British home secretary Sajid Javid ticks off Pakistan-origin sex offenders
Britain’s Pakistan-origin home secretary Sajid Javid has reiterated his criticism of sections of the Pakistani community, many of whose male members have figured in cases of sexual offences in recent years, insisting that their ethnic origin should not be ignored.
“When it comes to gang-based child exploitation, it is self-evident to anyone who cares to look that if you look at all the recent high-profile cases there is a high proportion of men that have Pakistani heritage,” Javid said in a BBC interview.
The town of Rochdale in Greater Manchester, where Javid was born to immigrants from Pakistan, was in the news for cases of grooming in which several Pakistan-origin men were jailed.
“There could be ...some cultural reasons from the communities that these men came from that could lead to this kind of behavior,” said Javid, who has commissioned research into the ‘characteristics and contexts’ of gangs abusing children.
Javid has revoked the British citizenship of several Pakistani-origin men following their convictions and are due to be deported to Pakistan. The UK citizenship of an Indian-origin man has also been revoked for similar offences.
He said: “When I heard about grooming gangs where almost every individual involved is of Pakistani heritage, I can’t help noting that. But I can’t helping noting the fact that Rochdale is a town that means something to me and I’m also of Pakistani heritage.”
Javid faced criticism in October when he identified the ethnicity of the grooming gangs, but he defended it: “I’m very much aware of the need for politicians to be careful with language as well as what they do…I’m the British home secretary. My job is to protect the British public.”
Ignoring their ethnicity, he insisted, would fuel far-right extremists: “Let’s not ignore it when we are trying to work out what might be the causes. There could be some cultural reasons, from the communities that those men came from that could lead to this type of behaviour”.
“If I had ignored it, or had been seen to ignore it, that is exactly what I think extremists would like to see in this country. It would give them oxygen and I refuse to do that.”
Islam, Javid said, is compatible with British values. “There are many Muslims that I know who are very devout ... that are model citizens in terms of what they do their job, how they care for others.”
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