Updated December 11, 2015 14:39:12>
> Photo: The Cronulla riots felt incredibly personal for a lot of the Lebanese students in my school, including me. (AAP: Paul Miller)
Ten years after the Cronulla riots there are still ramifications. I am no longer the frightened 14-year-old worried an "Aussie" is looking to fight me, but those events did affect my outlook, feelings and sense of belonging for a long time, writes Mohamed Taha.
I was shocked, disgusted, angry and confused as I walked into my school the day after the Cronulla riots. I was 14 years old.
Granville Boys High School was a great place. The students were predominantly Lebanese Muslims, followed by Polynesian and Turkish students. I was a warm, bubbly student - a "cool" geek that was just awarded the Dux of Year 9 weeks earlier. The staff were strong-willed and many students were a little rough around the edges. There was a ghetto-like subculture among some students.
On that Monday, tensions were really high at the school. The riots were the talk of the playground. A lot of students were venting about the media reports they witnessed a day earlier: images of violence, drunkenness, vandalism, offensive slogans and racism. Particularly the images of Australian flags draped over the shoulders of Caucasian men who were targeting anyone who looked remotely Middle Eastern in appearance.
It all felt incredibly personal for a lot of the Lebanese students, including me. In class, I recall hearing some students saying how their parents were "packing their bags" or how they would "bash an Aussie" if they saw one. My friend referred to the racist catchcry, "We grew here, you flew here". One student joked, "Don't worry boys, just tell them, 'You came in chains, we came in planes'."
The funny thing is we were all born and raised in Australia. It didn't matter though, as many of us were angry and some wanted revenge.
The "us and them" mentality had overpowered rational thought with fear and anger. At recess, I saw three Lebanese boys pushing another student against the wall. When I got closer, I realised they were about to punch one of the fair-skinned Italian students.
"Are you an Aussie dog or not?" one yelled as he grabbed the student's shirt collar with his other fist clenched. The student pleaded he wasn't "Aussie". I intervened and told them to leave him alone. I said he's Italian, not Aussie and that he was against the riots.
My mum was concerned about our welfare and told us to be careful in public. Weeks after the riots, we were only allowed to go to and from school.
They stormed off. He was visibly shaken. I remember helping him stand and reminded him to tell people that day he was Italian, not "Aussie". In retrospect that was wrong, but at the time it seemed like the only way to quell the anger.
By lunchtime, a text message had circulated among students that a bunch of white Aussie boys from the Shire were coming down to "punch on" with us after school. Apparently they were meeting us at Granville train station. I was shocked and a little frightened. I remember asking my older brother what we should do. He said we should do nothing but if anything happens, we will defend ourselves.
We lived in Lidcombe, which meant we had to travel east to get home, while the other boys travelled west to Granville, Guildford and Merrylands. This put my brother and me at risk of confronting the Caucasian group alone.
While I was worried about my own safety, others in the playground were turning to thoughts of battle.
"If they want war, we'll give them war," one yelled.
So almost 100 students, predominantly Lebanese, Arab and Turkish, gathered and went to the woodwork department. Many took pieces of wood as weapons. In the heat of the moment, I put a piece of wood in my bag. It was the first time I had ever given in to peer pressure, because I was genuinely scared I could be attacked. Upon reflection, I had given in to the "herd mentality".
At the end of the day, like an army mobilising numbers on a battlefield, groups of students patrolled various parts of Granville train station and its platforms. It was very tense. Any person who looked remotely "Aussie" (fair-skinned and in school uniform) received a barrage of questions from hot-headed students. No such group came. The students went home. As my brother and I walked home from Lidcombe train station, I stopped at a local park and buried the piece of wood under mulch.
When we got home, we had a long conversation with my parents. My parents called for calm and restraint. My mum was concerned about our welfare and told us to be careful in public. Weeks after the riots, we were only allowed to go to and from school.
Ten years on, the riots still have ramifications. I am 24 now, but as I grew up the riots affected my outlook, feelings and sense of belonging. It's difficult enough to navigate your way through life as a teenager with all the standard teen woes and problems. Add the complexities of racism, politics, media coverage and figuring out my identity and it can be very overwhelming.
I found my way by being comfortable in my own skin and I'm grateful for that. The moment I found peace of mind was the moment I embraced my mixed identity: I'm Australian by nationality, Muslim by faith and Lebanese by cultural heritage. I'm richer for it. It was incredibly difficult to figure out whilst learning what it is to be a "man" and how to be a "man".
UK Islamic scholar Aftab Malik from the UN Alliance of Civilisations describes young Arabs and Muslims in the West as the "post 9/11 generation". For us in Australia, I would add to that the Cronulla riots. One of the ugliest episodes in recent Australian history didn't happen in a vacuum. It was a culmination of a bubbling undercurrent of racial tensions and clashes between young Caucasian and Middle Eastern men.
Until recently I thought we'd improved race relations in Australia. The Adam Goodes saga tells us otherwise. If our elite athletes get racially abused, what hope does the average Khaled, Ahmed or Maryam have of a fair go in society?
The then prime minister, John Howard, seemed averse to suggesting that racism was involved when he said: "I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country."
Tell that to 14-year-old me who was petrified of going home. The lack of honesty and stench of hypocrisy suffocated me. It engulfed my lungs. I wanted our leaders to call out the terrible behaviour and criminality from BOTH sides. Then right-wing commentators and media personalities added fuel to the fire by shifting blame on the "Lebanese community", labelling them "Middle Eastern grubs". The divisive language and slogans from both camps created a dangerous mix of unrest, anger, hysteria, paranoia and anxiety.
Australia's undercurrent of racism reared its ugly head that day. And despite it being 10 years ago, many are still affected today. The majority of my Year 12 cohort went on to attend university, college and TAFE. Some entered the workforce. Many went through an identity crisis. Some changed their name to make it more "Anglo-friendly" for work purposes. Some internalised racism. Others adopted a victim mentality and blamed the system for everything that went wrong in their life. While others developed an inferiority complex. Sadly, some still carry these demons with them today.
Until recently I thought we'd improved race relations in Australia. The Adam Goodes saga tells us otherwise. If our elite athletes get racially abused, what hope does the average Khaled, Ahmed or Maryam have of a fair go in society?
We need a shift in attitude from all parts of society. For starters, let's be open and honest about our history as a nation. Those in positions of leadership need to be measured in times of crisis. We have a civic duty to proactively work towards holistic change and aspire to higher values of justice, equality and fairness.
When I walk past the park in Lidcombe, I sometimes think of the piece of wood. Like our demons, it is buried deep down inside and lies dormant. It serves as a reminder of what a 14-year-old Australian Muslim of Lebanese descent felt he had to resort to in this country at a time when our social fabric was at breaking point.
First posted December 11, 2015 08:09:27
Comments for this story are closed.
a happy little debunker:
11 Dec 2015 8:22:13am
Cry me a river,
I was a young fringe member of the Punk movement of the late 70's and early 80's.
Attracted to the libertarian component of that movement.
We were involved in cultural clashes that involved violence and intimidation by others and of others - for beliefs.
We self-identified and were identified, based on the way we looked.
The more it changes - the more it stays the same!
11 Dec 2015 9:53:23am
@ a happy little debunker:
Australia is constantly evolving as a so called multicultural society. We have a long and complex history of slowly absorbing those ostracized who then promptly join the main stream and turn their attention on to the latest arrivals who are seen as not fitting in. Let me say to the Muslims who are currently feeling on the outer, reflect on the history of the Irish Catholics going back a hundred years and more, have patience like they did and then join the mainstream in launching a fresh tirade on the next group of unfortunates. Probably the Pacific islanders who will flee to Australia in huge numbers to escape drownings as the ocean swallows up their homelands.
11 Dec 2015 11:41:51am
When I was a kid in Wollongong there were many immigrants- which created stresses in society. I well remember the captain of the serbian soccer team being shot in Port Kembla.
But before the immigrants Australia had problems. There were factories that were protestant and others that were catholic. You couldn't get work in the place unless you were of the right religion. As you say this was the result of the Irish catholic/ Anglo protestant divide of the previous 100 or so years.
Times change and the population changes. It will all be just the same with different victims in another 100 years
11 Dec 2015 11:59:54am
Australia is actually quite monocultural. Our legal system is one. Common law. Our national language is one. English. Our values are based on judeo christian values. So maybe dual. Australia is a multiracial, religiously diverse nation but allowing the racism, misogyny and violence of islam would actually degrade the nations values.
11 Dec 2015 1:25:57pm
"Allowing the racism, misogyny and violence of islam would actually degrade the nations values" What a load of rubbish. Christianity has all the of those issues, they just have national armed forces to do the violence element for the most part.
11 Dec 2015 1:42:21pm
Yes jeff: we call that "the rule of law".
Too many Muslims want to take that law into the hands of the local Iman, warlord or nut-job.
Some cultures ARE superior to others - that is simply a statement of the bleeding obvious.
11 Dec 2015 3:39:58pm
Too many anglo aussies also like taking the law into "their own hands" , hence the mindless violence of these flag draped men and women deciding to be criminal vigilantes 10 yrs ago.
Doesn't that matter equally to you?
11 Dec 2015 2:12:35pm
Find me a group of thousands of armed Christian fundamentalists anxious to travel to Europe or other Western countries to kill people, let alone massacre and behad theri own civil population.
I don't mind an accurate depiction of the misdeeds of "Christians" in the past, but you've got to be very irrational to compare ISIL with current professed Christians.
11 Dec 2015 3:18:33pm
How about the USA? George Bush's crusade not only went to the Middle East and launched a series of wars, but they've also thrown out their constitution, drone strike their own citizens and basically terrorise the world. And it goes back over 50 years to the catholics in Chile, the Protestants in Guatemala, the USA don't mind using crazy fundamentalist Christians to further their agenda.
11 Dec 2015 9:56:35am
I'll try again ... you choose to be punk this man didn't choose to be of Lebanese decent. Punks entire point was to poke establishment in the eye. That isn't the point of being Lebanese.
The entire point is we all need to show some empathy if we are ever to get past this pointless hatred thing.
a happy little debunker:
11 Dec 2015 10:44:26am
in Australia we get to choose how we present ourselves to the wider public, no matter your colour, ethnicity, religion, whatever.
Whilst being a victim is not uncommon - choosing to further self-identify as a victim is your own choice.
I find it hard to empathise with such self-indulgence.
11 Dec 2015 12:23:33pm
Happy, the Yank is right in that there is a vast difference to how we chose to represent ourselves and that which we are born into by our color, ethnic background or religion. I was a long haired surfer in the 1960's and was treated accordingly by the police and others but as the Yank said that was my choice.
You know it that thing called empathy where you are able to put yourself in the other person place and understand their situation. Sadly for some empathy is something some people find hard to find and therefor see and understand what other people go through.
The Cronulla riots were a stain on our history and I thank the author for telling us his story. I would also suggest most people from Cronulla don't want to find themselves linked to it in any way. The question is have we as a nation learnt anything from it.
a happy little debunker:
11 Dec 2015 12:36:48pm
In case you missed it the Author identifies that he choose to become involved, regaling us with his torrid tale of his intended conflict.
He roamed with a gang intent on bailing up any fair skinned Australians to ensure they weren't intent of causing 'trouble'.
None was had, but so shamed was the Author that he buried the evidence of his active involvement.
Hard to find empathy - with a self-outed gang member intent on giving a bruising.
11 Dec 2015 3:43:58pm
"with a self-outed gang member intent on giving a bruising"
Happu, what article did you read because it must have been a totally different one to the one I read here. I saw no were that he said that he was part of a gang going out to give a brusing to someone. All he said was that they were in fear of being attacked themselves on their way home and when they wern't they were relieved and went home.
I hope you understand the difference between being in fear of being attacked and setting out to defend yourself and that of the person going out to intentially attack someone. There is a difference and I would suggest a big difference at that.
11 Dec 2015 12:25:30pm
What a hypocrite.
In the 70's and 80's you choose to defy authority and you choose to display that defiance. Now you decry people that did not choose to defy anything and yet were still discriminated against. Do you really not see the difference of your past position and their present one?
11 Dec 2015 1:02:12pm
The article isn't about discrimination. It is about how a group of Lebanese teenagers got angry, armed themselves and started threatening people at a train station.
But much like the media, you've been conditioned to ignore this. Instead of reading the real words in front of your eyes, you just see "whitey racism bad". This narrative needs to end.
11 Dec 2015 2:38:27pm
Didn't read the article with both eyes did you Zing?
THE article was about how one young man and his fellow neighbours were threaten by white Australians BECAUSE they were perceived as Muslims and how they reacted. What do you call that? I call it racism.
AHLD then tried to belittle that man's experience with his as a punker, come on think about it all.
11 Dec 2015 3:46:30pm
This article isn't about discrimination! Wow, what an amazing analysis of it, Not.
11 Dec 2015 12:51:51pm
Strangely boys in an Australian scool dont call themselves Australian. Why? If they dont like Australia tgey should plan to leave. If they do tgen be proud in bein Australian. Ancestory should be a thing of the past.
11 Dec 2015 1:06:22pm
'Australians' had just rioted to the affect of great violence and hatred against their communities. I can forgive them not feeling particularly thrilled to be part of that. And if you think that you can just leave your ancestry and the cultural history that carries with it on the door, or that you should have to, then you yourself miss the point of our culture.
11 Dec 2015 12:54:40pm
Yep, in Australia its possible to present yourself however you want, but those who are ignorant, biased and racist only see what they want to see of you. I could have just arrived or lived my whole life here, but some people just judge purely by a split second glance.
11 Dec 2015 2:39:15pm
Or how you speak as I have found out many times.
11 Dec 2015 3:57:06pm
11 Dec 2015 12:28:54pm
We all do need to show empathy. So why are we ignoring the grievance of the rioters and the bad behavior of some in the Lebanese community still?
Lets talk about fear, as the article does? How about the fear I felt when I intervened in a racist and sexist attack by a group of Lebanese youth on a Chinese woman. Let's talk about her fear when confronted in a dark lonely place with disgusting comments about her genitals. Lets talk about my fear when my negotiations failed and I found myself in a fight for my life.
Let's talk about another incident when a group of Lebanese youth threatened me with a knife. Another, when I was four, with a razor blade. Another on a train where I was subject to homophobic and racist slurs and the implied threat of violence.
A Former Lefty:
11 Dec 2015 12:49:24pm
None of that was uncommon in the time I lived in Sydney twenty years ago, in fact it was all too common.
I was part of the goth subculture, which apparently meant to moslems that my friends and I were satanists and therefore targets of abuse and violence. We always had to travel in groups because we well knew what could happen if we went out at night on our own after a good friend of mine did just that and was bashed by a gang of cowards of "Middle Eastern appearance".
I also lived near Oxford St and was very aware that as this was considered a gay area anyone who was out alone at night was equally a target for being gay. The assaults and homophobic bashings were not being conducted by the white bogans, as the media would have us believe, but by the above mentioned cohort of nasty racist, sexist and homophobic grunts, the very same people who started the troubles in Cronulla.
Our media might try to fool us with distortions of the truth, but thankfully people are seeing straight through it and calling this situation out for what it is.
11 Dec 2015 10:22:04am
Wait, how does 'cry me a river' fit into what you said? Are you empathising this man's experiences or saying they don't count because you went through something similar?
11 Dec 2015 12:26:30pm
That's what he is saying and I find it appalling weak and self centred.
11 Dec 2015 1:25:00pm
You did seem to imply, Yank, that the violence Happy experienced was less of a concern because he choose to make himself a target.
11 Dec 2015 2:42:19pm
How is it the same to compare people that take up a position of violence against society, as the punks did, with those that experienced violence for no other reason than there ethnicity?
The punk culture was against antagonising authority in ways that were in times violent.
