There is a problem in the British Pakistani community and it needs to be fixed

by Mohammed Seedat

The word “culture” is used often when discussing the horrific Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham: within the Police, amongst Rotherham’s Pakistani community, within the council, in Labour group and of course of the victims.

The BBC Asian network morning phone-in show always provides a raw glimpse in to the notoriously politically-incorrect and diverse British Asian zeitgeist.

On Wednesday’s show there was more denialism from an alarming number of British Pakistani callers about the role of a certain type of violent misogynistic culture that’s developed and become acceptable in too many Pakistani social circles.

The link between the Pakistani culture of the majority of the men convicted in Rotherham and their white targets isn’t new – Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said the same in 2012, so has Trevor Philips.

Rotherham will not recover easily. Perversely the Police’s reluctance to be labelled racist has resulted in increased community tensions. As the Alexis Jay report outlines there were multiple agency failures in a community with deep rooted cultural issues. Unfortunately only Pakistanis within these communities can fix the cultural issues that have no place in any modern society. The cancerous core of community leaders, imported imams and violent paternalism is rotten.

There is no “magic-bullet” campaign that can change the nasty strain of misogyny that has infected parts of the Pakistani community. A community wide change in consciousness is required and only then can this disease be treated – a task that will likely fall on the younger generation rather than upon impotent “community leaders” who have proved so ineffective.

That does not mean the council has no role to play. The Jay Report is damning of the council: “Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so”. This was suppression of justice from the very top – and the report explains how the council could get away with it because “in Rotherham the local Asian community are reported to rarely speak about them [the perpetrators]. The subject was taboo..” (Section 11.4).

Elected councillors actively blocked deep investigations but it took a whole community to prevent quicker prosecutions by using the racism card and playing ‘whataboutery’ instead of tackling the uncomfortable truth. For the denial to work it required mothers turning a blind eye to their sons’ foibles and daughters having their abuses hushed by family on the pretext of shame and honour. And of course, then there are the fathers, about whom the less said the better. There are big problems in a community when the council’s chief exec has to decide if a murder was an honour killing or related to child-grooming (Section 13.6).

The documentary by British Pakistani presenter Adil Ray gave some insight in to how such a sordid operation could exist in the heart of so many communities. While he interviewed imams, parents, victims and horny young Asian lads he didn’t have much success with those who really should be answering more questions – the police.

In Rotherham the police’s behaviour was inexcusable pointing towards larger institutional problems regarding CSE victims (akin to attitude of the Police towards black victims as covered by the Stephen Lawrence report. Their fear of being labelled racist was exacerbated by councillors and “community leaders” creating a vicious cycle of in-action. But it is not racist to say groups of Pakistani men were trafficking – their ethnicity or culture shouldn’t be a taboo precluding prosecution. Tip-toeing around the problem won’t make it go away as many residents had been saying (Section 11).

From the cases in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and elsewhere it is clear the way CSE is handled by Police forces must be investigated so that we can prevent another national shame.

The Labour party must also carry out its own investigation. After Falkirk, the party machine went into meltdown. After Rotherham we’ve resorted to making a scapegoat out of Shaun Wright. It is unacceptable that “members revealed that none could recall the issue [CSE] ever being discussed in the Labour Group until 2012” (Section 13.51). Silence on this issue gave space for the far-right to grow – a mistake that cannot be repeated. We owe it to our residents, supporters and of course the victims of the awful crime in Rotherham to say what needs to be said – there is a problem in the Pakistani community and it needs to be fixed.

Mohammed Seedat is a councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth

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9 Responses to “There is a problem in the British Pakistani community and it needs to be fixed”

  1. Michael says:

    An excellent article however I disagree with ‘only Pakistanis within these communities can fix the cultural issues that have no place in any modern society’. The problem is that the cultural issues are being re-enforced by arrange marriages from the mother country. Each marriage sets the integration clock at zero (42-48% of spouses do not economically participate and become a burden on the taxpayer). The coalition has done something to address this with a minimum income rule and the people in the UK want to know if Labour will keep these laws especially as they fought them all the way. Labour dropped the marriage age to 16 last time only to do a U turn when they saw the outcry. The standard response to questions about immigration from outside the EU is to deflect the question and talk about E Europeans where no-one has control due to treaties. It makes Labour sound slippery

  2. Madasafish says:

    ‘only Pakistanis within these communities can fix the cultural issues that have no place in any modern society’

    True if the cultural issues are legal.

    Since rape, child marriage and abuse of women are not legal in this country I am afraid the statement is rubbish… unless the author means they are legal – which I doubt very much.

  3. bob says:

    Interesting comment from the Yorkshire Post, do you think people will vote for Labour after this in these areas. Very interesting point about the flak that the MP for Rochdale has been given for daring to mention the subject.

  4. John Reid says:

    Yes it is not racist to say groups Of Pakistani men were trafficking,but everyone from Diane Abbott, HughMuir and Owen Jones,were writing articles criticising the police view that they were afraid of intervening through fear of a Bieng called racist,saying that view was wrong the police were really ot intervening as they had a low view on White workng class women, despite the evidence being the opposite, and the lack of criticism of the Labour Party too Abbott and jones for having these views,that ,their logic was so irrational, that their comments were ridiculous, have proved, that the police were too afraid to intervene, and that political correctness, has caused this problem,and no amount of re writing, can prove them right.

  5. Tafia says:

    You have absolutely no chance of making them change unless you force them to – and I mean force. Things such as not letting them claim benefits unless they can read the forms, fill in the forms and attend interviews in English (or Welsh in Wales). Not letting them claim for their wives/daughters unless they do not cover their faces and again speak english. Likewise social housing, NHS doctor and dental registration etc etc. They will not integrate unless they are given two choices – do it or leave. Doers Labour have the courage to force the issue? Does it bollocks.

    Other than that the only other way will be to freeze immigration and wait 3 or 4 generations.

  6. Dave Roberts. says:

    It’s not just Hugh Muir and Dianne Abbot, Sunny Hundal has changed his tune as well. All of a sudden the usual suspects have realised that they were on the wrong side all along and some of them, looking to their futures as politicians, journalists and pundits, have recanted hoping that nobody will notice.

    This issue has isolated the loony left more than it already was. I remember ten years and more ago wen Hope not Hate and Ann Cryer raised this issue they were denounced as pandering to racism by the Livingstone funded crews of the National Assembly Against Racism, the 1990 Trust, Black Information Link, Operation Black Vote and all of the other Livingstone funded fronts which have now gone.

    Thank God the issue is now out in the open and can be dealt with.

  7. Fred says:

    Wonder if Jonathan Todd is going to turn up calling the Pakistani’s sexist and racist? Will he call Labour sexist and racist? Does anyone care what he thinks?

  8. swatantra says:

    At last, a Muslim not in self denial. That community must takes its share of the blame and responsibility.

  9. James says:

    It’s a muslim issue, not a Pakistani issue. And long, long ago (2009) the Muslim Council of Britain (representing 500 muslim organisations) said that the whole idea of the muslim grooming gangs was “a racist myth”.

    The latest gang of 12 child rapists (“groomers”) were all Somali muslims, not Pakistani muslims.

    Where are the Pakistani christians and the Pakistani hindus in this scandal of child-rape? Nowhere to be found.

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