UK: Sikhs ask media to stop calling Pakistani Muslim rape gangs ‘Asian’

'British Sikh and Hindu groups have consistently objected to being tarred with the same brush as Muslims'

Saturday 10 August - The Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) has called on the media to stop referring to grooming gangs that are predominantly comprised of perpetrators from a Pakistani Muslim background as 'Asian', which inaccurately incorporates much of the British Hindu and Sikh communities.

In the United Kingdom, the term 'Asian' typically refers to people from or with roots in south Asia — principally India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh — inclusive of people from the diverse range of faiths in that region, including Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus. It is also used in government reporting services to describe all those mentioned, as well as ethnic Chinese people and people from other groups from the wider Asian continent.

The NSO, a registered charity which represents some 130 gurdwaras (temples) and other Sikh organisations in Britain, made the request on Thursday after consultation with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).

'British Sikh and Hindu groups have consistently objected to the use of the word "Asian" to describe those convicted in sexual grooming gang cases like in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford and Telford,' the NSO said.

Writing on the IPSO’s blog, NSO deputy director Hardeep Singh said that during a meeting with the press standards body in July 2018, they had discussed 'the use of the vague and expansive term "Asian", and the consequences of "Islamophobia" on other groups like Sikhs, who often find themselves marginalised in press coverage'.

'Since 9/11 there have been challenges to Sikh identity, which has often been misunderstood. At times it has been conflated with the appearance of Islamists like Osama bin Laden and also with grooming gang criminal cases like Rochdale and Rotherham,' he added.

Author's comment: Considering that Muslims have been wreaking havoc with Islamic terrorism and Islamic grooming gangs for literally decades in this country, I'm surprised it has taken Sikhs and Hindus so long to lodge a formal complaint over this matter. Still, better late than never.

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