More detail on what MP Kris Hopkins said and the usual reaction to deny it. From the Yorkshire Post and the Telegraph and Argus
MUSLIM leaders have described comments from a Yorkshire MP as “insulting” and “deeply offensive” after he targeted the Muslim community for criticism over recent child grooming scandals.
Speaking during a debate on child sexual exploitation in the Commons, Mr Hopkins acknowledged most child abusers were white but added that “we should not get away from the fact that gangs of Muslim men are going round and raping white kids at this moment in time”.
Mr Hopkins said questions needed to be asked why some Muslim youths carried an attitude that women were inferior which, he said, was a result of their upbringing.
“I want to consider the way boys live in those households,” he said. “I am afraid they are little princes: they can do nothing wrong, their behaviour is not challenged and eventually that can manifest itself.
“In one instance outside Bradford University Muslim men patrolled the streets verbally abusing women and girls all the time.
“Rather than the community of peers challenging that behaviour, we had to have a specific intervention to stop that sexual abuse of women.”
On girls being brought to Britain as brides, he said: “One reason which I think plays out is that women from Pakistan are subservient. They do not speak English or understand the values and freedoms that a girl born over her may live by. It is more convenient for a man to have a subservient woman in his household. They are not equal citizens.”
Mr Hopkins then went on to accuse some elders in Keighley mosques of “unacceptable” behaviour towards children – citing an example of an Imam who kicked and beat children.
The MP said his predecessor, Ann Cryer, had been right when she previously spoke out on grooming and added: “The victimhood that ran through the community gave an excuse for not facing up to the problem. I went to lots of public events to discuss the issue, but all I heard was that Ann’s constant comments undermined the community. The community failed to face up to the core issues that Ann was putting out there. The reality is that the problem has not gone away. Ann Cryer was right. Since that time, many more children have been abused because of the failures of the agencies and of the communities to address what was happening.”
But Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said Mr Hopkins had adopted a broad-brush which unfairly maligned all Muslims. “To suggest all Muslims are going round raping white girls is deeply offensive,”
Bary Malik, external affairs spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Bradford, said Mr Hopkins’ comments showed he was “ignorant” of the community within his own Keighley constituency. “It’s insulting. People will be thinking if you go to Keighley you will find gangs of Muslim men ready to rape white women.”
Mr Hopkins drew a direct connection between Muslim men grooming girls and how he perceived women were “treated and valued by Muslim men”.
He said: “I want to challenge the behaviour that says, ‘I embrace and honour my family, my grandmother, my mother and my sister; you are my blood, I love you and I have great affection for you,’ when that passion, love and affection does not address the inequalities those women and girls have to endure. Fundamentally, there is a sexist behaviour by some Muslim men towards women. We talk about institutions and commissions and all the rest of it. Fundamentally, as leaders, we need to challenge the behaviour that is going on. They are part of British society, but there is behaviour that is unacceptable.”
Mr Hopkins concluded his speech by saying: “I want people in my town to be successful, but they must understand the values that we live by.”
Mr Hopkins was not available to comment yesterday but in a letter to the Telegraph & Argus, he said: “There has been a significant response to many of the points I made. I particularly welcome the acknowledgement from the Bradford Council of Mosques that there is a problem and I hope they will work with me and others in the community to map out an agreed way forward. Like Ann Cryer before me, I did not want to have to make the speech I did, but a proper and open debate is now under way. Most mainstream politicians have failed to address these issues, thereby handing racists in the BNP a grubby opportunity to fill the void."
Rotherham needs a candidate of his calibre.