Keighley MP hits out at dads over sex abuse culture

MP Kris Hopkins spoke  out in the Commons

MP Kris Hopkins spoke out in the Commons

First published in Keighley by

Keighley MP Kris Hopkins has criticised some Muslim fathers for their part in raising abusers.

He said some young men were being brought up as “little princes” with nobody challenging their behaviour.

Mr Hopkins said the result was that they went on to sexually abuse women with only the police willing to stop them.

His condemnation of the sexual attitudes and behaviour of some Pakistani men in Keighley has drawn a mixed response from community leaders in Keighley and Bradford.

Mr Hopkins made his comments in the House of Commons as part of a strongly-worded attack on child sexual exploitation. He said tackling such crimes by members of the British Pakistani community would require greater openness and a fundamental re-examination of core values.

He said: “Now is the time for political and community leaders in the town to step forward, show strength and address the challenges we face.”

He stressed he was not saying that “all British Pakistani men are abusing white kids”.

But he said that while the vast majority of child abusers in the UK were white, there were gangs of Muslim men who were raping white children.

“I am absolutely confident that the police will go in pursuit of those individuals,” he said.

He said there was a need to challenge the unacceptable sexist behaviour of some Muslim men towards women.

“It is a cultural thing about the behaviour towards women that has set in right at the beginning,” he said.

He said one of the reasons women were brought into the UK to marry was so the husband could have a subservient woman in his household.

He praised the work of his predecessor in Parliament, former Keighley Labour MP Ann Cryer, whom he described as a “lone voice” challenging the behaviour of some members of the Kashmiri Pakistani community.

Mrs Cryer yesterday said she felt Mr Hopkins’ comments were “heavy-handed” – but that she supported much of what he said.

She said: “The Koran tells people to marry appropriately, but there is still the habit of Keighley families returning to the poor area of Mirpur in Pakistan to find brides and husbands.

“This means they are holding back the community in terms of education and economically. It was true when I first raised the subject and it hasn’t stopped, to my knowledge.”

Keighley Central Ward Councillor Khadim Hussain said Mr Hopkins was on a “very dangerous road”.

“He is playing to the BNP and the far right with this sort of thing,” he warned. “He is stigmatising a particular community and it is not about race or religion, there are just good people or bad people – that’s it. What he’s said could destroy the fabric of the community in Keighley. Everybody, regardless of race or religion, condemns that sort of behaviour towards women.”

However, Dr Bary Malik, a member of Bradford’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community, said Mr Hopkins’ comments were “outrageous and a disgrace”. “Sticking labels on entire communities is just not acceptable,” he said. “This is the sort of thing that Nick Griffin of the BNP used to say. Just because Jimmy Savile was a paedophile, it doesn’t make me accuse the Christian religion or its leaders of being part of that.”

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