What's worse, racism or Islamophobia? When most of the 'street-groomers' are Pakistani Muslims, is it more politically correct to focus on Pakistanis or Muslims? For example, The CEO of the Barnardo's, a child-welfare agency, rejects Straw's claim, and says that Afghans and Arabs (ie, Muslims) are also over-represented in street-grooming.
Via the Guardian:
The former home secretary Jack Straw has been accused of stereotyping Pakistani men in Britain after he accused some of them as regarding white girls as "easy meat" for sexual abuse.
The Blackburn MP spoke out after two Asian men who raped and sexually assaulted girls in Derby were given indefinite jail terms.
Speaking on the BBC's Newsnight programme yesterday, Straw said: "Pakistanis, let's be clear, are not the only people who commit sexual offences, and overwhelmingly the sex offenders' wings of prisons are full of white sex offenders.
"But there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men ... who target vulnerable young white girls.
"We need to get the Pakistani community to think much more clearly about why this is going on and to be more open about the problems that are leading to a number of Pakistani heritage men thinking it is OK to target white girls in this way."
Straw called on the British Pakistani community to be "more open" about the issue. "These young men are in a western society, in any event, they act like any other young men, they're fizzing and popping with testosterone, they want some outlet for that, but Pakistani heritage girls are off-limits and they are expected to marry a Pakistani girl from Pakistan, typically," he said.
"So they then seek other avenues and they see these young women, white girls who are vulnerable, some of them in care ... who they think are easy meat.
"And because they're vulnerable they ply them with gifts, they give them drugs, and then of course they're trapped."
The Barnardo's chief executive, Martin Narey, said the case was more about vulnerable children of all races who were at risk from abuse. Street grooming was "probably happening in most towns and cities" and was not confined to the Pakistani community.
"I certainly don't think this is a Pakistani thing. My staff would say that there is an over-representation of people from minority ethnic groups – Afghans, people from Arabic nations – but it's not just one nation," said Narey.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, condemned the crimes and called for the issue to be addressed without prejudice. "No community or faith ever sanctions these evil crimes and to suggest that this is somehow ingrained in the community is deeply offensive."
In the past Shafiq spoke out against 'political correctness' on this issue, and said the police are afraid to deal with this issue openly. But while he points out that most such criminals are Muslims, he isn't really open to discussing the link between the two, via BBC:
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth organisation, became the first community leader to speak out in a BBC interview two years ago.
He is not afraid of raising the issue.
"Although there have been some cases of white men being involved in this sexual exploitation of young girls, most of the perpetrators are Muslim.
"There are some Muslims who think that as long as these sex gangs aren't targeting their own sisters and daughters the issue doesn't affect them... but the vast majority of Muslims find these actions abhorrent and disgusting," he said.
He stresses these are not religiously-motivated offences but crimes carried out by men for "their own depraved sexual gratification".
"These people think that white girls have fewer morals and are less valuable than our girls."
Another commentator, Manzoor Moghul, chairman of the Muslim Forum, agrees.
"Offenders are under the misapprehension white girls are easy prey. The way they dress, their culture, makes them easy pickings," he said.
But other experts in the field believe it is wrong to suggest that child sexual exploitation is solely perpetrated by Asian men against white girls.