So-called 'Asian sex gangs' should be referred to as 'Muslim sex gangs' because they are commonly defined by a shared faith, according to the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Trevor Phillips says calling the gangs 'Asian' is an evasive attempt by social elites to not appear Islamophobic while they fail to address the underlying causes of child abuse.

His comments come two days after it was revealed that an overwhelmingly Muslim grooming gang in Newcastle had abused around 100 young women and underage girls between 2010 and 2014.

This was the latest in a string of high-profile scandals in English towns and cities where vulnerable, underage white girls have been passed around paedophile rings mostly made up of Pakistani and Bangladeshi men.

Phillips wrote in The Telegraph: "What the perpetrators have in common is their proclaimed faith. They are Muslims, and many of them would claim to be practising.

"It is not Islamophobic to point this out, any more than it would be racist to point out that the most active persecutors of LGBT people come from countries where most people are, like me, black."

He also said the term 'Asian sex gang' was also highly offensive to Hindu Indians and East Asians who have not been associated with child sex rings like those Newcastle, Rotherham and Rochdale.

Anti-Islam activists have for years argued that the term 'Muslim sex gangs' should have been used to refer to the groups involved in these scandals, but their calls have been largely ignored by the mainstream.

"If we are going to call a spade a spade, then we should do so without embarrassment," said Phillips, a lifelong equalitycampaigner.

Sex gangs are racist

Trevor Phillips
Trevor Phillips, former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, previously said it could be that Muslims 'see the world different from the rest of us' Oli Scarff/Getty

Phillips' remarks came as several politicians demanded that so-called Asian sex gang offenders have their sentences increased on the grounds that their crimes were racially motivated.

In Newcastle, and elsewhere, the gangs have targeted white girls, plying them with alcohol and drugs before passing them around as sexual objects.

During one of the recent trials, a gang member was heard to have referred to women as "white trash" who were "only good for one thing".

Mike Penning, a former policing and justice minister, said: "Some of them freely admitted that their attitude to these girls was based on race. If that's the case then this is a racially motivated crime and the sentence should and must reflect that.

"I cannot understand, in a case where the police have done brilliantly well, why the sentence doesn't reflect the severity of the crime. These were young women and girls that have been violated. Racism comes in many shapes and sizes."

Home Truths

Sarah Champion
Sarah Champion's Rotherham constituency was blighted by a child sex ring Getty

The systematic abuse of white girls at the hands of predominately Muslim men in towns and cities across the UK has been characterised by experts as the "boyfriend model".

It sees vulnerable young girls, often living in foster homes, befriended by their attackers who shower them with attention, drugs and alcohol.

The girls often believe they are in a relationship with the men, who then abuse them and pass them onto other men to be abused – often at a price.

Rotherham's Labour MP Sarah Champion warned that this will not be the last scandal of its kind, saying: "This is still going on in our towns now, I know it's still going on but we're still not addressing it."

"People are more afraid to be called a racist than they are afraid to be wrong about calling out child abuse," she added.

Champion and others believe that that the crime can only be understood and therefore stopped if it is confronted head on.

Phillips agrees: "Call this crime what it is," he said. "An organised assault on white children by people from a specific minority group."