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UK Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Asian Men, White Women And A Taboo That Must Be Broken


Apr 3, 2005
I've been goaded into writing this column by the barbs and taunts, by the blame and racist toxins filling my inbox this week. At least they can no longer accuse me of "HIDING THE TRUTH!!!" Yes guys, you won. Have another large lager.

Most commentators intermittently get caught up in sudden and fierce squalls, usually when they've said something that upsets large sections of the public. In the age of the internet, these blowbacks have got nastier and more frequent. Sometimes you have to respond just to get your life back. It wasn't what I wrote or said this time, but what I am – or what they think I stand for, the outraged out there whose blood pressure rose perilously high last week.

Horrific sexual crimes against young girls were committed by a paedophile gang in Derby, a place I hardly know. Several gang members were convicted and sent down. These urban predators stalked and "chose" their victims, took them for ice creams and nice meals (treats some of the lasses had never had), drove them around in flash cars, handed out drink and cigarettes, drugged their trusting prey, then raped them over and over again, threatening them with hammers, and worse, if they told.

Such rings have been exposed before, and many others carry on without detection. It is the nightmare of every parent, and for the children who are brutalised it is the end of their innocence and a total desecration of their human rights. Men who destroy children for their own gratification roam streets in every land.

The Derby gang was all Asian except for one seasoned white abuser. Most of the Asians were Muslim Pakistanis and – apart from a few Asian and mixed-race girls who fell into their nets – their victims were almost all white. Because I am Asian and "a {censored}ing Muslim" and the rapists were my people committing a "****" crime against white females, I am guilty too, apparently, part of the evil posse.

The English Defence League and British National Party have draped bunting and bright lights around the story, the nation's virtue penetrated and torn by rapacious migrants and their sons. Two days after the Derby case, another such network was exposed – of white men in Cornwall who plucked white girls to groom, violate and control. Was theirs a lesser crime? No. It's naked racism to believe that sex assaults on white women by black or Asian men are more depraved and animalistic than those carried out by white men, who presumably remember to say "please" and "thank you" before and after.

But when I ask myself was a greater crime committed by the Asian molesters, the honest answer has to be yes. Conscientious Asian community activists in Derby have said that these criminal acts were nothing to do with race or religion. The perpetrators were bad men who did terrible things. That is surely self-delusion or a cover-up.

The official inquiry into the case concluded that the care agencies were ill-equipped to deal with the scale of the abuse being perpetrated by the gang. But it also concluded that there needs to be an honest national conversation about how exploitation in some places intersects with "culture, ethnicity and identity".

Let's begin then. Because without such an open conversation, prejudices fester and millions of Britons come to believe that serious offenders from certain ethnic and religious groups have protected status within our country.

The Cornwall and Derby villains who used girls as sex toys believed that their victims had "asked for it", which in our permissive age is an easy excuse. Very young girls are sexualised in the social environment, so paedophiles must feel they are only helping themselves to the goodies that are on offer. But in the case of the Asian men, disgusting cultural beliefs further validate their acts and their uncontrollable lechery is, in part, a symptom of repressed sexuality and sick attitudes.

Most Asian men do not go around raping young white girls and women; many have happy and equal relationships with white partners. However, an alarming number of Asian individuals, families and communities do believe that white females have no morals, are free and available, deserving of no respect or protection.

Up in Bradford a few years back, I met Muslim pimps, some wearing mini Koran pendants on heavy, gold chains. "Not our girls," they reassured me, "just them white girls from the estates, cheap girls. They love it man, all the money they make! What else will they do with their lives? We're helping them make a career."

Much laughter, until I asked them what they would do if a white pimp groomed their daughters. They would kill the pimp and the girls too, they said. They would too.

Then there was an 18-year-old white boy from Manchester who said he was lured and raped at the age of 10 by an Asian scoutmaster and his Muslim mates, who would, in public, hysterically denounce homosexuality. The double standards enable the Asian rapists to feel good, and that makes it doubly bad. Convenient myths of uprightness help hide the rape within their families too – which is why barely anyone ever reports it. The final insult is the veil of religious hypocrisy, already evident in the pimps above. Muslims and Sikhs make much public noise about the importance of religion and its intrinsic goodness. Islam and Sikhism do give women some important rights, but these are devalued in real life on a daily basis.

When deeds destroy professed religious principles, when nefarious abusers claim to be true worshippers, people rightly feel more animus and deeper repugnance. That is why paedophile Catholic priests arouse such fury. What abominable secrets and lies nestle beneath the sheets of godly and "ethnic" self-righteousness!

The injuries suffered by child victims are not determined by race or religion, but their sense of injustice is understandably much greater when their fiendish attackers believe themselves to be morally superior and therefore entitled to corrupt young flesh.

Listen to Miranda, now in her twenties, who was repeatedly raped by a British Asian pimp in Rotherham. She was also abused by her own dad when she was 11 : "Ahmed told me I was making him do it because I was sinful, not a true believer. That he would never do it if I was a Muslim. My dad would cry afterwards. I hate them both, but Ahmed was worse".



Dec 7, 2010
I have written two emails;one to the author and another to the editor to clarify why Sikhism was mentioned in the article eventhough no Sikhs were involved in this horrific crime.

