Sarah Champion was right and badly let down
Sarah Champion was treated harshly by her political masters when she was unfairly accused of Islamophobia for raising legitimate questions about the behaviour of some British citizens towards young girls. I know how that feels.
In 2004, as a Foreign Office minister representing the same Rotherham seat where she is a hard-working Labour MP, I called on British Muslims to reject terrorism and the path of violence.
My plea was triggered by a young South Yorkshire Muslim, groomed by British-based Islamists, who blew himself up in Tel Aviv in a failed terrorist mission. I asked my local and the wider British Muslim community to take a public stand against terrorism.
It was an unremarkable request, I thought, but the heavens fell in and I was attacked on the BBC and in newspapers as a wicked Islamophobe. Then came the July 7 bombings in 2005. Suddenly, the concerns I had advanced a year earlier were accepted by everyone.
Corbyn sex grooming remarks ‘like Trump’
Jeremy Corbyn was criticised yesterday after declaring that “much crime is committed by white people” as he justified sacking a shadow cabinet member who pointed out the prevalence of British-Pakistani men in grooming cases.
Margot James, the Conservative business minister, said that his remarks were “a bit similar to Donald Trump’s response to the dreadful race issue in Charlottesville”.
Mr Corbyn spoke of his refusal to denigrate communities and his “embrace of multiculturalism and the multifaith society” in an apparent attempt to highlight the contrast between himself and Mr Trump at a rally in Pendle, east Lancashire, yesterday.
Both Trump and Corbyn are political cowards
Labour’s leader and the US president have shown poor judgment and muddled thinking in the face of racial controversy
The vast majority of white American men are not ultra-nationalists. But almost all members of this extremist, sometimes terrorist, fringe are white. They recently demonstrated in Charlottesville with slogans such as “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us”. Like most whites, they support Donald Trump. The gung-ho conservative media regards criticism of this fringe as selective and unfair. The president panders to this, as seen by his repeated failure to criticise the Charlottesville Nazis and white nationalists.
In Britain, the vast majority of Muslims from Pakistani and other south Asian backgrounds are not child rapists. But, as The Times has repeatedly reported, the grooming gangs convicted of preying on white girls in towns and cities like Oxford, Rotherham and Newcastle predominantly do come from those parts of society. Ethnic minorities mainly vote Labour, and a large slice of liberal-minded opinion regards any criticism, even of obviously criminal or fanatical elements, as selective and unfair. Jeremy Corbyn panders to this, as seen by his failure to speak out over the grooming scandal, and his treatment of Sarah Champion, a shadow frontbencher who did.
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