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Lizzie Dearden reports in the Independent, “Faith leaders across Newcastle have urged the public not to cast blame on entire communities in the wake of a police operation exposing the sexual exploitation of more than 700 victims across north-east England . . . The defendants were mainly British-born Muslims and belonged to the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish communities, while their victims are believed to be mainly white British girls and young women . . . Far-right groups have seized on the Newcastle case to vindicate a long-running narrative claiming a widespread conspiracy among Muslim men and certain immigrant groups to target white women. . .

Ewen Weir, who is responsible for social services at Newcastle City Council, said it was “oversimplistic” to attribute the attitudes underpinning the abuse to one group. “It’s not right to oversimplify this because there are men from all sorts of backgrounds, including white men, in this,” he added.
“In terms of religion, I’ve seen no evidence personally that it is a big driver.” A statement signed by faith leaders including Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh and Hindu denominations vowed to continue their “strong and supportive relationships”.’ click here.

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