London: British Sikhs and Hindus have launched an online petition asking politicians and media to stop using vague terms like "Asian" while talking of child sex grooming by gangs as it besmirches their communities.
Four leading religious groups - the Hindu Council UK, the Network of Sikh Organisations, the Sikh Media Monitoring Group and the Sikh Awareness Society - have sponsored the online petition, The Times said in a report today.
Political correctness should not stop the government from identifying "an emerging pattern of criminality" perpetrated by some British Pakistanis against predominantly white girls, they were quoted as saying by The Times.
The petition has called on British politicians and the media to stop using vague terms that "besmirch" their communities.
"By masking the identity of perpetrators by using the vague terminology `Asian`, we are unable to have a mature discussion or get to the root cause of an emerging pattern of criminality," the organisations claim, according to the report.
"In order to help find a solution to the problem, we need to be clear on the identity of those involved. We will not be able to do this if we mask the identity based on misguided views of protecting a vulnerable community of perpetrators and not looking at the vulnerable community of victims. Political correctness by some of our elected representatives is stifling an important debate," they were quoted as saying.
More than 600 people have signed the "ipetition" till last night, the report said.
Lord Indarjit Singh of Wimbledon, director of the Network of Sikh Organisations, complained in 2012 to the BBC about the word Asian being used "in an unhelpful, misleading and insensitive way".
His complaint was not upheld because the BBC said it was used in the relevant broadcast "to refer to the ethnicity of those involved, rather than their religion". However, the BBC did acknowledge his concerns.
The petition criticises Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale.
He said in a BBC interview: "We still need a breakthrough, I think, in terms of the Asian community."