; Wilson Chowdhry, British Pakistani Christian Association; Satish Sharma, National Council of Hindu Temples; Anil Bhanot, Hindu Council UK; Trupti Patel, Hindu Forum of Britain; Ashish Joshi, Sikh Media Monitoring Group.
In response, a spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Daily Mail: “These heinous crimes are committed by people of all backgrounds.
“Stigmatising entire communities is wrong, and damages the interests of victims of sexual abuse and the rigorous investigation into the underlying causes of that abuse.”
The Labour leader has insisted that Champion left the shadow cabinet of her own accord, but at the time of her departure he said: “We are not going to blame any particular group, or demonise any particular group, the issue is one of safety of individuals.”