By Amit Roy
IN AN interview with presenter Ian Payne on LBC last week, the Tory MP for Calder Valley, Craig Whittaker, blamed Asians in general and Muslims in particular for the coronavirus spike in Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
Asked by Payne if Whittaker was talking about the Muslim community, the MP responded: “Of course.”
Whittaker went on: “We have areas of high multiple occupancy – when you have multiple families living in one household. It doesn’t specifically have to be in the Asian community, but that is the largest proportion.
“Look at the areas. You’ve got Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees. Bradford and Kirklees have two of the largest populations in West Yorkshire.”
In the Mail on Sunday, Manzoor Moghal, a community spokesman in Leicester, wrote: “The areas affected, including Blackburn, Oldham, Bradford and Manchester, have large populations with roots in the Indian subcontinent. And while West Yorkshire Tory MP Craig Whittaker was accused of racism for claiming there are ‘sections of our community that are just not taking the pandemic seriously’, I’m afraid that he had a point, however clumsily he made it.”
Nazir Afzal conceded in the Daily Mail, “of the four million plus people affected (by the new lockdown), many are Muslims, since northern towns contain some of the largest south Asian populations in the country.
“Ignoring dangers is always counter-productive, as I know from my own experience as the crown prosecutor for North West England, when I had to battle against the institutionalised determination of the police, the media and local authorities to cover-up of the abuse of white girls by predatory, mainly south Asian, gangs in my locality.”
I have argued from the start that what is required is a “culturally sensitive” campaign targeting Asians. Blaming those who have suffered most seems very un-British.