By G Ramalingachetty
Recent media reports describing the members of the Rochdale grooming gang as ‘Asians’ are both unfair and offensive. The media’s blanket use of the term to describe these criminals risks branding all Asians as potential offenders and attributes this kind of behaviour to Asians in general. It is a lazy categorisation that is offensive to a large section of the law-abiding Asian community and borders on racism.
Why is it that the national press struggles to use the words ‘Pakistani’ or ‘Afghan’ when reporting about groups of sexual offenders? Or, more to the point, why is the word ‘Muslim’ so conspicuously absent?
Why is it in their efforts to be politically correct they must print headlines that not only twist and hide the truth but libel all people of Asian heritage with racial slurs?
The actions of the Rochdale gang, along with previous Muslim grooming gangs, owe much to a religiously-inspired cultural perspective that is incompatible with British society and is not shared by the vast majority of the Asian community.
Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Christianity all have an older religious and cultural tradition in Asia than Islam, each with a moral code that is compatible with British law and values. It’s disgraceful that the media should use such racial terms to link the sexual abuse crimes committed almost exclusively by Muslims with all Asians.
I speak as part of a Tamil family whose members fought bravely in the Second World War for the British and are proud of both their cultural heritage and the place they have earned in British society. The people in my community are all more than tired of the problems associated with Muslim drug gangs, Muslim sex gangs and Muslim supporters of terrorist groups. The funds raised by Muslims for Islamic terrorists are used to finance attacks on Indian as well as British innocents in Mumbai and in London.
The Sikh community’s contribution to British culture and society has also been a loyal and honourable one. How unfair it is to associate them with the kind of behaviour we’ve seen from Muslims? Sikhs also have a long and proud history in both the British and Indian military and as a valued part of British society.
A Sikh told me today, “…the politicians and the politically correct left wing press refuse to accept that there is this problem in the Muslim community.”
I also spoke with a Christian friend from Goa in India today who told me how upset his brother was at being labelled as a ‘sex beast’ by the British media. His brother had just read a British newspaper article that seemed to imply that this was exactly what all Asians are!
The use of the term Asian not only puts an undeserved racial spin on the story but demonises the whole British Asian community. British Asians are, unsurprisingly, disgusted with the racist slurs and reporting in the UK media. Why insist on introducing a racial element where there is none? Why not instead report on the real problems within the Muslim community and with Islam more generally?
I myself have already complained to the press complaints commission about these continued references to ‘Asians’, and I urge all British Asians to do the same in an effort to put an end to these offensive and counterproductive racial slurs.
Press Complaints Commission
London EC1N 2JD
Tel: 020 7831 0022