11 Dec 2015 10:52:39am
Ooh, everybody look at the hard man.
Here's a clue by four for you, mate - you being an angry depressed loner with a Dead Kennedys t-shirt, some of your mum's safety pins in your ear and some green spray in your hair has absolutely nothing to do with somebody getting bashed because of where they were born. You went looking for trouble. It didn't come looking for you whether you wanted it or not.
(Is there anything sadder than an old punk? You've lived to become what you hated - a slacktivist moaning about young people on today's version of talkback radio.)
11 Dec 2015 11:31:24am
Well said Matt! I pictured Vivian from the Young Ones without the sense of humour.
11 Dec 2015 1:36:54pm
Vivian was no a punk. He was into Heavy Metal.
The Saxon t-shirt is a dead giveaway.
So too are the words "Very Metal" on the back of his sleeveless denim jacket.
Know your sub-culture!
11 Dec 2015 2:47:53pm
Lol, thanks Matt. Brilliantly put.
11 Dec 2015 8:24:37am
I think it begins with a pretty good rendering of the horrors and thrills of schoolie's week and yes I do think there is some reasonable probability that the whole cronulla thing was a schoolie's thing. But there are other issues. Another schoolie has deeply criticized a very elite school. Another politician has deeply criticized another politician's actions regarding the underlying issue. Which is not racism SO MUCH AS IT IS more like a type of social unrest. One that stems from the issue 'not enough to go round'.
11 Dec 2015 9:26:06am
"reasonable probability that the whole cronulla thing was a schoolie's thing" ... not from what I hear from those that actually lived there at the time.
From what I was told those on the "Aussie" side were reacting from what they viewed as provocation from Muslims. As I understand it Muslims were critical of the dress code of women and said so. Now I assume there was more to it then just that but I am repeating only what I was told from a person that lived there.
11 Dec 2015 9:51:39am
There has been a deliberate attempt to distort the Cronulla riots by a number of interest groups other the years. The yanks comments about the causes of the initial fracas is correct. There was a long history of intimidation and abuse of women at the beach for the whole summer. The initial fracas occurred around the beach. This is Cronulla and surrounding areas. The fracas later developed into a riot. This again occurred in and around Cronulla and the local area. What has not been mentioned is the large amount of people who drove from lakemba, punchbowl, campsie and that area for the purpose of fighting rioting and seeking some form of revenge. The mobile phones were ringing off inviting all of their mates to go to Cronulla to continue the riot. Who is the victim and who is the aggressor? The answer is both groups of people. What happened was disgraceful and the truth needs to be told. Both groups of offenders were blatantly provocative and not the fault of one group. To continually blame the white Australian male for all matters, whilst easy to do, is wrong and one needs to look for the truth. The second part of the riot occurred as a result of another group leaving their community to go to another community to seek revenge.
What is also interesting is the reactions of people involved after the event. A number of people from one group stood up and took responsibility for their actions and surrendered to police. The other group did not. One group is still claiming to be victims of racism, however drove from punchbowl to Cronulla to be such victim.
11 Dec 2015 11:01:21am
Also if someone can give me a hint on who that white australian male was I'd appreciate it because I really did not catch the bit about the name.
11 Dec 2015 11:19:45am
You hit the nail on the head.
11 Dec 2015 1:12:58pm
I don't want you to think Tristan that I refuse to name racist behaviour as racist behaviour. If there was a riot, then that was a riot. It wasn't much of a riot, most people were expecting something more. Probably much like the people sitting in the auditorium. It's a beat up every much as it is a hammer down.
11 Dec 2015 11:39:36am
I understand that police inaction to complaints of actions of
middle eastern youth was due to the fact that jemma was trying to
tie up the middle eastern vote in lakemba at the time and didn't
want to do anything that could be labelled 'racist' and so let
something that could have been dealt with a bit of pro active
policing get totally out of control.
Bad behaviour on the beach should have been dealt with.
Looking at footage of the riots,massive amounts of alcohol
were being consumed on public property with no intervention
When the ME community retaliated the police where totally
11 Dec 2015 1:24:46pm
On the other side of the coin phil is the possibility that the police thought it would just be a small incident that would simply wind down after a week or two. And so handled it as such. How is that footage in hindsight, is it a bit inflammatory?
11 Dec 2015 11:42:43am
Oh yes! Good point. There had been specific incidents on the beach from memory.
Not excusing deplorable behaviour on either side but interesting to consider how parts of the story may have been forgotten.
11 Dec 2015 12:31:52pm
The author of this piece does not acknowledge at all that there was fault on both sides. That the ME youths had been being provocative, and harassing girls etc at the beach. The riots were disgusting; the local " white " community has been subjected to a lot of criticism and it has been largely accepted. Is it too much to ask that the other rioters(Lebanese mentioned in this article) accept their share of the blame? ( for it was a bilateral fracas, the youths from Lakkemba etc travelled a long way to be put upon, could have avoided it all by staying home for a few days).
Do the same tensions still simmer in the Shire? There was a lot of publicity about inclusive training of Muslim surf lifesavers. Have the Muslim lifeguards taken up service on the beaches, especially the girls? If not, why not? Has there been a continuing intake , as the Muslim youths said they felt excluded from the beach culture?
11 Dec 2015 10:03:34am
Yank if you've followed the discussion it appears that many think it is a deadly struggle between OB and OG federation. So you heard from a person who lived there. Well I was in St Kilda at the time and I can tell you, it really didn't happen there and they had schoolies week too.
11 Dec 2015 10:08:02am
I am not blaming the white australian male whoever he was. I am saying it is unlikely to have been race or at the very least unlikely to have been race at the core of the problem. Race is such a convenient metaphor that one suspects that it moves in to cover a lot of other crimes of spirituality. The british never said hey let's go and take over more races, that is a great activity, what they said was they were doing business. So if we consider the business of business, on beaches, likely to have been a turf thing but for what. Who makes money on beaches.
11 Dec 2015 10:44:51am
I can't identify who makes money from the beach. Perhaps a equally pertinent question is - who benefits from social unrest? Who wants to conquer after we have been divided? The company suppying the camera's, the corporation supplying data tracking software, the businessmen supplying weapons? The powers that be trying to shield our gaze from true activity?
11 Dec 2015 3:38:57pm
I think the race card gets thrown around far to liberally. I think what most people are worried about is Islam and Islamic culture and its horrible bronze age beliefs. Islam is not a race, it is an ideology. I am not racist to say I think Islam has no place in an advanced society. The sooner those that believe are free of it's shackles the better off we will all be. I also don't have a lot of time for the cannibalistic rituals of some tribes in Papua. Am I racist, not really, I just think the human race has evolved to a point where that behavior is not necessary, pretty much like religion really.
11 Dec 2015 2:29:15pm
Anyway YO! non-mainstream people. I am practicing assertiveness. Assertiveness is complicated. Assertiveness when you are non-mainstream appears to be the thing you need. Get on board assertiveness I think it can only help and there are ten steps which is just great.
11 Dec 2015 8:27:23am
Australia is a racist country, as is every other country in the world. There's idiots everywhere.
11 Dec 2015 9:26:47am
Agreed but that doesn't mean we should just accept that sort of hatred.
11 Dec 2015 10:24:08am
I don't think the majority of people are racist in most peaceful countries. People are only racist en masse if there's strife, instability, war etc.
I don't think you can call Australia a racist country. But there are racist people in it, of all stripes.
11 Dec 2015 10:34:59am
Yank: Certainly not and this is why any criminal behaviour should be codified and treated for what it is and not excused. No one is entitled to take the law into their own hands.
11 Dec 2015 11:32:09am
nah.... all countries on earth are filled with humans.
A small proportion of humans are racists due to the way in which they were indoctrinated by their parents/community as children (along with events that shaped them as they grew to a lesser degree).
This is evident in all countries, cultures, civilisations.
And the events in Cronulla and elsewhere prior to this and subsequent to this clearly demonstrate that no group of humans is 'above' racism. They can be found in every church, mosque, pub, bikie gang and lawn bowls club.
But consider how one group of young males got upset about a perceived insult by another group of young males against a group of young females and this resulted in aggression which saw the second group of young males get upset about the perceived insult by the other group of young males directed at a different group of young females which also resulted in aggression.
I would argue the fundamental cause of the entire affair was not racism by either ethnically distinct population but just typical stupid behaviour by young males unable to control their hormones (testosterone), which is an entirely normal and common problem inherent to young males in all societies.
ps. But that sort of story doesn't increase the readership of media outlets who earn money from selling advertising. A sensational story sells more advertising, which in turn sells more widgets. Thus we hear of "racism!"... and we sell more widgets......
11 Dec 2015 11:57:24am
There are racists IN the country, like everywhere else but it does not make Australia A racist country.
Far from it. This is possibly the most tolerant, open, permissive and accommodating place on earth for peoples of all races, faiths and backgrounds. That's the very reason people come here.
It's also worth noting that many people here have fled racism in their home countries, have fled discrimination and intolerance. They have no interest in recreating it here
11 Dec 2015 1:39:12pm
It is nice to find some common ground again.
11 Dec 2015 2:48:05pm
"This is possibly the most tolerant, open, permissive and accommodating place on earth for peoples of all races, faiths and backgrounds. That's the very reason people come here."
So why the ongoing narrative about how Australians (implicitly white Anglo Australians) are racist? And why is this narrative tolerated, let alone supported, by the State in the form of the ABC and our so-called Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane?
Australia has a massive problem with racism... Anglophobic racism from self-identifying victims who genuinely don't believe that white people can even experience racism.
11 Dec 2015 8:27:28am
As much as 'race' defined the groups involved, the more I read about this, the less I am convinced that is actual 'racism' and more about Group A not wanting Group B in what is perceived as Group A's area, and simply using 'race' as a way of defining the groups.
This has been seen in other parts of the world, particularly over religion (Protestant versus Catholic - which has gone from relatively small scale, with Ireland, to extraordinarily large scale, like the 30 years war), as well as similar lines within Islam, and within India the Hindu / Muslim conflicts (which is not about race, but about religion)).
That there is an underlying resistance to change from Group A is inevitable - the established group never wants to let go of what they perceive to be theirs. And given that both sides of the equation were not covering themselves in glory, suggests that racism is/was prevalent on both sides - violence against 'Aussies' is just as racist as violence against 'Lebs'.
11 Dec 2015 9:32:28am
Tend to agree, racism is only the visible end product of ignorance and tribalism and that mistaken and ignorant belief that some of us are superior beings [as one of our previous PMs seems to think].
We all want to belong somewhere, and for some dividing the world in sections (us vs them) makes it easy to belong.
The incapability to see shades of grey, but only black and white is the root of all tribalism: racism, religious intolerance, west vs the rest, Collingwood vs Eagles ...
11 Dec 2015 9:57:22am
Me too. As another example "white" nations banded together to refuse Japan a seat at the League of Nations post WW1, Australia being well involved. On the face of it racism is the glib rationale that is offered whereas in reality it was far mor likely to do with Japan as a very fast rising economic and military power that was a competetive threat to European and American commercial interests in East Asia. The Japanese wanted to koin the great powers club which was by any objective assessment their due but great powers and great commercial intersts are not for sharing. Appealing to racist notions and fears is just a convenient way to get away with it when explaining thigs at home.
AS for the article whining about Adam Goodes, Goodes is just a public clutz like Tony Abbott who just does not get thgat some of his antics are counterproductive. WHinging about racism when it is really just about gand turf wars or over doing some issue is bulldust and does ones credit as a contributor no good at all, no matter how talented an athlete or actor or singer etc.
11 Dec 2015 6:30:00pm
Some of us are in superior cultures.
Unless you believe a culture which could have altered yourr genitalia against your will is just as fine
Or performs ritualistic sacrifice
Or eating humans.
The ABC looks down on those who support the death penalty or stand against gay marriage
Some cultures believe a homosexual relation is worthy of a criminal conviction and sentence.
North Korea imprisons millions as with many others. Some countries condust summary executions. Are you equally supportive of these?
Are all of these equal? If not one is superior.
11 Dec 2015 3:24:12pm
It's not just race and religion that people exploit to assume power. Class has been used much more than race or religion in the past, still happens in the UK, even moreso in India's caste system.
People will exploit whatever fear or group they can to further their agenda.
Most leaders of such racist, religious, or class-based intolerance are usually the worst when it comes to walking the talk. Throughout history, the lead Communists gave themselves everything, the popes took mistresses, the defenders of freedom withdraw freedoms. They hide behind nationalism or racism or whatever, but they're usually just scared or insane.
11 Dec 2015 8:30:47am
Perhaps Mr Taha might also have mentioned that the situation was inflamed by media reports of two round of appeals processes then going on in the Sydney Courts.
These involved members of the two so-called "Muslim Rape Gangs" led by Bilal Skaf and the Khan Brothers, that had been broken up by police a couple of years earlier.
As people might recall, there was a lot media coverage regarding these groups which for a period terrorised Sydney's streets as they sought "non-Muslim" girls to bash and rape. Their victims included women and girls of Caucasian, Indian, East Asian and Koori background.
There was a lot of unpleasantness in 2005......
11 Dec 2015 11:39:54am
The media need people to take an interest, so they can charge more for advertising space, in turn advertisers need people to take an interest in the media page/paper etc so they can sell more widgets.
Some folk forget the sensational stories in the media are really just there in order to sell widgets.
Perhaps both groups of young men who were violent in Cronulla would have been better directing their hormonally imbalance brains at criticising a media that ignores their obligations to society as they attempt to make as much money as possible from their business venture (of selling advertising).
If only the media were running stories about accountants stealing their clients trust funds, lawyers doing back door deals, judges perverting justice, and politicians and businesses scratching each others backs..... boring I know.... but less likely to cause ethnic tensions etc.
11 Dec 2015 8:30:54am
It would seem the overall reaction by ethnic communities to the riots was taken to include all cultures when it actually was a protest about aggressive gangs who seemed to act with impunity for many years at Cronulla. Many young Lebanese were out of order and encouraged each other with fou-mouthed insults at anything they considered Australian.
It exploded in the worst possible way but nothing can justify the attitude of young middle-eastern youth at that time in Cronulla.
11 Dec 2015 10:21:15am
Behaviour of individuals or groups is only down to those individuals or groups David, not the entire Lebanese Muslim community. When Alan Jones incited hatred and vilified Lebanese Muslims in on-air comments made in the lead-up to the Cronulla riots, he was the spark that spread the flame.
It was proved Jones "incited hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule of Lebanese Muslims" during on-air comments in April 2005.
He had described them as "vermin" who "rape and pillage a nation that's taken them in".
I spent a lot of my youth on the beaches around Cronulla. I was surprised when race hatred erupted there because Surfies were only one step from Hippies in my mind, more accepting and open than the general population.
On the other hand, shock jocks are at the bottom of human scum. There are racists, criminals, paedophiles and then there are shock jocks. They make a living out of prejudice and they get off scot free.
11 Dec 2015 10:35:37am
Yes, that is the most important part of this whole story: The violence that occured BEFORE the reaction, ie the stabbings, bashings, gang raping, spitting, and the burning of Australian flags. (I speak from experience, having been stabbed spat on, punched sneered at and abused and watched the Australian flag being burned on a number of occasion. You could go on and on, but we are not allowed to talk about that side of the story any more because "its racists"
As an Australian male going to the beach at Cronulla, i felt terrorised, and the feeling of the day was: oh well, there isnt much that can be done to stop this anymore, so it looks like we will be all going to do what we love (going to the beach) in fear from now on in?
Maybe the Cronulla riots were a wake up call, both side seem a little more respectful, apart from the few fringe dwellers. Which is better then having a mainstream of two cultures going head to head!!
11 Dec 2015 11:45:16am
There never was a mainstream of two cultures going head to head chadd. There could have been, because humans are tribal and small local conflicts or outrages can bloom into bigger issues.
