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British Pakistani demand apology from Braverman over ‘racist’ remarks

LONDON: Hundreds of British Pakistanis have written to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to express their displeasure with the “racist, unacceptable, and inflammatory” remarks made recently by UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman about Pakistani men.

Doctors, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and founders demanded an apology from Ms. Braverman in a series of letters signed by dozens of associations and individuals addressed to Mr. Sunak.

Ms. Braverman came under fire last week after she repeatedly mentioned “the predominance of British-Pakistani males who hold cultural values completely at odds with British values.”

She told Sky News that British Pakistani men “see women in a demeaned, illegitimate way, and pursue an outdated and frankly heinous approach to the way we behave.”

The programme host also highlighted the home secretary’s comments that “vulnerable white girls are being targeted by British Pakistani grooming gangs” and “vulnerable white girls are being targeted by British Pakistani grooming gangs” and that people are “turning a blind eye out of political correctness.”

Her remarks sparked outrage on social media, with both Pakistani and non-Pakistani commentators accusing her of discrimination and politicizing a serious issue.

“It is unacceptable for the home secretary to use inflammatory and divisive rhetoric that is sensationalist and contradicts her own department’s evidence,” said a letter signed by medical professionals. Critically, it allows these heinous crimes to continue by focusing on political showmanship rather than implementing impactful action that is evidence-based and requires a whole-system response rather than singling out one ethnic group.”

Among the signatories were medical professionals who were members of various associations.

The British Pakistan Foundation also wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Khan. “We are writing to express our deep concern and disappointment with the home secretary’s recent comments, as well as your failure to speak out against them.” These remarks focused solely on the involvement of British Pakistani males in so-called “grooming gangs” and “holding cultural values completely at odds with British values,” according to the report.

Muslim organizations also criticized Ms. Braverman, writing a letter to 10 Downing Street in which they criticized the home secretary’s words.

“These remarks and others were made by the home secretary without caveats and were not limited to those convicted of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), but instead stereotyped and targeted an entire community,” Muslim associations said, referring to past hate crimes against Muslims.

“Hate crime is on the rise in the United Kingdom, with recent high-profile attacks in Dover and Knowsley coming soon after incendiary language from Ministers.” Unfounded rhetoric has historically had real-world consequences.

In 2019, a far-right terrorist opened fire on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, writing ‘for Rotherham’ on his ammunition before killing 51 people. False rumors about ‘grooming’ in Barrow in 2020 prompted far-right harassment of Asians in the town.

The home secretary’s remark raises the prospect of further attacks.”

Ms. Braverman is using a “lazy narrative” about British Pakistani men to stoke division and win votes, according to British politician and lawyer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

According to the BBC, the Home Office clarified that she was referring to three of the most notorious grooming gang cases in Rochdale, Rotherham, and Telford. Many, however, pointed out that the damage had already been done.

“Two days after Braverman’s remarks, the racists are out.” It reminds me of the aftermath of 9/11 and 7/7. British Pakistanis like me will be called upon to defend and explain heinous crimes.

In most cases of sexual abuse, we never ask that of the majority of the population. “We need allies,” tweeted writer and presenter Adil Ray.

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