FYI the email address of the editor for the independent is: m.king@independent.co.uk

I urge all readers to send similar emails to both the author aswell as the editor.

You will find below a copy of the email that i sent to th editor. I have kept it short and objective in order to remain pertinent;

Dear Sir,

I am writing to request your editorial opinion regarding a recent article by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Asian men, white women and a taboo that must be broken

Yasmin has stated that "Islam and Sikhism do give women some important rights, but these are devalued in real life on a daily basis" I am writing to request clarification as to why Sikhism has been mentioned in this article, eventhough no Sikh was involved in this horrific crime, nor have any Sikhs been convicted of Paedopheilia, prostitution or sexual coercion in the UK.

I would expect that the highest standards of journalism are maintained by the independent and such, mistakes are corrected. Your response will be much appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Manvir Singh


Dec 7, 2010
I also wrote seperatley to the author (y.alibhai-brown@independent.co.uk);


I just read your article and am writing to ask whether any Sikhs have ever been convicted of paedophilia or sexual exploitation and prostitution of vulnerable adults in the UK?

If you did your job with honesty, integrity and a sense of duty to your profession you would find that this is not the case and you would not make false and insulting statements such as "Islam and Sikhism do give women some important rights, but these are devalued in real life on a daily basis"

Anybody with knowledge of the Sikhs or the desire to discover the sentiments of Sikhs would realise that this is not an issue within the Sikh community. I could vex lyrical about the place of women within Sikhism as could followers of any religion however this is not my intention. The point i am trying to make is that you have made a general and insulting statement without any justification.

The statement highlighted above is not fair and is a testament to the lack of professionalism with which you do your job. I understand how much easier it must be to add another minority group into your article so that it does not sound like an attack on Muslims. It is also much more convenient to state that this is an Asian problem, and by doing so you are not alienating the Pakistani community or your own heritage. However the truth is that this is simply not right.

You state that you was inspired to write this as "I've been goaded into writing this column by the barbs and taunts, by the blame and racist toxins filling my inbox this week" Your cheap and lazy journalism does not adress any racist toxins, it simply tars every asian with the same brush and perpetuates the stereotypes of such ignorant people that you cater to. Articles such as this spread ignorance, through misleading statements. This is particularly harmful as it is written by a coconut and reads more like a confession than an objective contemplation of facts.

It is curious to find that comments have been disabled on your article. I wonder if an apology or a mere acknowledgement of the inaccurate statement would be published, and distributed to as many readers as the initial article, if at all.

Your response will be much appreciated,
Kind Regards,

Manvir Singh


Jun 1, 2004
Gurfateh Manveer Ji and Welcome to SPN!

Just now sent an email on behalf of SPN... Let us see how they respond. Thanks for your initiative.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
I have read and re-read the article now 8 times. Although there are striking examples of sub-human behavior reported here, this article makes next to no sense. The author has described a number of abuses against women, against boys, against children. She has also give examples where Asians and Asian groups have committed bestial crimes. And where white people have committee bestial crimes. If the author serious about her title, why does nothing follow it logically in the story. It sounds as if Asian men and white women are breaking the taboo right and left, and nothing but wickedness continues. It tells of male to female brutishness, parent to child brutishness, adult brutishness, Asian on Asian brutishness, White on White brutishness, and Asians and Whites being brutish toward one another. The pot is further stirred by reckless comments about Asians, Muslims, Whites and Sikhs.

I agree with Manvir Singh completely, tossing Sikhs into the mix is an effort to weasel out of respect for facts, and the logic of ones words. This is what journalism looks like when it bottoms out. And here I am taking it seriously.

Good work Manvir Singh ij!!!!!!!!!
Jul 13, 2004
This is particularly harmful as it is written by a coconut and reads more like a confession than an objective contemplation of facts.

I find it interesting how you feel there is a generalisation and racial tarring here.
Yet it is not ok for a South Asian person to be a 'coconut', meaning that an South Asian person should not act White, as if there is something bad in acting white. People should be free to behave how they please.

Now back to the article. The article flows fine, except for that Sikh reference, and it seems rather out of context and strange. Perhaps she did it to thwart any Muslims complaining that it was vilification of them. But the reference is still wrong, and warrants a justified reply from the author of the article.

Now on to the article itself, she did make it clear that most South Asian/Pakistani Muslims in Britain are not engaged in this behaviour, however she also said that there are specific sets of cultural values within this community, which can lead to this type of crime. She also provided references and quotes from individuals regarding this, and also mentioned the paedophile priest problem in Catholicism.
It is almost like saying that any terrorist attacks that may happen are not going to come from Muslim individuals but may come from anyone. This is not true, they would probably Muslims - but it does not mean all Muslims here are terrorists, they are in the minority!

So the same can be applied to Pakistani men in Britain. The article to me seemed carefully worded and I did not find that she was tarring anyone (perhaps someone could explain to me how, as may be I am understanding this wrongly). Where there is crime originating from a set of values then this should be investigated as a specific issue.

I can give many examples to explain my point:
+ AIDS rate is higher % in gay community than straight
+ Indian and Chinese students achieve highest grades in UK while Afro Carribbean and Pakistani some of the lowest

So it is not about tarring, if there is evidence of something we need to find out the causes behind crimes and inequalities and do all we can to better society.



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