Pakistani men and sexual abuse: British journalist's new recipe for humour
LONDON (Web Desk) - Katie Hopkins, the Sun columnist and businesswoman, has been reported to the police for possible race hate crimes after being accused by a Labour MP of equating men of Pakistani origin with child abusers.
A complaint from Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, claims that the reality TV star has associated the Pakistani flag with the sexual abuse of minors in a series of Twitter messages.
It follows a prolonged row between Hopkins and Danczuk over his decision to attend the raising of a Pakistani flag over the local town hall to mark National Pakistan Day on 23 March.
She has claimed that it is outrageous to raise the Pakistani flag in Rochdale. In 2012, nine men from the Lancashire town, eight of whom were of Pakistani origin, were jailed for their part in a child sexual exploitation ring.
Danczuk said: “I don’t think we should beat about the bush here, Katie Hopkins is inciting racial hatred.
“Rochdale has a proud history of coming together to mark special days in different cultures, from St Patrick’s Day to the Ukrainian Holodomor, and our town will not take any lessons from Katie Hopkins on community cohesion. She has waded into something she doesn’t understand and her ignorance is extremely dangerous.”
The flag was raised over Rochdale town hall for less than half an hour, according to Danczuk’s aide. Afterwards, the MP posted a photo of himself on Twitter with two men of Pakistani origin at the ceremony.
This infuriated Hopkins, who replied with a photograph of eight of the men convicted for offences connected to child exploitation. Above the image, she wrote: “Are these your friends too @SimonDanczuk? Is this why you are raising the Pakistani flag in Rochdale? 77 years inside.”
Another post, which Danczuk has reported to the police, said: “Your Pakistani friends saw young white girls as fair game when they abused them. Do NOT lecture me on community cohesion fool.”
A further tweet said: “Raising a Pakistani flag in Rochdale is not helping community cohesion. it is inflammatory. @SimonDanczuk you & your party disgust me.”
Danczuk’s office said he sent a complaint to the office of Greater Manchester’s police commissioner, Tony Lloyd, on Sunday.
Since the row began, Danczuk claims to have received threats and a petition has been launched calling for the flag to be taken down. One English Defence League splinter group, which describes itself as the North West Infidels, has asked members to hold a rally in the town on 9 May.
Hopkins, 40, first appeared on television as a contestant on the BBC’s The Apprentice in 2007, but has since made a name for herself as a commentator with her vociferous, and often rightwing, views.
In a column in the Sun on Friday, she returned to the subject of the raising of Pakistan’s flag in Rochdale, and wrote: “I tell you what, Mr Danczuk, let’s chat to the families of the white girls passed around like meat because they were ‘fair game’ and see what they think of your views on community cohesion.”
The father of the main prosecution witness in the child sex grooming scandal has accused Hopkins of stoking racial divisions for her own purposes.
The man, known as Tom, told the Guardian: “Abuse is about criminality, not the nationality of these people. I think it’s abhorrent to link the flag of Pakistan with child abuse. I can’t understand why she has been allowed to get away with these comments.
“She’s trying to exploit what has happened to our family. The town has been cut very deeply. It is not going to heal if people are allowed to write whatever they like without taking responsibility.”
In December, police said they were investigating complaints they received concerning Hopkins’ tweets about Pauline Cafferkey, a Scottish aid worker who was diagnosed with Ebola after returning to the UK from Sierra Leone. She had written: “Little sweaty jocks, sending us Ebola bombs in the form of sweaty Glaswegians just isn’t cricket. Scottish NHS sucks.”
Hopkins declined to comment.
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