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‘Politically correct do-gooders’ preventing debate over Muslim grooming gangs

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Maajid Nawaz has insisted people must be free to hold a fact-based discussion about the link between grooming gangs and British born Muslim men with South Asian heritage without fear of being branded racist.

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The co-founder of counter-extremism think tank Quilliam said “politically correct do-gooders” were responsible for preventing “moderate voices” from having an evidence-based debate about the issue.

This has effectively silenced many reasonable people, who are worried about being branded anti-Muslim, Islamaphobic or bigoted, the LBC presenter said.

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As a result, he said, “more extreme far right views” were “rising to the forefront”.

His comments come after a study by the Quilliam Foundation found 84 per cent of all people convicted for gang grooming since 2005 were Muslim.

And a series of high-profile cases, which have resulted in British born Pakistani men being convicted for targeting vulnerable white young women and girls, has raised questions about the link between ethnicity and the offenders.

Speaking on his LBC show, Mr Nawaz said: “Why are we still, despite the years of evidence mounting up, uncomfortable talking about this issue? And accepting that there is a hugely disproportionate number of British South Asian Muslim men involved in what can only be described as a despicable crime?

“The fact is that since 2011 these sort of crimes have occurred in cities up and down the country, they are spreading.

“They have occurred in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford, Telford, Leeds, Birmingham, Norwich, Burnley, High Wycombe, Leicester, Dewsbury, Middlesborough, Peterborough, Bristol, Halifax and newcastle and only in two of those cases were the men not of British South Asian Muslim heritage.

“All of the victims, in all of those cities and the list was very long, except three were white teenage girls.”

The research by Quilliam found out of the 264 people convicted for gang grooming over the last 12 years, 222 were Muslim.

This is in stark contrast to the ethnicity of child sex offenders in paedophile rings, 100 per cent of whom were white, according to the most recent figures from the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command which were released in 2012.

Mr Nawaz went on: ”The fact that 84 per cent of these cases involve British South Asian Muslim men must beg the question, why?

“If we are not asking the question, I can guarantee you somebody else will be asking the question.

“Then you sit back and wonder ‘why is the far right rising?’

“I’ll tell you. When you silence those liberal, secular, humanist and reasonable voices who are attempting to have a rational conversation around facts, when you call those voices anti-Muslim, Islamophobic, bigoted or racist, and moderate voices are intimidated from speaking up, what happens as a result is the fringes, the extremists, then those extremist voices rise to the forefront.

“That is the consequence of those do-gooders who are attempting to be politically correct.”

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