If you were stabbed spat on, punched sneered at and abused I wouldn't be surprised, though it takes two to tango as they say.
The night of the riots, police who rushed to the scene treated the rioters as drunken louts, whether they deserved it or not doesn't matter. One TV cameraman followed a policeman, who seemed as wide as he was tall, into a shop alcove where young men were unable to get away and the swing of the truncheon with full force against flesh and bone I'll never forget. No discrimination there.
11 Dec 2015 11:45:21am
Oh come on!!
I remember going to Cronulla in the early 80's. It was a common occurance for me to be chased out of the water because it was 'their' beach and I had no right right to be there. But that was Australians surfies kicking me out. I don't think it was because I was a dago but simply because I wasn't from the area and they were very protective of 'their' beach.
So I stopped going to Cronulla and went out Wollongong way, but no offence to Wollongong, I much preferred the beaches towards Bondi, Coogee and Cronulla because in my view they were better and nicer.
So in the early 90's I headed to Crinulla again, this time as a young father and husband. Same thing happened. Again, young white Aussies claimed the beach as theirs.
I may be naive but is this surf culture? I ask because I've seen it many times in movies, where the locals believe a beach is theirs and they can choose who and who is not given a welcome. Movies plus personal experience. Or was I just unlucky?
Anyhow by the late 90's the scene had changed a little. There were small groups of Asians going to the beach. They weren't too welcome either. Again, I don't believe it was because they were Asians, but because they weren't locals, and the locals obviously believed that their claims to the beach were legitimate.
Then later on in the 2000's the Lebanese groups came along. Now I don't know if the stories are true, if a few Lebanese boys did harass girls, but it seems they did hit the lifesavers who did intervene which I condemn (my dad was a lifesaver and I have the utmost respect for them).
But what followed was just plain nasty. It seems like all Lebanese and all Arabs became targets regardless if the fact that they weren't the ones that had been abusing women or causing trouble. I still remember footage of a young teenager running for his life, eyes bulging out of his head in fear as a gang of older stronger males chased him down ripping his school bag from his back. This kid wouldn't have been more than 14, skinny, all arms and legs, not yet developed and he never stood a chance. To my eyes he didn't even look Lebanese, maybe Indian, but not Arabic.
In short why happened in Cronulla should be denounced and a source of shame. Those Lebanese boys should be denounced for their actions. In saying that the rioters should also be denounced as mob rule should never be allowed or condoned. We have police and the law in place to deal with the actions of a handful of bone heads.
11 Dec 2015 11:46:06am
That may well be true but if it is then what actions triggered that behaviour by the Lebanese. These things tend to be circular and bad behaviour does not arise from a vacuum there is always cause and effect. Having a fairly adequate experience of working class Australians, being one myself, I have yet to see where they can be cited as the purist exemplars of tolerance and reasoned behaviour. I well remember the post-war reactions by these same working class Australians to the surge of immigration we experienced then and I look back with some shame at the intolerance and deliberately exclusionary behaviour of the locally born. Ironically many of them were but one generation from being migrants themselves.
11 Dec 2015 8:38:57am
That would be "put my brother and me at risk...".
Normally I wouldn't bother too much with this correction, but from someone who claims to have been some sort of school dux and now an ABC reporter and producer, this sort of grammar offence is totally unacceptable.
I would leave aside comment on the piece of wood which is laying dormant, but some pedant might want to have a go at me for not noticing it if I did.
11 Dec 2015 9:38:09am
Gnome, remember the old adage, `first cast the mote from your own eye.. etc` `My brother and me`... is correct, but `the piece of wood laying dormant..` is not. How do you `lay` a dormant`?
11 Dec 2015 9:43:43am
Thank you for this important contribution.
11 Dec 2015 10:43:26am
I suggest you all read the inimitable book on English grammar written by the late Mr Aurthur Daley "English As It Is Writ And Spoke". That is an appropriate contribution to this little thread of pedantry. The grown ups on this thread would like to focus on the issues please.
11 Dec 2015 11:12:18am
Also take to the use of "Caucasian".
These days the press widely misuses it to mean exclusively northern Europeans; Scandinavians, Anglo-Celts and Anglo-Saxons. Even that silly Queensland tabloid once described an incognito trio as "...two Eastern [sic] Europeans and a Caucasian". Rightio. And the difference would be...?
The term Caucasian is rather quaint, tracing its origin to the early days of race studies, a dubious epistemological construct that grew out of misappropriated Darwinism. Anyone who remembers high school human bio classes will remember that German anthropologist Johann Blumenbach who used the term "Caucasian" to describe what he called a "beautiful" human skull unearthed in the Caucasus Mountains (in eastern Europe, in case the penny had not dropped for the first paragraph). The taxonomy of "race" observed that Caucasians as the most hirsute of humans and are the populations that grew around Europe -- including the UK, Iceland and Greenland and the Mediterranean coastlines -- and extends to northern Africa, the Arab peninsula, central Asia and the sub-continent. Skin, hair and eye colourations vary.
As a man of Lebanese origin the writer is, by this definition, Caucasian. His opponents would be more correctly described as, mostly, Anglo-Aussies.
11 Dec 2015 8:41:07am
It's funny that I remember this result very similarly but almost from the opposite standpoint of a white caucasian who thought he was going to get bashed by middle eastern teenagers and was abused and threatened often by them.
What's the opposite of a right wing shock jock? A handwringer? A luvvie?
"Until recently I thought we'd improved race relations in Australia. The Adam Goodes saga tells us otherwise. If our elite athletes get racially abused, what hope does the average Khaled, Ahmed or Maryam have of a fair go in society?"
I'd say the elite athlete would be far more likely in general to cop abuse of all kinds from all types of people than your average person. It sort of comes with the territory of being a "tall poppy".
But you are right, the Adam Goodes saga does tell us we haven't moved forward on this issue, just not for the reasons you say.
11 Dec 2015 8:43:24am
It's okay to comment guys, this isn't some kind of hands-off thing just because it's not old-guy stuff, stop being discriminatory. The young lady at the good school said the school is trying to white-wash over a bit of trouble, and that is something we've probably all had a bit of over the years. The important thing is this. Take notice that they're thinking, these young people, and they're pointing out where the particularly dumb debating style that the media adopts moves and filters down from newspapers and televisions to parents to the young, and they deal with it on another level all together and then we get hysterical. That's generally how public debate goes. Listen and learn.
11 Dec 2015 10:08:39am
Already it starts, Paul says some guy is offended.
11 Dec 2015 11:55:38am
There's your answer right there. You can't. We come round to talking about the older white guy again because he's there in the media, he's chosen it, it's for his audience. You can't change that. Also you can't touch this it's masterly.
11 Dec 2015 8:44:43am
Boo hoo. Lots of Australians and non-Australians continue to be on the receiving end of violence and intimidation from Muslim Lebanese and have seen their suburbs turned into troubled hotspots. Stop playing the victim. Cronulla was a direct result of years of problems which still continue with certain minorities not only in Cronulla but elsewhere particularly in Sydney. Once peaceful Australia has been changed for the worse from what started out with Australia's generous, or should I say lax, immigration policies designed to offer help to others. It's been a slap in the face.
11 Dec 2015 9:11:29am
Dazzle, yes Australia was once a relatively peaceful place, before the first fleet arrived.
And then when the 'black problem' was solved, we all lived happily every after again, until X (insert group of your choice) arrived to disturb the peace. Seriously?
Australia still has the most successful history of multiculturalism but to deny there are undercurrents of racism and xenophobia is just plain silly.
11 Dec 2015 9:34:32am
Undercurrents yes they exist in every country. The Left (or whatever they are called) have extrapolated that to most Australians which is just totally wrong.
11 Dec 2015 9:49:54am
Peaceful? As I understand it different tribes and clans were constantly at war with each other. You can still see it in the Northern Territory where you have in some towns the north camp and the south camp at each end of town because the two clans cannot get on with each other.
11 Dec 2015 12:58:54pm
You are correct Bev. The Bungle Bungles are "controlled" by two clans. The reality of these two highly intelligent clans of Aboriginal is that the refuse to be in the same room as each other, thus National Park team is required to go back and forward between the clans as they develop plans to care, etc for the area. But of course in the fantasy land image pushed by some, all aboriginals were noble and lived as one big loving group.
11 Dec 2015 12:46:14pm
Mungo man might not agree with you. Someone new to Australia at the time killed ALL of his kind.
11 Dec 2015 1:43:11pm
It wasn't Australia before the First Fleet arrived, whereupon it became New South Wales
11 Dec 2015 2:51:50pm
"Australia was once a relatively peaceful place, before the first fleet arrived."
Of course. The Aboriginal tribes used to meet up for barn dances, high teas and political moots to democratically elect their leaders.
Not that DW had much credibility to surrender.
11 Dec 2015 9:46:53am
Any attempts to justify the behaviour of louts roaming the streets in packs attacking and injuring innocent bystanders based on the colour of their skin or appearance is despicable whatever the provocation. There is no excuse for this type of behaviour from anyone. Did you see the photos of the train attack? I would like to think I have raised my children to be better people than that. For anyone defending any of this sorry affair, your parent should be ashamed of you, and themselves.
11 Dec 2015 11:51:15am
Both groups should be ashamed of themselves.
Their parents need to slap themselves in the face as they look in the mirror and say "where the hell did we go wrong raising [insert name]".
11 Dec 2015 8:44:50am
"If our elite athletes get racially abused, what hope does the average Khaled, Ahmed or Maryam have of a fair go in society?"
What hope includes learning from the mistakes of others by objectively studying Goodes' behaviour which led to his problems so as not to repeat it. It takes a rather serious threat to get the average Australian off the lounge and away from the tv. We're not loose cannons on the emotional intelligence scale. We're too lazy.
11 Dec 2015 11:59:29am
We said Ben.
The solution is to be found in not taking the media overly seriously and for accepting it for what it is, ie. a group of commercial organisation with a profit motive who maximise their advertising revenues by maximising the sensationalism, the shock, the horror and the hatred in society.
I recon if more folk were out playing beach cricket and having a falafel (and less were paying attention to the media) none of this would have kicked off in the first instance.
11 Dec 2015 8:46:50am
Interesting story, thanks.
As a Yank I know what is meant by these sorts of confrontations. I've experienced similar sorts of events both here and in England. The very reason I label myself "Yank" is because as soon as I open my mouth people know I am not "Australian" and they take a stand on how they will react to me. And I guess I want to be feisty and say come and get me if you can.
My first boss in Australia told me that unlike other Australians he had nothing against Yanks. I was stunned. Why would anyone judge me on where I came from but it was similar when I lived in England.
However, I don't find Australians any better or any worse than those in other nations. There always will be those that for whatever reasons just want to hate someone anyone they deem as different. What is needed is leadership that understands that the nation benefits when it works together and doesn't use others as scape goats.
I know one thing I'd rather live in Australia then the USA even if they play cricket instead of baseball.
11 Dec 2015 12:51:13pm
I know a man from New York in his seventies now, who emigrated here in the late sixties. Retired, he does homesitting as a business. I asked him once if he thought being an urbane New Yorker helped or hindered his credibility/desirability as a homesitter and he replied in the positive; it seems to heighten his appeal, at least for the upper echelons of Australian society who like to have a man living in to feed and walk the pooch twice a day while they are away on a cruise.
11 Dec 2015 2:47:18pm
It does seem to depend on the education level of the people involved. If the rich didn't like me they never said so but some of the poor ones sure did.
11 Dec 2015 1:38:38pm
Yank you are full of it
I know one thing I'd rather live in Australia then the USA even if they play cricket instead of baseball.
If you judge people who play a different ball game than they do in USA then what hope have you got
11 Dec 2015 2:42:59pm
I think the only person being judgemental here is you, or maybe you are just too sensitive to be out on your own.
On a lighter note, cricket can be unspeakably boring. Like most of my generation, I grew up playing it all through school days and falling asleep fielding at the boundary in 40 deg heat. Think of the late great Boycott playing what seemed like hours, and hours, and hours of defensive shots in an innings...at least in baseball people actually, you know, move around occasionally....
11 Dec 2015 3:46:55pm
I don't care what game you play with a ball. Just don't go around thinking your superior because you think your ball game is better than somebody else's ball game.
11 Dec 2015 3:54:59pm
Ah, Yank didn't you realise that America was once a great cricket playing nation before baseball went professional and sidelined cricket. It seems cricket is gaining a resurgence again in America and it will be interesting to see how far that resurgence goes. It also seems a lot of American schools are also including cricket as one of their sports. Amazing ay.
11 Dec 2015 8:47:14am
We have seen some surprisingly mature and balanced coverage of the Cronulla riots at the moment. Until recently the riots have been treated as some sort of spontaneous racist outbreak. Of course, it didn't occur in a vacuum, it occurred in response to some very anti-social and misogynistic behaviour by middle eastern gangs.
Events like the Cronulla riots occur when "problems"are not addressed by society at large for ideological reasons. The same thing is happening at the moment and it is leading to the rise of some extreme right organisations because people feel their concerns are not being heard.
Yes, Muslims might be sick of constantly being asked to speak out against terrorism but mainstream Australia is also sick of being called racist, Islamophobic and blamed for everything wrong with the Muslim community including the rise of Islamic extremists.
11 Dec 2015 9:01:44am
I would be, Giles. But I'm not. But I will be if that happens. But I'm still working on my White Australia defence, which goes something like: those British Blighters put that in to that there Federation when I was not even in short pants, and then when I was just up to ankle length they wrote me out of the Federation all together unless I could lay my hands on an English close relative. So it is not my fault.
11 Dec 2015 9:03:04am
Then, I think anyone who got a British passport and therefore began to flood the EU with their presence, it is their fault so focus this debate a little more if you don't mind, I am not to blame here.
11 Dec 2015 9:18:32am
Also I am not going to say, just not going to say, that I am facing discrimination because I am blah-de-blah. I'm over four score years and two. I'm under five foot twelve. I'm more than twelve stone. Don't give me that. This is not about me at all. How can I even begin to make sense of it.
11 Dec 2015 8:49:58am
"If our elite athletes get racially abused, what hope does the average Khaled, Ahmed or Maryam have of a fair go in society?"
Luckily for the author, our elite athletes do not get racially abused. A couple, including Mr Goodes, are criticised for their views about Australian society and various inflammatory remarks they have made. At least 99% of "non-white" athletes, however, are held in high esteem.
So it is quite clear it not racial abuse - how an apparently intelligent young man can think this is a concern. Perhaps he is one of those to whom he refers, who has "adopted a victim mentality".
But sadly the whole basis of his article is misplaced. Perhaps he was too young to know the true story. Certainly the media, which performed abysmally at that time, would not have informed him.
Cronulla was not where "the undercurrent of racism reared its ugly head". It was where the policy of granting immunity to certain ethnic groups was revealed to be a weeping sore in Australian society. It was a backlash after years of attacks and harassment by youths similar to those he describes bashing a "fair haired" Australian. (Interestingly, he did not see any violence towards "his" people: only a racist attack on an Australian(his word) and preparations for violence against others).
Even the authorities' actions on the day revealed that policy: after the police arrested many "Australians" (I refuse to use the word "Caucasians") and broke up crowds during the day, they stood by and watched as hundreds of youths moved in at night, bashing "whites" and destroying property. Apparently they did not want to "inflame" the issue.
Sadly we have not learned from Cronulla. We still believe that treating Australians differently because of their "race" is a good thing. We even have a strong push to put race into the Constitution!
So unfortunately I believe that another Cronulla is only a matter of time. I listen to teenagers complaining about ethnic gangs roaming our cities' entertainment areas at will, untouched by police terrified of being accused of racism. I know myself that there are areas where if I walk I will be abused because of my skin colour. I see people dragged to court because they question the right of some to gain benefits not because of need but because of "race".
