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'Justice has been done'
Asian organisations have condemned the actions of those who take part in the 'grooming' of young girls.
The call came after nine men were found guilty of being part of a child sexual exploitation ring involving vulnerable girls.
Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation said, “I wish to pay tribute to the bravery of the young girls that have given evidence in this trial, without their contribution justice would not have been possible. Today’s guilty verdicts are to be welcomed and I hope the message goes out that if you engage in these crimes, you will be caught and brought to justice.
“These criminals have brought shame on themselves, their families and our community. We reject their actions without reservation and send our thoughts to the victims and reject any attempt by the far right to tarnish the whole Pakistani community. Their actions have no place in a decent society and today we can say justice has been done.
“There is a significant problem for the British Pakistani community, there is an over representation amongst recent convictions in the crime of on street grooming, there should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals. They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behaviour that is bringing shame on our community. I urge the Police and the Councils not to be frightened to address this issue, there is a strong lesson that you cannot ignore race or be over sensitive.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support the Ramadhan Foundation has been given by young people for our campaign on child grooming but concerned that community elders are once again burying their heads in the sand, this concerns us all and we must speak out.
“The community elders need to learn from the reaction of young people and reject any attempt to silence the reaction from our community. We have over the past twelve months seen tremendous progress, more Imams have spoken out in Friday sermons, workshops and activities for young people have happened in the community and there is a strong commitment to see this work through.
“We encourage local authorities and schools to learn from Rochdale where over 9000 teenagers have attended a workshop on child grooming.
“The Ramadhan Foundation is ready to stand with anyone who wishes to protect these young teenagers. The Police will need to reflect on their failures in this case and we look forward to the IPCC report.
“Finally the far right and fascist movements are not welcome to Rochdale, we reject their division and hatred and it has no place in a tolerant and diverse society. We will learn lessons from this case but not allow outsiders to divide us.”
One Voice an organisation set up to give the unheard a voice has condemned the actions of these gangs who have exploited and sexually abused vulnerable children.
A spokesperson for the organisation said, “The exploitation and abuse of children is one of the most depraved criminal acts in society the perpetrators should be punished severely.
“The suggestion made by some commentators that the ethnicity of the criminals and the victims is a key factor serves no purpose other than to divide and pedal hatred. Racialising of criminality is misguided and deflects the attention away from the victims and makes it almost impossible to have a constructive and open debate.
"It is important to recognise that this is a nationwide problem in areas of social deprivation and our focus should be on the vulnerable children who should be supported and afforded the protection which is necessary. As has been borne out during the trials, these criminals exploited the vulnerability of the young girls and unfortunately in our society there are young people who need our support to prevent them from falling prey to these 'sexual predators'
"Responsibility for tackling this issue will need to be a joint effort between the public bodies and all communities. We encourage all communities to send a strong message that this will not be tolerated."
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