The British Sikh Federation has recently urged the police to refrain from using the term ‘Asian’ when referring to criminals with South Asia origins, especially in the aftermath of the Rotherham sex-trials that largely involve Pakistani Muslim men, who preyed on the teenage girls.
The Sikh Federation has made the plea following the conviction of four Pakistani-origin men, all belonging to a single family, for raping and sexually abusing as many as 15 teenage girls for over 16 years in Rotherham, northern England. As per the case, four accused including Arshid Hussain, was imprisoned for 35 years, Basharat Hussain, 39, Bannaras Hussain, 36, and Qurban Ali, 53, were handed 25 years, 19 years and 10 years respectively.
“If the four men found guilty (in Rotherham sex abuse case) were Pakistani Muslims, this is how they should be described, not as Asian,” said Bhai Amrik Singh of Sikh Federation UK. He also added that, "One of the demands in the Sikh Manifesto that we published a year ago before the General Election was that the government should encourage public bodies and the media to abandon the use of the term 'Asian' when describing perpetrators for reasons of political correctness".
The case has been prominently discussed in the media as an example of 'Asian grooming gangs', which the group believes divides communities. The issue was also criticized in 2013 when Sikh and Hindu groups started a petition against the use of the word for the gang. In a joint statement then, the Hindu Council, UK, the Network of Sikh Organisations Sikh Media Monitoring Groups and the Sikh Awareness Society has said then, “Communities who themselves fall victim to the emerging pattern of criminality should not be besmirched by the vague terminology ‘Asian’. Rather, one needs to be clear on the identity of those involved”.
The petition closed with around 1,860 signatures calling for the word 'Asian' not to be used in grooming and sex abuse cases. For reasons of excessive political correctness and possible claims of racism, the broader term 'Asian' has been instead of calling a spade a spade and this has continued to be incorrectly used although it is inappropriate.