Yet what does our media report on? A ten year old story that it misreported at the time and a sportsman preparing the ground for a political career by creating controversy.
11 Dec 2015 10:59:59am
"ethnic gangs roaming our streets"
Islam did not feature on the Australian landscape 20 years ago. There was no fear of Islamification or terror attacks within Australia.
The first inkling I had of a "Muslim problem", was during the late 1990's, when there were drive by shootings on Sydney police stations. There is a mob mentality within some ethnic groups, and none more so than among those of Lebanese heritage. Elements of this group seem to genuinely have disdain for western authority and our culture. The criminal elements found in the homelands, have been transplanted to Australia.
Before the terror plots on the west, including Australia, Islam was not seen as a problem...the proclivities of the various communities was seen as a problem, especially through an arrogant and violent mindset.
This mindset has not changed in these groups, but now, there is the spectre of terror attacks thrown into the equation. If changes are needed, they have to come from these ethnic communities themselves.
11 Dec 2015 2:43:38pm
al, I agree with you 100%
I didn't live in Australia during the time of the riots and so the only thing I've had to go by has been the television footage. Maybe it's a Rodney King thing, but I've never been able to correlate what I can see with what some people tell me. Guess I'll just have to accept that gangs, Lebanese gangs, stirred up the place and VB did the rest.
No-one looks good out of this and if I were anywhere else I'd be surprised that anyone, from any side could think that they can defend it
11 Dec 2015 11:54:49am
Unfortunately I think you are 100% correct.
The lessons of the riots have not been learnt.
I also believe there will be another riot to which we (police, courts, politicians, media ect...) will not learn from.
The lessons are simply too politically incorrect to learn.
11 Dec 2015 1:55:49pm
"So it is quite clear it not racial abuse"
Oh, Tabanus. You must not have been reading the ABC at the time. It trotted out pundit after apologist pundit to confirm that all criticism of Adam Goodes was indeed racism, and that his own actions were responsible for none of it.
Does anyone know why the ABC wants Australian racial minorities to think the rest of the country hates them?
What on Earth does this achieve?
A Former Lefty:
11 Dec 2015 2:28:13pm
"What on Earth does this achieve?"
It achieves the vision of Agenda 21.
11 Dec 2015 8:50:42am
Shows the consequences of allowing issues to fester and resentments build. If the original abuse and intimidation on the beach had been reported to police and then dealt with by them, perhaps none of this would have happened.
11 Dec 2015 9:43:22am
Part of policing is to get a sense of community feelings so they have some idea of where trouble may be brewing. It is inconceivable that they were unaware of the actions of ME youths, the friction and resentment that it caused. That they did not act earlier probably means they were instructed not to because those in authority not wanting to be accused of racism or picking on minorities.
11 Dec 2015 10:13:48am
Maybe the police were as offended as the arabs, by lifesavers ignoring the women dressed as prostitutes displaying themselves on the beach.
Those racist lifesavers should be grateful for the well-deserved beatings they received.
11 Dec 2015 11:00:41am
Yes, this is also still part of the problem.
If a white Australian is the victim of an attack by an ethnic group, spat on round house kicked to the face and called "Aussie Dog", do you that the Police would entertain the possibility that this was a "Racially motivated attack".
No way!, the MOST important thing, is that you must not mention the nationality of the attackers, because that is a bigger crime!!
11 Dec 2015 11:00:46am
Yes, this is also still part of the problem.
If a white Australian is the victim of an attack by an ethnic group, spat on round house kicked to the face and called "Aussie Dog", do you that the Police would entertain the possibility that this was a "Racially motivated attack".
No way!, the MOST important thing, is that you must not mention the nationality of the attackers, because that is a bigger crime!!
11 Dec 2015 10:58:42am
I was told by some locals at the time that the police had been well & truly aware of the issues that were brewing i.e. gangs of young men of Mid East appearance roaming around the beach trying to start trouble. Particuarly remember hearing of them making comments about young women on the beach "not worth 50 years" which we all know what that was in reference to. Then it seems on the night of the riots when the gangs of Mid East men came over to Maroubra to smash cars & anyone who got in the way, the Police cowered in fear in their car. I'm against the riots, but I understand how the whole ugly episode erupted.
11 Dec 2015 2:02:32pm
Police are brave when there are a dozen of them available to taser a drug-addled kid to death.
However, when they are actually needed, many seem to decide that the job the signed up for and have been getting paid for is actually to difficult or dangerous.
11 Dec 2015 8:58:21am
Notice the thrill of recognition you get from Tony Abbott sauntering into some quiet gathering and belting out Elvis as loud as he can. Notice how much we're fearing The Creep Of Aggression up Round The Ruddocks and down Behind The Bernardi's. It's like Our Own Homeroom Is Under Threat.
11 Dec 2015 11:06:49am
How can we be sure in a world that is constantly changing. How can we know that our club is Members Only if we never have friends who were not on the guest list and are turned away at the door. I know nothing of racism, I only know of poor excuses.
frank of malvern:
11 Dec 2015 8:58:43am
I am not defending it but the Cronulla riots did just come about as a result of a few 'Aussie' boys deciding one Sunday morning to come out and bash up some middle eastern youth because they thought it was a good idea at the time.
There was a lot of incidents that happened leading up to it culminating in the alleged assault by young Lebanese males of two lifesavers a few weeks earlier. Lebanese Muslim youth thinking they were bring clever walking around wearing tee shirts reading "AUSTRALIA - UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT" further helped inflame tensions
That does not excuse what happened but it is important to realize there were two sides in all this and it could be argued each were equally responsible. Too easy to be politically correct and paint the middle easterners as being the victims
11 Dec 2015 9:39:26am
And frank how many of those on both sides actually came from the shire. This bogan filth outnumbered those of middle eastern appearance by something like 100 to one. I'd describe this mob as what they were, gutless.
11 Dec 2015 10:07:03am
Strange you should raise the issue of cowardice.
The beachgoers had complained for years of gangs of ethnic youths bashing individuals, confident in their numbers and their immunity from any action by the authorities.
When the tables were turned, it was interesting to see how brave these youths were.
Personally I think the young men who were bashed for daring to defend their female companions were the brave ones.
You apparently think they were cowards. And refer to them as "bogan filth". That is why we have problems in Australia. Classifying people rather than assessing their behaviour.
Had the real victims been defended by the authorities we would have had no "Cronulla": just a simple police and council operation to clean up the thugs invading the beach and terrorising those who came to enjoy the sun and sea.
11 Dec 2015 10:42:59am
Algernon I agree with Tabs in seeing the use of 'bogan' elitist and problematic. From the stories in the press earlier in the week it seems the guys doing the bashing were also westies. It sounded a bit like 'you got the train here, we drove here'. Pretty disgraceful all round. No need to side with or defend any of the louts involved.
11 Dec 2015 11:16:32am
Actually, I'd avoid the place and calls to go there, a pox on both side really. I can tell you there was a banner over the highway at Wyong telling people to get to Cronulla to get involved. Hardly the west of Sydney.
Interesting you call me elitist for using the word bogan. Yet you use a disparaging comment like "westies". What are these westies poor ignorant and uneducated, is that what you're describing 10% of the countries population as.
Don't think I was siding with one side or the other, but I you think 100 beating up one person isn't cowardice well.
11 Dec 2015 1:31:19pm
Westies isn't disparaging as far as I am concerned Alge. I spent time in Auburn as a child with the aunt I was closest to. Bogan wasn't in fashion then but if it had been she would have copped that. My dislike of the insult probably stems from that. She was a better person than most of us. I work with and deal with people from all around Sydney (and beyond). Apart from initial curiosity I could not care less where they hail from. Where you grew up may help shape you but who you become is what is important.
I think at the time a lot of Lebanese kids liked to go around in large groups and cause trouble. There was a lot of provocation going on. My now brother-in-law went to the movies with his 3 friends before Cronulla. Provoked by one or two Lebanese kids, chased them around the corner to where they met their 30 or so friends. B-i-l left unconscious on the road, friends similarly trashed. Apparently it was a sport. B-i-l was an idiot to allow himself to be provoked. Knocked some sense into him it seems. Wasn't accusing you of defending anyone. People take licence to do really bad things in groups that they would not generally do alone, even if they were able.
Now cheer up.
11 Dec 2015 3:48:16pm
I know several for whom the term "westies" is seen as disparaging. In fact nearly all of my friends who live west of where I do see it as an insult. Bogan does not equal westie. Now I also work with many like you do and absolutely agree with you I couldn't care where they came from only that they can do their job. I've also worked in most capital cities where this isn't the case, were you went to school and who you know seems more important. If your from interstate well you're taking a job off a local.
I agree there was a lot of provocation at the time no side was innocent here. But lets face it the mob was being called in from far and wide. An untouchable shock jock was egging them on as well on the radio.
Treating violence with violence will get no where.
11 Dec 2015 12:02:52pm
OUB - it's problematic that when I search for your commentary, I get many hits on "doubt" and "trouble".
Which makes it harder to identify and consider your wonderful contributions.
11 Dec 2015 12:34:34pm
What, you don't get "double" as well? Not that you should care but try searching OUB with a space after it. Unfortunately I miss OUB without a space when I search in return. I like much of your commentary as well thanks.
11 Dec 2015 10:46:23am
Actually I agree with you that "young men who were bashed for daring to defend their female companions were the brave ones." But of course you misrepresented what I said.
Lets be clear here the ones I'm calling cowards and gutless are those who drove great distances to beat up on those that "look different" cases where one person was beaten up by a hundred. I do not resile from those who mindlessly answered text messages or answered the call of shock jocks to head down to Cronulla to bash a wog being called bogan filth.
At the same time just a few kilometres away there were those terrorising beachgoers as well. But they weren't of middle eastern appearance.
11 Dec 2015 11:42:12am
so do you have some epithets for those people of middle eastern appearance who also attacked individuals in numbers?
If you think "bogan filth" is appropriate, what's your equivalent for the other side?
11 Dec 2015 12:51:26pm
Nice look over there Freddie. Suggest you have a good look at what I actually wrote. OUB has a go at me for using the word bogan then uses a disparaging remark to describe and downgrade half of Sydney.
Any comments on the same at Maroubra where there were those terrorising beachgoers in the same way. Strangely the media is and was silent.
Yes I think those of middle eastern appearance terrorising people on the beach should have seen them removed. But seriously if you think that a mob of 100 beating up on one person because they might just have a different skin is OK then seriously I pity you.
11 Dec 2015 2:33:31pm
Look over there?
Nothing of the sort, I was just interested if you were going to be a massive hypocrite or whether you only attack one side for the exact same behaviour meted out by others.
This is what you wrote:
"I do not resile from those who mindlessly answered text messages or answered the call of shock jocks to head down to Cronulla to bash a wog being called bogan filth."
Now how do you feel about those who answered the call of text messages or community leaders to "bash a skip"? What exactly would you call them using the same level of vitriol you hold for the opposite side of that argument?
And if you want a lovely example of actual look over there strawmen, then you could simply use something like this:
"But seriously if you think that a mob of 100 beating up on one person because they might just have a different skin is OK then seriously I pity you."
Something that I never even came close to intimating or believe.
11 Dec 2015 11:53:34am
"Had the real victims been defended by the authorities we would have had no "Cronulla": just a simple police and council operation to clean up the thugs invading the beach and terrorising those who came to enjoy the sun and sea."
This is right. How many major disturbances grow from a simple incident. I suppose the authorities thought it was a racist complaint.
Maybe the is issue would have exploded just the same.
11 Dec 2015 9:01:43am
This is an interesting and heartfelt account, but strangely the author seems to have no understanding that the whole thing was triggered by disgusting behaviour toward people enjoying life on the beach.
Growing up is a complex process. How does a child come to understand that part of their culture is abhorrent to many people of other cultures?
11 Dec 2015 9:43:25am
"How does a child come to understand that part of their culture is abhorrent to many people of other cultures?"
It's fair question, Forrest. Introspection is a vital ingredient in being able to move forward. Lebanese youth who try to pretend there's never been anything wrong with some elements in their culture are ignoring the obvious. If that did not exist, the police would not need a specifically named "Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad".
By the same token, I have always felt intimidated by gangs of mindless, white Australians who drape themselves in flags and chant the neanderthal "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!" These people are truly a blight.
11 Dec 2015 11:13:21am
"The whole thing was triggered by . . . "
Where I grew up, the schoolkids would go out "Paki-bashing" some nights and boast about their exploits in the playground the next morning.
25 years on, 3 people with Pakistani backgrounds set off bombs in London, indiscriminately killing over 50 people. They said they did it because of British involvement in the Iraq war. But perhaps they did it because they or their parents were bashed regularly after school?
Who knows who started it?
11 Dec 2015 1:18:14pm
You raise a truly valid point there, Forrest.
I agree with what you seem to be implying, that Muslim Australians should review their own attitudes and actions, and think about how they may be contributing toward the problem.
The thing is, it's not so easy to cast a critical eye upon one's own culture. Indeed, whenever anyone dares to point out wrongdoing by our own side (the West), or faults in our own culture, they're often labelled as "luvvies", "bleeding hearts" and accused of being "self loathing", "anti-Western" and "unpatriotic" by their less self-aware compatriots.
11 Dec 2015 9:03:50am
Finding something to gang up about and fight another gang is pretty typical of 12 to 25 year olds. Just the scale and intensity varies.
When I was about 13 in Tasmania, most kids were taken to church every Sunday by parents. So we fought between Papists and Prots, at school, at bus stops, etc. My Methodist gang used "onward Christian soldiers" as a battle cry. The school sport of men's hockey got banned after a memorable brawl with hockey sticks brought blood, and ambulances and police.
So grew up to think One God religions are ridiculous delusions, but serve various social / psycho functions.
11 Dec 2015 9:04:29am
One thing we all seem to have in common is being a nation of pessimists. People are imperfect things, there is nowhere in the world that is perfect, there is nowhere in the world where there is absolutely no racism, there is nowhere in the world where there are no violent, ignorant idiots.
Yes the Cronulla riots were awful, but they were a one off event triggered by a specific set of circumstances. It was ugly and nasty, but from someone who was not in the middle of it, it certainly didn't seem to me that 'our social fabric was at breaking point.'. When it was all over the news I went to our local fish and chip shop, in the West of Melbourne, and the Muslim family who run it, and all the customers were chatting away as normal. For the most part Australians, of all sorts, live together peacefully. For the most part Australians, of all sorts, don't resort to violence.
Sure, we should always try to be 'better', but come on, it's not all bad, bad, bad !.
11 Dec 2015 9:09:15am
I'm with Freddy Frog in remembering this totally the other way around. Muslim rape gangs, Muslim gangs actively bashing and terrorising the Cronulla- Botany Bay area with impunity, while the Iemma government refused to act, needing Lebanese muscle to deliver the votes and stack the branches. An appalling part of Australian history but not for the reasons our syntactically challenged author or the usual ABC suspects suggest.
11 Dec 2015 10:00:20am
So they should have gone to the police, or reacted when those things happened. Attacking people based on skin colour in public spaces is never the answer.
11 Dec 2015 10:44:34am
Reporting incidents to the police and getting the police to act are two different things.
11 Dec 2015 11:06:34am
.....oh, you don't think the police were aware of this behaviour. It had been going on for a decade. They did not act, as they did not want to be seen as "racist".
This is not without precedent. In Rotherham, England, 1400 underage girls were gang raped over a 15 year period. The authorities did nothing, as they wanted to be seen to be upholding multiculturalism. In order not to be seen as racist, they were prepared to sacrifice 1400 young lives upon the alter of political correctness.
