Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Our British Pakistani Compatriots

Wednesday 26th April 2023 09:32 EDT

Our dear friends in the British Pakistani community are, through the Pakistani High Commission in London, asking people to write to their MPs about Suella Braverman’s comments about grooming gangs. A response by an MP I have received (not from an MP) reading thus:


“Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about the recent comments made by Home Secretary Suella Braverman.  I appreciate hearing from you on important issues like this. However, I would like to clarify some points regarding the Home Secretary's views and challenge certain assumptions made in your letter.


First, it is important to note that the Home Secretary's comments were not directed at the entire British Pakistani community, nor did she imply that all British Pakistani males are involved in the sexual abuse of children. The issue she raised pertains to a specific pattern of offending that has been observed in a number of cases. While it is true that there are offenders from various ethnic backgrounds, the Home Secretary was highlighting a specific issue that should not be ignored.


The Home Office report published in 2020, which you mentioned, does not necessarily contradict the Home Secretary's statements. Rather, it highlights the complex and multifaceted nature of child sexual exploitation. Acknowledging that one particular group may be overrepresented in certain types of offending does not negate the fact that individuals from other backgrounds can also be involved.


We all agree that child sexual exploitation is an abhorrent crime, and it is crucial to address this issue without prejudice or bias. However, it is also important to recognize patterns and trends to effectively tackle the problem. By identifying specific patterns, we can focus resources and efforts to address these issues in a targeted manner, which ultimately benefits all communities.


The Home Secretary's remarks should not be construed as an attempt to stigmatize an entire community. Instead, they serve as a call for further examination and understanding of the factors contributing to this particular pattern of offending. It is important to recognize that acknowledging and addressing these patterns does not mean blaming an entire community.


In conclusion, I believe that the Home Secretary's comments, while perhaps uncomfortable for some, are an important part of an open and honest dialogue about child sexual exploitation. We must not shy away from difficult conversations and must work together to address these issues, promote unity, and ensure the safety of all our communities.


I appreciate your engagement in this matter, and I will continue to work toward fostering understanding and unity between communities.”

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