Earlier this month, the ringleaders of a depraved 15-strong gang who groomed vulnerable girls as young as 12 for sex were given indefinite prison sentences.
Now supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) and other far-right groups say controversy over the gangs could bring chaos to the streets not seen since the summer of 2001.
We understand the EDL is ready to protest over the grooming issue in key areas in the North-West and Yorkshire over the coming months.
Stephen Lennon, leader of the anti-Islam group – aka Tommy Robinson, above right – told the Daily Star Sunday: “The fact that Muslim gangs target young white girls is not new.
“This has been going on for two decades. Yet it has been ignored by the Government and the police for too long.
“There is an undercurrent of anger in Britain and I don’t think the Government are aware of it.
“And as more of these gangs are highlighted in the media, the more people will get angrier.
“We are not being represented by Government or any political parties, so this is why the EDL is getting so much support.
“And if it doesn’t stop there will be civil unrest across the country – riots like we haven’t seen in a long time.
“We as a group are trying to avoid that. We want to channel that anger and frustration into mass, peaceful protests.
“But the longer it’s ignored and brushed under the carpet, it will happen. It will just need one incident in one town and it could trigger a reaction across the whole country.”
The jailed ringleaders of the Asian gang were Abid Mohammed Saddique, 27, and Mohammed Romaan Liaqat, 28 from Derby – both married with children. They were described as “sexual predators” who subjected their young victims to a “reign of terror”.
Last week nine members of an Asian gang were arrested on suspicion of luring white girls as young as 13 into prostitution after a two-year police probe in Rochdale, Lancs. Those arrests came after former Home Secretary Jack Straw sparked controversy by saying Pakistani men “trawled the streets” looking for young white girls as “easy meat”.
Figures show that of 56 men sentenced since 1997 for sex gang crimes involving girls aged 11 to 16, 53 were Muslim.
Lennon, 27, claims the EDL has more than 60,000 members and added: “We are not racists. But we live in towns and cities where we see the influence of Islam on our country.
“Do you know people who are addicted to heroin sold to them by Muslim gangs? I do. Do you know any 11 or 12-year-old family members who are being pimped out by Muslim gangs? I do.”
Race riots erupted in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley during 2001 as a result of escalating racial tensions.