11 Dec 2015 11:35:05am
Right, so police inaction justifies a pack of people attacking innocent strangers based only on their appearance? Next time you see something bad happening, step up and stop it and the people doing it. Don't attack innocent people on the street as part of a mob action. Is it really that hard to understand? Lets try this, my friend was once attacked by a short white guy, I don't think the attacker was ever arrested, I guess that means my boys and I (well if I had any boys) are justified in attacking any short white guys we see in public areas? In order to not be racist, you don't attack strangers based on skin colour. Al , it seems like your justification is some bad people in another country did something so that justifies attacks on innocent people that look like them? By that argument we should all bash white people on sight, that planned parenthood guy was white and he was bad.
11 Dec 2015 1:06:50pm
That's rubbish al. The authorities in Australia turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse of minors by senior clergy. And the senior clergy then were the same race, the same religion.
11 Dec 2015 11:15:40am
I can understand why you might make that comment: the media failed to report the real story of Cronulla, determined to turn it into a "race riot".
The reality is that for years complaints were made to the police and to the council. The gangs who beat up beach goers and insulted and harassed females in what the attackers deemed "provocative" clothing were left alone.
I assume the councillors relied on block voting by ethnic groups to get elected, and that the police were instructed to turn a blind eye to offences by certain groups. (The reaction of the state government would seem to support this.)
Had this not been the case, had all been treated equally by the authorities, there would have been no "riot".
We must assign the blame to the guilty: the ethnic gangs and those who decided to protect them. To blame the victims, those who finally had had enough, is to sow the seeds of more disturbances.
11 Dec 2015 1:53:35pm
No provocation is justification for attacking people based on the colour of their skin. If you could show me the mob only attacked people guilty of the behaviour you mention, fine, let them at them. However what really happened is a bunch of young men went on a rampage attacking anyone who looked like the original antagonists. I refuse to call a roving mob attacking unrelated people "victims". You need to take a close look at yourself if you think that is an appropriate response, even if we accept there was an institutional acceptance of earlier behaviour. Like so many others here you are trying to justify completely inappropriate behaviour.
11 Dec 2015 3:56:47pm
You are correct, of course, ephemeral, but your take on this is as PC as they come.
The riots were only a symptom of the disease. Had the authorities acted appropriately and promptly, the riots would never have happened.
Ongoing narrative, ten years later, about how 'Australians are racist' and disproportionately focusing on the nationalist half of the riots only demonstrates that the problem is still there and that people still don't get it.
11 Dec 2015 9:24:22am
We've been One of Prime Minister Turnbull's secret Admirers for only about a month now and it is scary, the thought that we will be outed somehow or alternatively will be found to be Teacher's Pets. I want to thank you all for today's and yesterday's lesson and Wednesday too's lesson in racism and democracy. It was a pleasure.
11 Dec 2015 9:25:54am
I am a six generation Australian with a Southern European surname. My mothers side is mostly Anglo-Celtic. Being schooled in the 1960's and 70's I can tell you I experienced racism on a daily basis from other kids (mostly the 10 pound poms) and some teachers. I had a year 4 teacher who was Jewish so consumed hatred they went insane. By the time I left school all of this evaporated.
Racism can be just below the surface in some quarters. The AFL is really a white man's sport that tolerates others provided they toe the line and rock the boat then you OK. Goodes didn't do that and I congratulate him. All other codes embrace everyone.
I tire of the race hating bogans that think that the Australian flag is an item of clothing or think that they are patriotic. Or giving oxygen via the media to those whose clothes looks and haircuts could come straight out of 190's Germany. Who are they to truck people in to places they don't know.
The people of Cronulla and the shire don't want a repeat of 10 years ago. The bogan grubs of another century should take note.
11 Dec 2015 3:58:06pm
Six generations later, still not Australian.
No wonder we have problems.
11 Dec 2015 9:28:54am
The fact that is often ignored is that there was and is racism on both sides! The riots did not start in a vacuum. There was tension building for months and years prior to the riots, where young adult males of a particular middle eastern culture were harrassing young women and males. The 'aussies' were fair game because they were considered inferior by these clowns. I remember going to Cronulla beach on one occasion, and feeling a definite sense of hostility from the fully clad females. I never returned. Events like this become a festering sore, largely thanks to the belligerance of the leftist media which refuses to acknowledge the ugliness on both sides!
11 Dec 2015 9:31:58am
"I'm Australian by nationality, Muslim by faith and Lebanese by cultural heritage"
Yes that sums it up pretty much. Of all those thing I wonder what order the author puts them in as most important. 'The thing that they would be most likely to fight for'. I doubt the Australian part would be first.
The one thing that repeatedly comes up in these discussions is the reference to 'wording' and 'tone' used by people. The mention that words may result in 'stirring the pot' and creating terrorism, ASIO itself advises against certain talk.
So my concern is at what level are we now restricted to comment. Are we as a country now muted by what we say at the risk that we may offend an immigrant enough that he will then turn it to violence to seek revenge. In our country the 'cop it on the chin' or 'toughen up' or even as a kid the 'sticks and stones' motto was what I was brought up on.
It seems the true change in culture from particularly middle eastern immigrants is a 'precious' approach now needs to be implemented. So now we can not say they were a Muslim terrorist as it may insult the Muslims and inspire more murderers to kill for a ridiculous and pathetic reason.
And further more at what length will it progress. Today leaders cannot imply Muslims are to blame for terrorism (look at the attack on Tony Abbot). But what about tomorrow? If Muslims start to require Sharia law in their communities, can we speak out against that or will it create a reason for terrorism. What about if it is found Muslim communities are marrying off under age girls, can we speak out about this practices?
Thin edge of a wedge with this mentality
The author has obviously taken up the victim mentality from reading this and seems to have an underlying anger that may emerge if provoked enough. Worrying!
11 Dec 2015 12:22:15pm
The author of this article spoke of the tensions within his own group, the anti-white attitudes of his own compatriots and how they looked ready to bubble up, once again, into violence. He wrote about the fear he felt as a 14 year old boy at the time, about how wrong his impressions at the time were and how much he had learned from the experience.
Try reading it again, MA, without trying so hard to find that "victim mentality" you so clearly wanted to see. You'll find it's not there.
11 Dec 2015 2:38:24pm
"It serves as a reminder of what a 14-year-old Australian Muslim of Lebanese descent felt he had to resort to in this country at a time when our social fabric was at breaking point."
"If our elite athletes get racially abused, what hope does the average Khaled, Ahmed or Maryam have of a fair go in society?"
"Australia's undercurrent of racism "
"And despite it being 10 years ago, many are still affected today"
"Then right-wing commentators and media personalities added fuel to the fire by shifting blame on the "Lebanese community", labelling them "Middle Eastern grubs". The divisive language and slogans from both camps created a dangerous mix of unrest, anger, hysteria, paranoia and anxiety"
All the seem to me to be a Victim. His very theme implies that has been hurt and scarred 'demons' form the incident! Don't know what you were reading. If he wasn't victimised I would have thought he would provide positive outcomes or how he has moved on, not the below quote
"When I walk past the park in Lidcombe, I sometimes think of the piece of wood. Like our demons, it is buried deep down inside and lays dormant"
Dormant isn't dead!
11 Dec 2015 9:34:27am
No mention of what caused the riot.
Typical Muslim cultural blindness.
A classic example of the failure of multiculturalism, each cultural group looking after its own self interest and bugger the rest.
The reason you and your Muslim school friends felt a backlash Mr Mohamed Taha was the total outrage felt by Australians due to an attack on two lifesavers previously.
Australian culture is freedom loving, egalitarian, and hugely respectful of volunteers such as life savers.
The beach is the ultimate expression of all three cultural basics .
To be ignorant enough to attack life savers, who were serving the public interest, at a beach where Australians feel the most free and be surprised at the terrible backlash proves beyond any doubt that the Muslim community has seriously failed to understand the nature of the society they have come to live in.
The Muslims in Australia claim to be perpetual victims, and they are. Of their own actions due to their willful blindness to the rights and freedoms of others.
So the writer tells me that Australia's undercurrent of racism reared its ugly head that day. How blind can you be? Of all the nations of Earth Australia is the least racist and most racially diverse. It is Islam that most Australians are growing less tolerant of. It is Islam that causes terrorism, it is Islam that keeps Mohamed Taha separated from understanding anything about Australian culture, and Islam is not a race.
How many times must people like Mohamed Taha be told.
Islam IS NOT A RACE!
I hate the riot, it should never have happened. I am totally against any commemoration of it.
The difference between Mohamed Taha and myself is I understand WHY it happened.
If even an ABC reporter cannot understand this because he is Muslim, then it then the ignorance of Australian culture by other Muslims in Sydney must truly be bottomless.
That means there is going to be more Islamic terrorism here and more anti-Islamic riots in response in our collective future.
We will witness multiculturalisms slow, brutal and ugly death.
11 Dec 2015 10:01:09am
Well said..and to the real point.
11 Dec 2015 1:59:18pm
Not the real point at all, the real point is a bunch of young Australian men felt it was acceptable to attack people based on a superficial similarity to people that they did not like. Whether the dislike of those people was justified has nothing to do with unprovoked attacks on unrelated people. This is the real problem, That so many people on here think that if someone hurt/upset/whatever me I can strike back at people that look like them, cause that what happen.
11 Dec 2015 10:27:57am
Well said Steve3.
It's OK to blame the victims if they are white, and particularly so if they have the effrontery to retaliate.
11 Dec 2015 10:50:06am
The causes of rioting isn't as superficial as they may seem. You have to look a little deeper into human nature and how we perceive 'otherness'.
You see, volunteers, officials and good people are attacked every day; just look at the latest report on medics, doctors and hospital staff who get attacked by patients on alcohol and ice. The thing is, *people* attack *people* for a whole bunch of reasons, and it's not limited to any ethnicity, religion or creed.
Say, for example, a bunch of young Caucasian men and women go to the beach, have a few beers, become belligerent and when they get told to stop indulging in some behaviour by an authority figure, they attack him or her.
This is an attack. But it's not as *visible* as a bunch of young Muslim men and women doing exactly the same thing. It's not the ethnicity at fault, it's the attitudes of the young men and women involved--and we've all seen it in various contexts, especially when there's alcohol involves, and especially in groups. People are pretty similar the world over.
However, which group of people will the media concentrate on? Which group will really raise the public ire in the current climate? Guaranteed, the shock jocks aren't going to be ranting about the first group.
You have to understand that most people aren't looking for trouble, or to cause trouble for themselves, or to hurt other people. It doesn't matter about their religion or their ethnicity or whatever. Mark Twain put it simply back in the 19th Century: "The average man don't like trouble and danger". It's true now as it was then.
So the majority of Muslims in Australia live like the rest of us, keeping their head down, going about their business, providing for their families, getting educated. The majority of *people* live like that.
But there are hotheads, racists and criminals as well. The problem is, some are more noticeable than others because of their ethnicity, their religion and the bvllsh|t way they justify their actions through their race and ethnicity. Both sides are guilty of that.
Just as you wouldn't go rioting, most Muslims wouldn't either. I think of the few I know, like my Dad's former boss, and I can't see them doing anything of the sort. Most religions are judgmental, most religions have a violent component to them. Islam and Christianity are no exceptions. But you wouldn't hold the Wesboro Baptist Church as a shining example of all Christians everywhere, would you? Or the brutal Crusades in in the Middle Ages? Or the Catholic Church's child sexual abuse that's being unearthed these days?
It's all much of a muchness. People are people, and idiots are idiots. Let's not tar everyone with the same brush.
11 Dec 2015 12:36:44pm
All very good points Nein.
But it is irrelevant that the majority of Muslims are good, decent people.
That was true of the German people but the Nazis still took over.
That was true of the Russian people but the Communists still took over.
That was true of the Japanese people but the Imperialists still took over.
Muslims above all else identify themselves, even define their very lives, by the religion they follow.
This makes them consistently blind to Islams faults and unable to prevent the small minority within their religion that have such hatred for other religions committing murder in Islams name. The majority of the Australian population sees the problem in the religion and at the same time sees ordinary Muslims as doing nothing whatever about it.
So the Islamic community has so far marginalized themselves from being any part of the solution, which can only be the reform of Islam. If you follow the Koran and the Hadith and you are evil or simple minded enough to obey every word you become a murderer in the name of Islam because that is what it tells you to do.
Parts of the Koran and Hadith that state this cannot be quoted here because the moderators will not allow it.
If you are interested you must read them for yourself, our use key words as prompts in an internet search.
Islam must be reformed or die, and it will be eventually.
How much murder takes place in its name depends on how long the reform takes.
That is up to Muslims.
11 Dec 2015 3:38:39pm
"That was true of the German people but the Nazis still took over..."
I'm not entirely sure what you're driving at here, sorry.
"Muslims above all else identify themselves, even define their very lives, by the religion they follow."
Ahh. Yes and no. As with all people who follow religion, there are those who are Muslim in name only, those who follow Islam when convenient, those who follow a moderate interpretation of Islam, those who follow Islam to the letter but aren't radicals, and the tiny percentage that are radicals.
The thing with Islam and Judaism is that these groups are very recognisable, and yes their religion is very interwoven with their culture. Australian culture isn't quite so interwoven with Christianity, much to the horror of the conservatives, but then again... isn't it? Easter. Christmas. Even Halloween, the bastardisation of Pagan beliefs by the Church. These things are completely normal to people who've grown up with them, but they stick out to anyone else.
"This makes them consistently blind to Islams faults..."
Not at all. Islamic scholars are constantly in heavy discourse about Islam, the good and the bad. I've seen some pretty fiery debates online between followers of Islam about all aspects of their religion. And contrary to your point, there are Muslim countries that aren't under radical, who are pretty much waging all-out war against extremists among them, who don't want anything to do with murderers and rapists like ISIS.
It's just that they don't fit the current discourse, you see? The media doesn't want to talk about the Muslims fighting ISIS, or the grief of Muslims over the Paris attacks, or the fact that the other day a huge number of clerics (something like 70, 000 if memory serves) soundly condemned ISIS and said that anyone who acts like that and does those things aren't Muslim and aren't going anywhere near Heaven.
But that doesn't sell papers. What sells is publishing right-wingers that constantly say that moderate Muslims aren't doing anything against the extremists--which is just plain wrong. That's why Australians think that Muslims are allowing these things to happen.
"...which can only be the reform of Islam."
...Wait... Tony Abbott? Is that you??
Heh, most ancient religions have absolutely *insane* stuff in it, steve. We're talking completely, off-the-wall, batsh|t insanity. This stuff was written thousands of years ago, it'll have a bunch of things that are out of date. That's not including the misinterpretation of the Koran that extremists use.
As with the Bible, the Koran must be read with that in mind. And suddenly there's beautiful things in there too, just like in the Bible. I'm not religious myself and I frankly think religion is silly, but I wouldn't ever deny someone the comfort of religious belief.
11 Dec 2015 1:42:16pm
"The average man don't like trouble and danger".
What is the latest one.... "I came, I saw... I tried not to get in the way".
11 Dec 2015 11:32:37am
"We will witness multiculturalisms slow, brutal and ugly death."
I doubt it. The issue is predominantly a religious identity problem. If you identify as a Muslim and Lebanese though living in another country your friends, associates and community ties tend to be selected from that community.
Your attitudes, and those of your family, remain aligned to that culture and assimilation is very slow.
However, there is a great saying "The internet - where religions come to die"
As soon as the church or mosque is taken out of the equation these groups tend to blend into other social groups. A good example are Italian communities who immigrated after WW2. The founding members kept their social groups tight - church during the week and on a sunday. However, as the children came on the scene, and the church control lessened, they moved further into the community. Visit a Catholic church on a Sunday - most are deserted. The same should happen with Muslim families however it will take a lot longer I think.
11 Dec 2015 1:46:38pm
Great point Dazza.
I was listening to my colleague whose parents immigrated here after WW2 from Italy.
