I was reading in The Times newspaper earlier today how actions against groups of British Pakistani men who target young white girls for sexual exploitation are often delayed because of the fear of giving offence to ethnic communities, and perhaps inflaming racial unrest.
Personally I think that this is totally unacceptable because there needs to be a distinction made between ethnicity and law breaking. Within the predominantly Muslim communities, there is a huge sense of shame and outrage about this sub-culture of crime. It is the antithesis of what Islam teaches and is to do with criminality rather than ethnicity. Certainly there may be some misguided belief amongst those with criminal intent that young white girls are easy prey, but that is absolutely not the view of the majority of decent, law abiding Muslim communities.
In fact this is the point, the people perpetrating these crimes are the minority but there is always the danger that everyone from that culture becomes “tarred with the same brush”. It’s a bit like saying that everyone who goes to a football match is a hooligan out to cause trouble. Yes, there may well be some with that intent but again they are in the minority and most football fans just want to enjoy the game.
The other point is that it is up to individuals or communities as to whether they take offence. Where there is deliberate intent to be insulting or demeaning to those of a different ethnicity, sexuality, religion – whatever that be, then it is understandable that those targeted might be offended. However, if everyone is ostensibly treading on eggshells for fear they might say something that could be interpreted as offensive, then I think it does more harm than good.
And in the case of gangs of men, or women for that matter, who deliberately target vulnerable youngsters whether that be for sex, drugs or any other illegal activity, then they should be found, charged and dealt with according to the law. Ethnicity should not be the deciding factor – criminality should.