One of the UK’s most senior Muslim politicians has said that certain values in Muslim communities in parts of Britain were “unacceptable in British society”.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, who is of Pakistani origin, told the Daily Telegraph that many British Muslims were ashamed of the views held by certain members of their community about women and the issue of free speech.
"Some of the values that certain people in some communities have, in their attitudes to women or on the question of freedom of expression, are just totally unacceptable in British society”, Mr Javid said.
"I know plenty of people, British Muslims, men and women, who would 100 per cent agree with that, not only out of a sense of shame but also because of the fear of what else might be going on”, he added.
Mr Javid’s comments follow an investigation into the grooming and abuse of young white girls by mainly British Pakistani men in Rotherham, Yorkshire.
The investigation found that senior members of Rotherham Council were reluctant to take action because they were worried about being seen as “racists”.
Mr Javid said that this “political correctness” had led to a failure to crack down on the perpetrators responsible for the sexual abuse of hundreds of girls, some as young as 8.
“The perpetrators were disproportionately Asian Muslim men, and I absolutely think there has been a misplaced sense of political correctness that prevented authorities, whether social workers or police, from properly investigating what was going on”, Mr Javid said.
The investigation has also revealed that police often dismissed the credibility of victims – many of whom were vulnerable children from poor homes – instead of focussing on those carrying out the crimes.
Rotherham is but one of the towns where such abuse is said to have taken place. Similar grooming gangs have been uncovered in Oxford and Rochdale.
Mr Javid called on communities and authorities to “get to the bottom of this” and look into "what might be going on that we don’t know about".
"If we are to learn proper lessons from this, we have to look at the cultural side of some communities in Britain and see why it is that in some communities there are men that have a view of women that is completely unacceptable in modern British society; why do they have such a low value of women that they see them as commodities to be abused?", he said.