She absolutely slagged off all these "new immigrants" to Australia who don't blend in and who keep to themselves, but in the same breath speaks fondly of how the Italian community did just that when they first arrived.
A bit like "ex-pats" overseas really isn't it.
In the end subsequent generations really couldn't give a damn.
11 Dec 2015 2:16:24pm
Dazza you are correct, the different migrant groups CAN merge together and drift away from rigorous religious practice.
It has happened here in the past.
And the quote about the internet being where religion goes to die strikes me as having more than a grain of truth.
But have you forgotten the break up of Yugoslavia? The Muslim and Serbian communities remained cultures within the national culture for generations. As soon as they saw the chance they fell back into mutual hatred and the killing started.
It has haunted me ever since.
Is that what I see happening here with the Muslim community claiming perpetual grievance and victim hood completely impervious to our concerns?
I hope not.
But if it is the case, the great experiment of multiculturalism that started with such naive faith in humanity will founder and die.
If I live to see it no one will mourn its passing more than me.
11 Dec 2015 6:47:50pm
Like most religions, but to a far greater extent, Islam has built-in restrictions on assimilation with different cultures. Marriage partners are effectively constrained to your sect (or even family in some countries), the penalties for leaving Islam are severe (death to apostates) and the concept of taqiyaa is by definition aimed at keeping those of the faith separate from others. These are some of the reasons why Muslim integration into western cultures is difficult: for its followers themselves. To be positive and effective, successful multiculturalism relies on a level of acceptance of other's cultures, however Islam puts up barriers against this to make it hard, though not impossible - as evidenced by relatively successful participation in Australian culture by the majority of Muslims. But given the underlying strictures on cultural integration, I would argue there is a definite numeric limit to how many Muslims can be successfully integrated in a country like Australia. This is an implication of migration from Islamic countries that is qualitatively different to the effects of migration from countries with other religions. This is a debate worth having, though it will be hard if not impossible to do it intelligently.
11 Dec 2015 12:09:37pm
11 Dec 2015 1:23:14pm
ABSOLUTELY the best reply!
11 Dec 2015 1:40:27pm
what also does not help is when certain groups refuse to accept the general customs etc of their adoptive country but instead continue to hold themselves above them. The rapes on aussie girls because " they are trash and you dont touch our daughters" doesnt help, we may be different cultures but they have to accept this is our way of life, we dont cover females head to toe and this is out accepted form of dress, the riots started due entirely to the behaviour of the lebanese youth abusing the females for their dress and then bashing life savers for defending them. You want to blame someone. look at their parents that tell them that aussie women are free game instead of teaching them respect for others, strangely enough we never had this sort of problem with any other ethnic groups growing up
11 Dec 2015 9:35:45am
It may not be at Cronulla but this will happen again and the next time there will be more violence and dare I say it a death or two . Why? Because there is so much simmering tension out there , there are groups on both sides who activley hate each other , news reports of more terror related arrests drive home the idea that the muslims hate us , this builds more hatred on the white anglo side and so it spirals , when the inevitable terror attack happens on Australian soil by a group of young muslims there will be a violent backlash.The arrests have nipped in the bud some potential terror events , the AFP have been lucky a few times and stopped it but the muslim terror groups only have to be lucky once to achieve their aims.
11 Dec 2015 11:05:10am
Are you suggesting that the "news reports" are the problem!!!,
11 Dec 2015 12:51:16pm
No I am not saying that . I am saying that everytime there is an arrest it undoes much of the good work developing goodwill between different groups. The media is not to blame reporting it , the perpertrators planning the attacks are to blame 100% and any who provide active or tacit support for them are also to blame , the same goes for those who try to fan the flames from the non muslim side , they may not be as extreme but they still like to stir things up a bit
11 Dec 2015 9:36:46am
What a magnificent piece of writing. I'm from Cronulla. Born and bred for over 50 years. Like many of my mates I surfed and luxuriated in its relative remoteness from the vast urban sprawl of greater Sydney. I recall as a 'grommet' in the 1970's the reported tension of the 'bankstowner' or 'westie' invasions and pre that episode have read of the sharpies versus surfies culture of the 1950's and 60's. The train station was always a focal point for this. Cronulla's beaches are the only metropolitan beaches easy to get to for young people without cars because of the rail line access which was the result of a self interested real estate developer and his successful lobbying of government in the 1930's. Nothing really changes does it? There absolutely were violent episodes throughout this half a century caused by the basic insular mindset of a community that thinks it is 'protecting' its patch. This is particularly prevelent amongst surfing communities. But these incidents were mostly small scale that did not get anywhere near the absolute mayhem seen in December 2005. None of this brief background is an excuse. It just serves to try to explain why 'Cronulla' was the location. In any event, the idiots who orchestrated the riot were fuelled by alcohol,aggression and a pack mentality. The idiots who retaliated were fuelled by aggression,hurt pride and a pack mentality. The fuelling up by the mob on ute loads of beer parked along the Wall at North Cronulla from 8:00 am on should have been acted upon by authorities with move on orders and arrests. As the day escalated, train services should have been stopped at Sutherland. The so-called retalitory acts could have been greatly reduced by large scale and early police intervention. Lets hope that we have learnt a lesson and that no idiots actually get the chance to foment such aggression in public places. Zero tolerance to such dangerous aggression would be applauded by all except the cohort of idiots. Our police force needs to be able to act rather than simply respond after the event because events such as these can get out of control very quickly.
11 Dec 2015 10:27:22am
Bb, I understand your point about idiots protecting what they consider to be their patch, when that patch is public land and belongs to all.
We used to have patch fights when I was a teen in the sixties over a fishing hole.
Terrible, but this happens universally in all human societies.
What made the trigger for the riots different was that the life savers were attacked, that the attackers were outsiders, and that the attitude of the attackers was utter contempt for all the other beach goers. Thats what set off the touch paper when a century of previous patch conflicts ended with at worst a brawl.
Zero tolerance to such dangerous aggression is a given, but we are going to have to stop cause of the aggression now before it gets too big to be controlled. There are only so many police.
The Muslim community must respect the rights of others, not remain a separate culture within a culture and stop supporting terrorism outside Australia and within Australia.
We are running out of time to solve this and are crying out for the Muslim community to show some understanding of the viewpoints of others.
The fact that this article was written by a Muslim who is an ABC staffer and even he clearly does not get it. To him it is still us and them and he and his Islamic community are the victims of racial hatred.
ISLAM IS NOT A RACE!!!!!!!!
We are a long way from solving this.
God help our children and grand children.
11 Dec 2015 12:24:07pm
I think too much is made about the so called 'spark' of the riot being the young teenage surf club members - not council employed lifeguards - who got belted for intervening in what was a matter that they should have had some more senior back up on. It's like blaming WW1 entirely on the assassination of an obscure monarch in Sarajevo. The actual incident didn't relate to specific verbal abuse of girls on the beach. It related to the very common occurance of young men kicking a football around and amongst sunbathers. Now whether they did this through sheer arrogance, ignorance or as is more likely the case, attention seeking behaviour,they were quite rightly told to stop by the young guys on patrol but if it had been older lifeguards or police telling them to politely p*** off with the ball games then I doubt they would have decided to show how tough they were by punching them as they did with the young clubbies. This doesn't mean it would have prevented the next phases of the decent into mutual stupidity but it demonstrates that as areas become more populated and social attitudes and cultures more diverse, we need to provide a stronger level of early intervention to nip tensions, inappropriate behaviours and minor incidents in the bud before they escalate into a more dangerous scenario. For years council has traded off the back of having free life saving patrols provided by the surf clubs. As population density increases and popular public spaces such as beaches and beachside parks are heavily used an appropriate professional level of safety and security is needed. Yes, that comes at a cost but there are clear opportunities to raise revenue to cover such costs. For years Sutherland Shire Council has refused to engage paid parking at its beaches to raise operational revenue that could be used to engage such services beyond its meagre lifeguard branch. They constructed a monumental lifeguard building 2 Km away from Cronulla beach at Wanda which seems to be used primarily as a private car wash facility for the staff. So why don't they raise extra revenue by implementing paid/timed parking at the heavily used beach precinct? Well the Cronulla Chamber of Commerce which is populated by the shop owners is vehemently opposed to this and has blocked this from happening. Everyone in this sad parade has exhibited selfishness, disrespect, intolerance for others as to the causes of the riot. But then they are sadly common characteristics of our human behaviour.
Mitor the Bold:
11 Dec 2015 9:53:38am
I spotted the real problem in the story early into the piece:
"Granville Boys High School was a great place. The students were predominantly Lebanese Muslims, followed by Polynesian and Turkish students."
Any mention of Australians there? With multiculturalism - the encouragement of cultural ghettos rather than assimilated Australians - we have cultures within cultures. Aside from Abbott's claim that not all cultures are equal, there is the obvious fact that not all cultures are compatible. Some declare open hostilities: India/Pakistan, Sunni/Shia, Serbia/Bosnia, Muslim/Jew, Catholic/Protestant, Vietnamese/Cambodian.
How did anyone ever think this could end well? Cultural enclaves create problems. Show me one example where it does not.
The author is just the kind of person who has suffered because of this without understanding why. It's not the racists of cronulla that caused his problem, but the architects of the Muslim enclave he was forced to grow up in, and the self identity he has assumed as a result. He is an Aussie, not a Lebanese Muslim. Or at least he would be if not for multiculturalism.
11 Dec 2015 11:46:53am
"Cultural enclaves create problems."
True. Or is it?
Rockingham, an outer suburb of Perth is notorious for long standing social problems. A very low-socio-economic suburb with high welfare dependency, high employment, teen pregnancy, low rates of high school education (let alone Bachelor degrees) and property crime.
Rockingham also has one of nation's highest ethnic populations with one particular ethnic group representing a whopping third of the town.
Have a guess where this ethnic group hails from and THEN affirm it. Use a search engine. Now ask yourself; is it "ethnicity" and enclaves the cause of social problems OR is it social dislocation and stigmatisation?
I will wager that you will be very surprised when you identify this ethnic group, which should nominally assimilate with Australians, because it will challenge most Australians' presumptions about social problems associated with particular ethnic enclaves.
11 Dec 2015 12:13:24pm
"He is an Aussie, not a Lebanese Muslim."
Well said Mitor the Bold.
One day I'd hope to hear every human say "I'm an Earthling, ......and everything else is irrelevant".
11 Dec 2015 12:45:42pm
The problem also comes when you step back and read the article.
"When I was 14, I got angry and scared of the white people. After school, me and my friends armed ourselves, formed a mob and started threatening people at the train station. I was clearly the victim here....".
11 Dec 2015 1:59:17pm
It would be interesting to hear a perspective from some of the Australian school kids at that train station who were 'accosted' by the mob of armed boys from the Granville Boys High School.
"I was on my way home one day when I was 14 and a mob of a middle eastern boys from a local school who were armed with weapons attacked us for no reason other than for our skin colour, I remain a traumatised victim 12 years on. Until recently I thought we'd improved race relations in Australia, but alas middle eastern gangs and violent Islamic extremism appears to be common place now days. What does it take for a average [insert anglo-saxon name] to have of a fair go in society a be able to live without fear?"
Didn't the grand mufti say something about violence begetting violence the other day?
11 Dec 2015 10:11:05am
Truly interesting insight from a different, equally valid, perspective. The brutal truth is that the white locals will support absolutely anything to make sure 'their' shire keeps out anyone with remotely darker skin. These 'polite' racists say one thing, yet make sure all their local & social community actions repel anyone not meeting their 'white' standards. It's no coincidence the Federal Member is Scott Morrison - who is breathtakingly silent on this issue - and that he romps home every election.......
11 Dec 2015 10:15:22am
Thanks Mohamed for your insightful story. I only wish more people were more like you.
Just keep in mind that no matter what ones 'flaws' are, there is always someone around to wage a war on them. Unfortunately we live in a dog eat dog world. My flaw was 'fat' as a kid. A friend had red hair that became the topic of ridicule to the point of provoking a fight. Just about everyone had a trait that attracted unwanted attention, even ridiculous stuff like an odd name.
So while I hear your agony, and certainly it was a big one. Just take comfort in knowing that many of us have a traumatic story to tell. The best form of healing is learning to find some humour in it. As difficult as that might sound. This especially works when sharing stories with others from diverse backgrounds. Funny stories begin to surface like learning that your Indian friend as a kid who would rather starve than take his mums roti sandwiches to school.
No good can be found in harbouring hate and fear. Encourage your community members to reach out to others with love and without fear, and importantly embrace diversity themselves
Best wishes for your future
11 Dec 2015 10:15:23am
Then let's talk riot. And let's talk flash mob. And let's talk getting a bit of perspective. This being the pinnacle of confrontation says we are really white. Those numbers in the "non-white mainstream social racial and ethnic and religious and gender-specific" categories of our facts and figures say we are not. We are fooling ourselves. We only manage to gentrify one group by bringing another to the spotlight.
11 Dec 2015 10:21:25am
Things never change. If the author really thinks he had it tough, he should have been around in the 60's when there was such a huge backlash against the massive number of immigrants who came to Australia during the 50's and 60's as part of the government's plan to seriously boost the population from post-war numbers. By the time I was going through the school system in the mid to late 60's Australia's population had risen by about 50% from the end of WWII, and such a mass of foreign-speaking people taking over entire suburbs caused a huge amount of friction - even hatred - from the Anglo population.
Today we call it like it is when ethnic and racial slurs get bandied about, but in my day getting vilified for being a 'wog' was part of mainstream culture that no one, least of all the media or authorities, did anything about. People wouldn't touch you for fear of getting the 'grease' off your skin, the 'weird' food our families brought to the culture, like pasta dishes, processed meats, souvlakis, gyros, etc were considered vile wog food (hilarious now that they're so mainstream) and basically you desperately hid your last name as much as possible to avoid the inevitable "oh, you're a wog?" line and look of horror before new school friends would drop you like a hot potato. That's when you weren't being physically threatened or bashed for simply being non-Australian.
The biggest irony of course is that I was 'only' European on my father's side of the family - on my mother's I was more Australian than most in that our family can trace itself back to one of the marines who landed with the first fleet and went on to become one of the first settlers.
The author refers to friends changing their name to fit in more comfortably? I gravitated towards the mining industry in the outback as a young adult, far from European-Australian culture, and as bad as the nastiness was in the cities it was even worse there. I had a foreman at MIM who reviled 'ethnics' and went out of his way to make any 'wog's' as uncomfortable as possible, using his position to constantly make ethnic slurs, often in front of co-workers. These days he'd be torn to shreds for such behaviour - thirty odd years ago no one batted an eyelid. The upshot of it was that I simply reached a point where I changed my name by deed poll because it was entirely untenable that something as basic as the alphabet soup that constituted my name could foster such enmity. The further irony of course was that once I changed it no one could tell that I wasn't 'one of the boys', thus proving the stupidity to all of it.
Sadly, the cost of all of it was that I was at such pains to distance myself from those European roots that I now regret the fact that I didn't stay closer to it. I still speak the language (Greek) but there are aspects to that background that I value and miss a great deal.
The bottom line though is that, at heart, I don't real
11 Dec 2015 10:27:40am
Mate, the participants in the Cronulla riots are not Australia, not even Oztraya, not even most of Cronulla and Lakemba. They are a fragment of it sure, but only like that table down the back of the wedding reception that you invite out of a sense of duty.
11 Dec 2015 10:33:03am
If the author was an atheist, and he went to a new school and on the first day met another atheist, it would no matter to either who was Lebanese. had brown eyes or black hair.
Some might argue with that observation, but at least one generation on the congenial meeting of the two nationalities would be complete.
However many of us still choose to stick with differing medieval beliefs. Who have we to blame, and what is the answer. Tolerance does not seem to be doing so well.
