In comments following the Rochdale grooming scandal involving nine Muslim men, the Conservative Party co-chairman admitted that race was a factor.
She urged Muslim leaders to address the issue and ensure that men who regard white women as ‘third class citizens’ are isolated by their communities.
Nine Muslim men, mainly of Pakistani origin, were found guilty last week of plying girls as young as 13 with drink and drugs so they could ‘pass them around’ and use them for sex.
‘And we have to be prepared to say that. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first.
‘This small minority who see women as second class citizens, and white women probably as third class citizens, are to be spoken out against.’
Lady Warsi, Britain’s most senior Muslim politician, said she had decided to speak out after her father – who moved to the UK from the Punjab – told her she should be ‘out there condemning it as loudly as you could’.
‘In mosque after mosque, this should be raised as an issue so that anybody remotely involved should start to feel that the community is turning on them,’ she said.
Communities have a responsibility to stand up and say, ‘’This is wrong, this will not be tolerated’’.’
She also urged the authorities to have the confidence to tackle allegations involving minorities.
‘Cultural sensitivity should never be a bar to applying the law,’ she said.
The case sparked national outrage as the nine Asian men were jailed for a total of 77 years.
The men – who are all from Pakistan, apart from one who is from Afghanistan – were found guilty of raping and abusing up to 47 girls – some as young as 13 – after plying them with alcohol and luring them to takeaways.
They were found to have groomed and ‘shared’ the young white girls because they were vulnerable.
Despite overwhelming claims that the targeting of young white girls was a cultural problem, several senior figures were accused of ‘burying their heads in the sand’ by denying the link.
Police played down the racial backgrounds of the men, saying the girls – mostly from broken or ‘chaotic’ homes – were targeted because they were vulnerable, not because they were white.
Evil: Abdul Qayyum (left), 43, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy. Mohammed Amin (right) 45, was handed five years for conspiracy and sexual assault. The gang’s 59-year-old ringleader, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to 19 years in jail
Monsters: Abdul Aziz (left), 41, was given nine years for conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation. Mohammed Sajid (right), 35, received 12 years tor conspiracy, trafficking, one count of rape and one count of sexual activity with a child
Scum: Hamid Safi (left), 22, was given four years for conspiracy and trafficking but not guilty of two counts of rape. Adil Khan (right), 42, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation
Kabeer Hassan (left), 25, was jailed for nine years for conspiracy and rape. Abdul Rauf (right), 43, was found guilty of conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation and jailed for six years
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘It is not a racial issue. This is about adults preying on vulnerable young children. It just happens that in this particular area and time the demographics were that these were Asian men.
Backing them, Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee, told said that highlighting the Pakistani origin of all but one of the gang risked giving ammunition to the far-Right.
But Martin Narey, former chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, said there was a ‘real problem’ which had to be confronted.
‘There is very troubling evidence that Asians are overwhelmingly represented in prosecutions for such offences,’ he said. Mr Narey added that ‘vulnerable girls on the street at night are generally white rather than more strictly-parented Asian girls’.
This was even backed up by equalities chief Sir Trevor Phillips described as ‘fatuous’ the idea that there was no racial link in the Rochdale child sex grooming case.
Mr Phillips, the chairman of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, said it would be a ‘national scandal’ if it emerged that social services and schools had not acted on reports of abuse for fear of ‘demonising’ minority communities.
He was asked on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show whether the case illustrated a cultural problem in part of the Pakistani Muslim community about the way men regard white women as ‘fair game’.
Mr Phillips replied: ‘Let’s remember the most important thing about this is that these men are criminals; these children are street kids.
‘However, I think anybody who says that the fact that most of the men are Asian and most of the children are white is not relevant, I mean that’s just fatuous.’
Kabeer Hassan, 25, of Oldham, was jailed for nine years for rape and conspiracy. Abdul Aziz, 41, of Rochdale, was jailed for nine years for conspiracy and trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Abdul Rauf, 43, of Rochdale, was jailed for six years for trafficking and conspiracy. Mohammed Sajid, 35, of Rochdale, was jailed for 12 years for conspiracy, rape, sexual activity with a child and trafficking.
Adil Khan, 42, of Rochdale, was jailed for eight years for conspiracy and trafficking. Mohammed Amin, 45, of Rochdale, was jailed for five years for conspiracy and sexual assault.
Abdul Qayyum, 44, of Rochdale, was jailed for five years for conspiracy. Failed Afghan asylum seeker Hamid Safi, 22, of Rochdale, was jailed for four years for conspiracy and trafficking.