The Quilliam foundation's report whose findings have already ignited heated debate in the media, claims that Muslim South Asian Britons accounted for 244 out of the 264 convictions for child-grooming offences among gangs in the UK since 2005.
The issue has become increasingly prominent since revelations over the extent of the sexual-grooming of girls in the town of Rotherham by South-Asian British men, which UK police had not reported on due to fears over accusations of racism.
The think tank — which seeks to influence British national policy on countering terrorism and extremism — has previously been criticized for lacking grass-roots representation among the Muslim population, as well as for allegedly receiving significant funds from the UK government.
Deputy editor of UK Muslim news-site 5Pillars Dilly Hussain told Sputnik that he rejects the claims made by the Foundation.
"By the very fact that they've included the word 'Muslim,' when referring to Asian-Muslim grooming gangs, indicates that they believe whether passively or directly that religion has a role. The sample size is very small but besides that it is more to do with the organization's credibility. They are far from independent and they tend to parrot government narratives."
Types of Offenders
In a different report published in 2012, the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) said that 100% of child sex offenders in pedophile rings were white.
CEOP works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to "identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account." Its 2012 report has named two types of group-based child sexual exploitation offenders.
Type 1 offenders target victims based on their vulnerability (roughly equivalent of grooming gangs), whereas Type 2 offenders target children as a result of a specific sexual interest in children (roughly equivalent of pedophile rings).
According to CEOP, 75% of Type 1 offenders were of Asian ethnicity, whereas 100% of Type 2 offenders were white.
The Quilliam foundation researchers claim to have found that grooming offenders operate differently based on their cultural backgrounds, alleging that white European offenders typically pursue their victims alone, with those of Asian origin operate in gangs, something Mr. Hussain insisted is incorrect.
"A simple Google search will show you that there are organized white Caucasian grooming gangs in the Midlands and the North, I'd be interested to know how they've arrived at that conclusion. Sexual deviancy is something that cannot be attributed to religion at all, culture maybe, but not religion. You deal with people according to the crimes they have committed, crimes are crimes, we should not be racializing them," he said.