11 Dec 2015 12:40:05pm
Tom, I'm an atheist who disagrees with you. Humans are tribal by nature and if it isn't about belief systems it'll be about skin colour, hair colour, physique, politics, your dad's job, how good you are at sport, etc.
I don't mean to be defeatist. I think education, done right and starting with the parents, can overcome these urges to create our own tribe and to create an enemy to oppose.
11 Dec 2015 1:21:03pm
Chris L: Of course human beings are tribal, our football culture is evidence of that. However what else besides religion has caused such disunity through history?
Looking across a crowded Sydney street would seem to disprove your skin colour, hair colour, physique etc theory. My GP is of Chinese descent, my eye specialist a Muslim. Hospitals seem to be staffed by mostly dark skinned nurses.
The only disharmony likely to be caused, in my case anyway, would be any reference or recommendation of a preferred religion. Even then I would be inclined to say,"I believe in science", and leave them to their delusions.
I agree that the only solution seems to be education, and reasoning in the hope that if a preferred inspirational figure from the past needs to be revered, all well and good, but such issues are not worth debasing humanity about.
11 Dec 2015 10:34:45am
I'm sure John Howard, and his media parrots, were proud to be Australian on that day.
11 Dec 2015 10:36:00am
Must maintain the rage and burnish that sense of victimhood and alienation. So important.
Look, for years before Cronulla my skip daughters were being harassed on Bondi by gangs of Leb youths making obscene suggestions. Presumably it was the same on Cronulla. We know that Arab culture regards western women as uncovered meat, your Sheik Hillaly told us. It seems that your attitudes have not changed.
Incidentally, you completely leave out the massing in Punchbowl Park in the evening and the reprisal raid in which Arab youths drove around the suburbs smashing cars with baseball bats and iron bars, unimpeded by the police. Will we see a repeat of that in a flash-mob one day?
If you despise Australia as much as you seem to do, have you considered resettling in the ancestral lands? Could be a good outcome for us all.
11 Dec 2015 11:38:44am
So why didnt you step up at the time and defend your daughter against the actual people harassing her? Or do you think a mob raging through the street attacking innocent non-involved people is the right response. I personally think taking out revenge on people with no association to the original offence is always wrong. But then again, you seem to be the sort of person that tells people to go back to their own country. Channelling romper stomper much?
11 Dec 2015 2:00:20pm
I wasn't there, if I had been I doubt there would have been a problem - think about it. But I was told later and asked what she wanted to do. Nothing- fear of recrimination next time on the beach. Wouldn't even tell what had been said. Just part and parcel of Muslim misogyny.
You don't seem sympathetic at all, if you were you would not have indulged yourself in this non-sequiter: "Or do you think a mob raging through the street attacking innocent non-involved people is the right response." I can help, no a mob of Muslim youth raging around the street is utterly wrong. What is disgraceful is that the police didn't dare lift a finger. Following orders, or what?
11 Dec 2015 10:36:04am
I am very apprehensive for the future of
Australia's social fabric. The author has painted a picture of a group of students who know they are Australian born but whose first allegiance is to other nationalities.
When the established Australians invited them into Australia, we hoped they'd adopt our culture, as much as is possible.
He has used a plethora of phrases to indicate that he doesn't accept that he is Australian, that he is other by choice. If this be the case, then he is imposing himself on Australians.
I wonder if the author realizes that some of the thoughts he recalls have the affect of hurting the feelings (or worse) of the Australians who took his parents in as future Australians.
Does the author know what sparked the riots? He doesn't own the incident, yet he thinks the riot was an attack on his ethnic group. He is Australian born, but calls himself anything else.
Mohamed, I have an interesting ancestry as do you and most Australians. I was born here too. I am Australian. You are Australian.
11 Dec 2015 10:39:41am
It is correct of the author to state that underlying racism wasn't called out in the wake of Cronulla. It is there and it should be called out for what it is when it raises it's head. But there is a bit missing in all of this - and that is the lead up. Poor behaviour towards women and girls by equally dopy individuals (as those who then rioted) and the bashing of two lifeguards was the catalyst. We fail if all we do is call out the poor behaviour of one side of the conflict...
11 Dec 2015 10:45:24am
The Cronulla riot is a good example of a failure of advocacy and negotiation. There were prior instances of a clash of cultures that should have been dealt with through due process. All those committing anti social behavior before the day, on the day and after have nothing to feel proud of. Hopefully authorities have a also moved on with lessons learnt.
11 Dec 2015 12:45:14pm
It could be said that the Middle East is an example of the failure of advocacy and negotiation. Failure in this respect may be endemic in people from that part of the world, even extending over several generations in a different part of the world. Cronulla would never have happened otherwise.
11 Dec 2015 10:52:28am
Mohamed, I wonder why you did not go a bit deeper into the root cause of the riots. Rather than simplify such complex event as 'they are racists', have you ever undertaken a self analysis of 'your' people. Have you perhaps been equally racist towards anyone who was not part of 'your' people? Have you been a member of any of the gangs that were blamed for a number of racist attacks in the area, prior to the riots and which are claimed to be the reasons for the riots?
One of the main reasons we never get anywhere with our debate about the integration of new Australians is that everyone always sees faults exclusively with 'the other' side and are never prepared for self analysis.
11 Dec 2015 11:17:45am
"Tell that to 14-year-old me who was petrified of going home. The lack of honesty and stench of hypocrisy suffocated me. It engulfed my lungs. I wanted our leaders to call out the terrible behaviour and criminality from BOTH sides."
Nothing occurs in a vacuum as you say ....other than virtual particle pairs. Constantly there are virtual particle / anti-particle pairs coming into existence and they (in normal conditions) annihilate each other instantly.
The events in Cronulla (and elsewhere in every country in the world) are just a human example of this quantum phenomenon.
The extremes on both sides simply annihilate each other, .... and the balance or stability remains.
I suggest that in reality billions of humans on planet Earth actually get along pretty darn well. We are all the same, and we all in reality actually have no interest in harming other humans in any shape or form.
But sometimes events happen, be it virtual particle / anti-particle pairs coming into existence just outside the event horizon of a black hole that causes a temporary change in the annihilation process of virtual particle / anti-particle pairs resulting in a particle existing (as the anti-particle is caught by gravity and passes the event horizon) and being boosted away from the black hole and becoming what is termed 'Hawking radiation'.
and that is where the real danger remains for humans too, we as a species must always remember we are all the same.
We must not allow events to alter the natural balance of our global society lest we too be carried away by events (and history shows where this leads).
11 Dec 2015 11:20:44am
The authors story reveals the them and us attitude of the Muslim community. Everyone I know was disgusted and appalled by the behaviour of those at Cronulla. Not one person I know thought it was acceptable. The aftermath was that groups off Muslims then went and attacked people who looked like Caucasian men. When Muslim men have committed crimes such as the Lindt cafe, shooting the the police accountant after getting the firearm in a mosque from other Muslims, two police stabbed and a riot over cartoons where over a thousand marched and attacked police the Caucasian community never retaliated in the same violent manner the Muslim community does. As disgusting as the Cronulla rioters were the behaviour of the Muslim community attacking anyone looking Caucasian afterwards shows the tribal and mob nature of the Muslim community which is even more of a concern.
11 Dec 2015 11:26:09am
Whilst I detest the violence that was unleashed at Cronulla on that occasion, I notice the author conveniently chooses to ignore the events that lead to the flashpoint. Instead he chooses to point the finger of blame at what he calls racist attitudes amongst Aussies.
For months leading up to the riots, gangs of Lebanese males had been harassing women on the beaches and surrounding areas. The Lebanese considered Aussie women in beach wear fair game and treated them appallingly. Even Lebanese Muslim leaders referred to these girls as "uncovered meat".
Finally, the straw that broke the camels back, was the attack by Lebanese youths on a couple of Lifeguards who came to the defence of some girls being given "unwanted" treatment by these youths.
The word quickly spread amongst the beach going community, and the rest is history.
It was less about racism, than it was about a clash of cultures. And, one of those cultures involved a complete disrespect for women that didn't cover themselves from head to foot.
But, then again, not all cultures are equal.
11 Dec 2015 2:02:30pm
Very well said.
11 Dec 2015 11:26:53am
This article takes me back to the 1950s when as a young 13 year old I experienced the same ugly Australian. It was a time when even the poor Poms got a hammering.
I recall being in a Melbourne tram and meeting an old family friend who quite naturally addressed me in our native language.
'They should speak bloody Australian' said the half drunk true blue sitting next to his mate- neither of which was man enough to offer a seat to the old lady standing next to them.
;Its a free country isn't it " I asked in perfect English - that shut him up.
I remember my first day at school - the patronising headmaster would not accept that the education system in the country I came from was equal to his- so he insisted he put me in a class one below what my father figured was the equivalent standard. I topped the class in every subject- including English- within three months I was promoted to a class above the equivalent.
I recall the fight I had with a true blue bully who called me a stinking dago.
Now as I approach my eighties, having served in military reserves- had mates killed in Vietnam - seen those who made it back vilified on their return-I made good and lasting mates from all corners of the world - including many true blues.
I have travelled extensively and never cease to marvel at the beauty and the diversity of our world.
I have become a proud Australian but one with a mind of his own.
Therefore I see the flaws in my country as well as the positives. We are no different from any other country- we have the good and wee have the bad.
However it saddens me to see how 'dumbed down" we are in comparison to say the Scandinavians. The level of debate is way down at the bottom.
I blame our leadership and MSM- it is they who have surrendered the square to the fringes
11 Dec 2015 11:28:17am
"For starters, let's be open and honest about our history as a nation."
Well sadly for openness, a right-wing rally at Cronulla to mark the 10 year anniversery of the riots will not proceed.
If the openness is constrained to a polite subset of free speech, and freedom of assembly is constrained by those most easily offended then civil society will have its narratives mediated through the state.
There'll be no buy-in through exclusion; on both sides of the fence.
11 Dec 2015 11:34:03am
The more things change the more they stay the same. Cowards love, indeed need company and more often than not, need some mind changing assistance to 'get in there' and 'have a go'. We see it at sporting events, political rallies and the like. Racist groups are a vicious extension of this and unfortunately racism is a two way street.
I have read others comments on the article with interest, because, coming from a regional city in Queensland, I often feel as removed from Sydney as I am from Beirut. I have, however, visited Sydney on a number of occasions and am continually surprised at how multicultural the city actually is. This makes Sydney a melting pot of nationalities and also a city which provides a great opportunity for people to assist racial integration.
Those cowards who flex their collective muscle by attempting to intimidate others or to show it is their way or the highway on what they see as their patch are not new but are actively seeking to create a racist community. Most really have more of an interest in turmoil and violence rather than defending their way of life or establishing their particular view of life. The rest of us peace loving, generally tolerant people refuse to be labelled as racist and so being used as pawns in a mindless game which guarantees no winners.
Australia has a long history of needing, accepting and ultimately welcoming people from all over the world to be part of our community. We are a generally easy going people and so tend to accept the differences of newcomers realising that eventually those who want to call our country home will ease into our lifestyle and provide new cultural and dietary diversity. It may take time but it will happen.
Those from existing populations and from newcoming individuals who make this integration difficult by clinging to rigid beliefs and stereotypes only serve to create tensions. We are all Australians and should celebrate our differences and get on with life.
11 Dec 2015 11:35:11am
A very interesting insight into the damage that racism does when expressed. I wish we were all not racist but unfortunately there is a bit buried in most of us. Let us keep it always buried and try to treat everyone as equal. Aussies are meant to be egalitarian. Lets keep working for that!
11 Dec 2015 11:56:43am
The Cronulla Riots shaped how I am too. Before that I couldn't believe that a minority, many of whom had supposedly come here seeking a better life, would have the gall to think they could patrol a beach in Australia abusing young women for wearing bikinis and assault Life Savers and not expect Australians to react.
11 Dec 2015 2:22:37pm
I still can't believe all the people on here justifying attacking innocent people based on the actions of others, just because they look similar.
11 Dec 2015 12:13:11pm
Great to have Mohamed's article spark so much comment. Wonderful to rea insights from someone who was there and affected. As Mohamed clearly has - everyone needs to have the discussion with themselves first. Some quiet reflection and respect for all sides is a sensible start point. It is so easy to parrot our parents or our colleagues or our peer group - especially when we are young.... (anyone under 55 to me!)
If each discussion starts with kindness and truth and some courage to accept our imperfect world which contains some very damaged people - then we can come to understand each other. We mostly need acceptance of our differences. Just as important though is some mechanism to prevent those who cannot find this acceptance to be prevented from harming others.
Thanks Mohamed for your piece...
11 Dec 2015 12:15:26pm
Why separate students at Granville Boys High by ethnicity or religion?
Aren't we all Australians first and foremost? Otherwise, you are just living here to earn money to send back home.
If a bunch of rural blokes (from the Bogan shire, say) behaved at Cronulla or any other beach as did certain Sydney youth that year, they'd probably be given a hard time too!
I like an old song from Dave Warner called "Convict Streak". It pretty much summed up in the 1980's what we expected from newcomers and that ultimately we would welcome them.
11 Dec 2015 12:31:48pm
What is "the Australian culture" that newcomers are meant to assimilate into? As far as I can see from the last 200y, it has all been about struggle and violence, a fair bit of destruction of environment and indigenous inhabitants, to arrive at a confused vaguely Euro-liberal-democratic identity. The riots and causes fit fairly well into this narrative, and no doubt from the comments, many on both sides live with its impact vividly 10y later. What I think is injurious to our ability to present ourselves to the world as adults is that we still support leaders intent on cultivating division, rather than a joint destiny.
11 Dec 2015 1:00:37pm
The Cronulla Riots.
I was 12, and by my looks would be typically 'Aussie.'
It disgusted me then, that there were people who thought and acted like this. I couldn't understand then, and now I all I can understand is the psychology of it. All I can do is say that I was against it then, I'm against it now, and I will be against it next time.
This just isn't on.
11 Dec 2015 1:02:27pm
But what I was really wanting to start a debate about; the core of my argument: that this is a dispute about sparcity, about not enough to go round, not enough for everyone, somebody has to do badly, somebody has to miss out, and so people scramble for placements.
It is a government of skimpy. It is a government of scanty. It is a government that generates a race, generates a class, generates an old social group called Other.
I reckon fix that and you'll fix part of the problem. Only if you reduce the size of the population though. It seems to me that this may be one of the goals. At what level of government is the group of people who sit and think about the logistics of long term population fluctuations?
11 Dec 2015 2:44:54pm
Perhaps they were scrambling for placations but anyway they scramble, we all scramble when we're told that there is not enough to go round. Or when our share is going to be smaller. Or when there is an allusion to guilt of some kind, like there was a system, like we plundered it. I suppose the Abbott/Hockey economic strategy was to try to fit in an underclass but we have grown past that, we still see ourselves to be the underclass and yet we at the same time see ourselves to have gotten out of it. Actually, the underclass is now invisible because we have an economically divided society. And the underclass is no longer depicted culturally except in this feary old terrorism thing.
11 Dec 2015 1:05:57pm
Forget the anniversary. Here's why things boiled over all those years ago: If we eliminate the causes it won't happen again!
Those who live at Bankstown, Lakemba, Wiley Park or any of the suburbs in the Muslim heartland and want to go to the beach, jump on a train. The rail network ends at Cronulla, on the beachfront. That's why for years countless young men of Muslim extraction ended up there and not at the other surfside suburbs.
Police are very wary of getting involved in ethnic clashes. Despite numerous complaints of harassment by these juveniles over a long time, the police sat on their hands.
Of course, the social media was alive with accounts of first hand victimization (probably exaggerated). Tension filled the air and boiled over with the assault of the off-duty lifesavers. The rest is history.
By backing off a serious problem (for political reasons) and letting the initiators continue with their unlawful behaviour, the police created a climate in which it was only a matter of time before the boilover and the retaliation.
Oh! Want a surf or a sunbake without hassles? Head for Cronulla. It's the most heavily policed beach in Australia! Don't forget your beach-ball and suntan oil.
11 Dec 2015 1:11:34pm
I am Sutherland Shire born and bred from the 60s and 70s and can say from first hand experience tensions between the Surfies and the "Westies" was pretty entrenched, whoever they were and whatever colour they happened to be. From the time one of my brother's friends was stabbed by a man of Lebanese descent in Cronulla over a minor traffic accident I became aware that "Lebos" were particularly targeted as likely to be problems. This was even if my brothers and their friends were a tolerant bunch in almost any other aspect of their lives.
Growing from a toddler to my early twenties while living there, I can safely say I was appalled and disgusted by the Cronulla riot ten years ago. It was stoked by people such as Alan Jones - happy to bay from the sidelines to get others to do the dirty work. I believe the police behaved very well in protecting people from idiots who typically believe they represent "'Straya" when they in fact represent all that is basest in Australians as a whole. If you need a tattooo of the Southern Cross on to prove you are Australian, you don't get it. You aren't like most Australians.
You don't get what sunny summers as a toddler on a beach were like, when kids of all colours of the rainbow could come to play and feel safe, and you could hear Greek, Italian, Arabic, or "Strine". You don't get that diversity is strength and courage, and to not listen to the rabid fringes on either side. You don't get that post 9/11 we need to represent that diversity needs to have disagreements and resolve them peacefully as an example to the whole world that everyone deserves the right to feel safe and valued. It is always an exchange. If the exchange is of blows rather than words everyone is the poorer for it.
11 Dec 2015 3:06:29pm
The police hierarchy went to water trying to close ranks and cover themselves. Remember the grass roots officer protecting the 'ethnics' on the train by wielding his baton to force back an angry mob?
His bravery award nomination was withdrawn when a senior officer declared his heroic stand as.... 'use of excessive force.' Really!
11 Dec 2015 1:19:10pm
How quickly everyone forgets the Recent events and those of the past. I am sick and tired of the Muslim community playing the woe is me card. The Australian Majority is once again slandered by a minority group who, at present is undeniably causing problems in many society's around the world due members of their religion, yet who are the most quiet about these events? They should have the loudest voice regarding these worldwide events as remaining silent they are in turn seemingly condoning them.
Have we all forgotten when on September 15 2012 thousands of Muslims hit the streets of Sydney, Randomly assaulting people and police. Committing criminal acts left right and centre, carrying flags that look exactly like ISIS ones? Chanting "We love Obama, We love Obama". Have a look at this sites very own video of that day and you tell me which one is more violent, terrifying and shameful?
11 Dec 2015 1:20:04pm
Interesting article and obviously one from the heart and mind. The only thing I disagree with is the ADAM Goodes reference - I will agree some of the Goodes stuff was perpetrated by racists - But - unlike Cronulla - there are a few other very strong football related reasons as to why he was booed. The media still cannot accept that.
11 Dec 2015 1:22:55pm
Thanks for your thoughts and memories. I flew back into the country the day after the riots and it was so disconcerting. Like coming back to a parallel universe. But then I remembered. From the night of September 11, 2001 it was clear that a rock had been dropped into the pond. We all then had to decide how we'd respond when the ripples reached us. Cronulla was simply the response of some, when combined with existing issues. London was the same.
It seems that in many if not most disaster stories, people turn against one another within days of the first zombie sightings. I don't think it's as bad as that. I'm sure some people really are only a few missed meals away from rioting but most of us are made of sterner stuff. There are issues that we haven't dealt with though and I see no serious appetite to do so. They'll come out more strongly if more people have more time on their hands in the next few years. Too many people have too little expectation of a good life. Sure we all have cars but they're mainly for getting to the jobs that often demean us and that won't pay for a house in this lifetime.
Anyway, Mohamed, obviously all sorts of stuff lies beneath the surface but most of us want the kind of place where Cronulla couldn't happen again. The problem is simply that we've been too successful. So few of us have seen a truly broken society and it is natural to become apathetic. People like John Howard base their success on pitting people against each other for that reason - they don't understand that what we have here is kind of amazing yet tenuous. As with the pollution of our environment, social cohesion is like the clutch on a car. It can cop some abuse but it wears out and eventually fails. While being abused, things can still look pretty good. It's kind of amusing but consistent that John Howard had similar attitudes to racism and pollution. A bad driver often doesn't realise they're a bad driver.
Unless we find a way to engender serious respect for civil society in each generation, we're doomed to future shocks and ultimately to failure. Unless history has now stopped.
11 Dec 2015 1:58:16pm
"what a 14-year-old Australian Muslim of Lebanese descent felt he had to resort to in this country at a time when our social fabric was at breaking point"
When you say "in this country". It wasn't the whole of the country. It was a small area of Sydney.
When you say "a Muslim of Lebanese descent". Being a Muslim had nothing to do with your safety or otherwise. Had you been singled out for attack it would have been on the basis of the Lebanese descent - they wouldn't have checked your religion first.
Also I think there were gender and age limitations - overwhelmingly youths and young men.
For one day you FELT you needed to resort to carrying a weapon for self-defence, but fortunately it only took you one day to realise you had been mistaken
It must have been absolutely dreadful feeling that and no doubt you felt real concern for a lot longer than a day. However in fact the only violence you report witnessing personally was by Lebanese youths at your school towards an Aussie. No doubt youths on both sides felt that fear.
I think a lot of your fear, which was an absolutely shocking and terrible experience and I feel bad for you, was due to the REPORTING of the riots and the commentary around it. It should have been reported as long-simmering and escalating violence between two groups of gangs, Lebanese and local surfies, coming to a head and spilling over into the community. Not an attack on Lebanese youths out of the blue by deeply racist Aussies. I think that's what Howard meant when he said "I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country." Of course there was an element of racism on both sides.
The media and commentators probably felt they were being "Good" by condemning the Aussies as the sole racists and by declaring that Aussie racism was all there was behind it, but it just led to deep resentments on both sides.
11 Dec 2015 2:02:42pm
You've got to be kidding me, as a local of Cronulla we were constantly worried about middle eastern gangs which used to flood the beaches on the weekend, on more than several times me and my firends got into fights with these people for no reason other than that we had different cultures, we even tried to befriend some of these people on various occasions only to be spat at and verbally abused. What happened in Cronulla was necessary.
11 Dec 2015 2:43:31pm
Though l have not witnessed a Cronulla riot type situation and speak up for Muslims if they are boxed with Islamic extremists, l can see the prejudice definitely working both ways as you attest to.
An extremely abusive comment was up on this forum for quite some time earlier. I was shocked it was allowed at all since it spoke of white, trash, filth......etc. I find it hard to forget it was so bad. Thanks to the abc for letting me see such prejudice!
11 Dec 2015 2:28:32pm
My experience is that, for the years prior to the riots women could barely walk along the "wall" at Cronulla without being called a slut for simply wearing a bikini at the beach. This was because hotted up cars and intimidating men were parked side by side making it their duty to yell at women for violating their own personal standards. Minor incidents all the time like this would intimidate and piss people in the shire off.
Experiences like this are not reported to police but they constantly happened. At that time Cronulla wasn't really a safe place to be on your own as a woman. Since the riots I haven't seen anything like this happen again. It also seemed to me, the frequency and intensity of all violence reduced after the riots.
As per wikipedia article, incidents had been occurring since the 60's and was building building building. No one seems to care about reporting this too much in the media.
Sorry life is hard. Life is hard for everyone. EVERYONE has something making life hard.
Examples: rape, physical or intellectual disability, loss of parents, loss of house, living in poverty, bullied to the point of having no friends, being gay, being transvestite, being abducted, getting hooked on drugs, domestic violence, having a rare incurable disease and the rest.
People who get to live in this country could stop feeling so sorry for themselves and make the most of their lives and the OPPORTUNITY to live in a place peaceful enough for you to provide a wonderful life for yourselves and your loved ones.
Also I think i have figured out the basic formula for peace.
There are 2 simple rules for peace in Oz.
1. Be tolerant and respectful
2. Do not be violent
11 Dec 2015 2:42:06pm
Mohamed, I sympathise with your predicament, however like most people in this country who distort terminology, you have not been racially vilified. It is not your ethnicity that is confronting people, but your religion. The extreme element of your brethren terrifies people because of the atrocities they perform in the name of Islam. The Israel and Palestine clashes were remote, overseas and not here. The 9/11 and continuous terror acts across the globe was overseas, but has now occurred in our back yard, and unfortunately we do have people in Australia who will reflect that onto Muslim people living here.
The Cronulla riot is a stain on our history. There are other stains in our history too, such as Aboriginal genocide, Lambing Flat and the attack on Chinese gold diggers, stolen generation, white Australia policy etc. We are a young nation built from Anglo ideas and sentiment and I am afraid it will take some time before there is acceptance. Please be aware that not all of us are racist or have phobias about religion, nor about refugees seeking a peaceful existence and better life for themselves and their families here in Australia.
I used to be a member of the catholic religion when I was young, but no longer feel that the teachings of the church provide credibility when so many children have been abused. And the abuse is not just central to the Catholic Church. I also felt the teachings were old and not relevant to society today, however I try to be a good citizen and teach my children about compassion, understanding, tolerance and acceptance of all people, regardless of race, nationality or religion.
Like yourself, I am not representative of a religion who have killed people for a cause. I am descendant from Protestants and Irish Catholics and indoctrinated into a the Catholic Church. I do not identify with the atrocities of the IRA. Such methods of killing in the name of a religion does not do anything but cause anger, distrust and pain for the families of the innocent lives that are taken in a terrorist plot.
Like yourself, as children we were targeted and bullied. Thirty years ago I was on the bus on my way home from school when a group of boys in the year below me (I was in Yr 11) told me they were going to beat up my brother when he got off the bus. I went to the local high school with my sister, my brothers went to a Catholic boys high. They were going to beat him up because he was Catholic, there was no threat towards me. Later that day I walked to the bus stop to meet my brother and we were confronted by five yr 10 students. Five against 1. So I told them that they had to fight me too. They laughed until my brother piped up that I was a good fighter. Our grandfather was a boxer and taught us how to fight! These boys walked away. I am glad they had some shred of decency not to fight a girl.The moral of this story is that these boys knew our father was a police officer, yet they were only go
11 Dec 2015 2:44:37pm
The flags, and the tattoos, and the bare chests, and the loud mouths, and above all, the alcohol !
Not a good combination if you then add a lots of blind mob mentality caused by a disease called "not being able to think for yourself". Yes, I see it quite a bit during Oztraya Day, ANZAC day, and Christmas. Hoons poked an Aussie flag or two out of their car window, driving around shouting the now getting really boring "Auzzie, Auzzie, Ooi, Ooi, Ooi". If they find enough room, they might even do a couple of burnt-outs right on the streets.
Interesting enough though, most of those cars are craps. Cheap throw-away you can get for a couple of thousand dollars. Somehow, these mindless mobs seem to be drawn to this "patriotism" thing like mindless flies, without knowing or understand what patriotism actually means. Perhaps when it comes to matters that are least taxing on your limited intellect, symbolism is the easiest to latch onto.
I saw the replay of the Cronulla Riot last night on the SBS. One really interesting comment that highlights the mindlessness of this whole affair is as follows...
"A local barber was giving a haircut to a young amigo. A perfectly normal hombre he appeared to be. He asked for a short haircut and got it. He also told the barber that he is going for a job interview. Afterward, the barber went to the news agency and picked up a newspaper. There on the front page, was the same guy who got a haircut from the Lebanese barber. This same guy on the photo has 'We grew here, we flew here' written on his chest."
So he saw fit to get a haircut from a Lebanese barber, but found it disagreeable to live among them! I guess thinking and walking can be hard for some ?
11 Dec 2015 2:52:07pm
"It was the first time I had ever given in to peer pressure"
Writer has a serious problem with self-awareness.
Dux of Year 9, though. That's pretty prestigious.
11 Dec 2015 3:05:53pm
A Caucasian is a person from the Caucasus. In general, those with fairer or paler skins, those of (Northern) European ancestry are whites not Caucasians.
The notion that the ancestors of all people with low amounts of the pigmentation melanin in their skin and hair came originally from the Southern Caucasus, specifically Georgia, was a theory proposed in 1775 by the Thuringian Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (b Gotha 11 May 1752 - d Gottingen 22 January 1840) in his MD thesis entitled 'De generis humani varietate nativa' ('On the Natural Variety of Mankind').
Blumenbach wrote (in translation) that 'Caucasian variety - I have taken the name of this variety from Mount Caucasus, both because its neighbourhood, and especially its southern slope, produces the most beautiful race of men (I mean the Georgian); and because all physiological reasoning leads to this: that in that region, if anywhere, it seems we ought to place the birth place of mankind.'
Erroneously, Blumenbach believed that our species spread around the world, not after we had come out of Africa, but after we had emerged from the Caucasus. According to Blumenbach, and to his half-witted followers over the next two centuries, all non-white races were subsequent inferior deviations from the original, pure Caucasian race.
Blumenbach's theories laid the foundations of German Aryanism and reached their ghastly, logical conclusion in the racial cleansings of the death camps.
11 Dec 2015 3:10:35pm
PS, if my initial comment is published, I want to clarify that in that comment I used the term 'race' because Blumenbach and his followers did and do. There is, of course, just one human race.
11 Dec 2015 3:15:53pm
"We have a civic duty to proactively work towards holistic change and aspire to higher values of justice, equality and fairness."
Good on you. These are human values.(BTW all three are synonymous) It is a pity that people use religions or race to behave contrary to this fundamental value of Humanism (which is not a religion).
11 Dec 2015 3:28:15pm
Nicely articulated piece of writing. I watched a superb documentary last night on SBS about the Cronulla riots. The racism seems to constantly bubble under the surface in Australia. The 'Muslumism' seems to constantly bubble under the surface. And in the case of the riots it spilled over the top disgracefully. But it's only a small and very dumb bunch of people. My favourite blokes at the moment are Donald Trump and Tony Abbott because they show us just how utterly dumb it is to fear what they are so totally ignorant about. you lived it for real as a 14 yo and have been able to speak about it so very very well. The reminder of your "piece of wood" at the end as you pass the park in Lidcombe is a profound analogy. Good work Mohamed. Thank you.
11 Dec 2015 3:48:48pm
History shows it's only a small step from riots to civil war.
11 Dec 2015 3:58:25pm
It's a privilege to read all these first hand accounts of the events. I didn't live in Australia in 2005.
So who was actually there, at the riot? Not just looking on but participating?
11 Dec 2015 3:59:28pm
This is a confusing article, same as its author seems to be a bit confused.
Firstly, he seems to have difficulties with his true identity. It takes him quite a while to describe himself as being "an Australian national", as well as being "a Muslim with a Lebanese ancestry" etc. An average reader would begin to wonder which factor predominates most in his identity.
Nowhere in his article would Mr Taha describe himself, or his parents, as being "New Australians." Perhaps they had never been called that way by Anglo-Aussies. To be called New Australian you had to be white or a migrant from almost any European country. It implied also that nearly all Europeans could easily be assimilated into Anglo Australian culture and its way of life. New Australian term also implied that the Anglo and European populations could easily intermarry and form families together. The New Australian term for migrants went out of window since the beginnings of 1980s when the Australian immigration policy had shifted away from Europe, in favour of the migrants coming predominantly from Middle East and Asia.
Deeper reasons for Cronulla riots are widely known and but not readily admitted. They are to be found in the fact that Middle Easterners who were born here are rather too assertive about what they see as "their rights" in Australia. They may be far too aggressive as a group compared to other migrant descendants, say those from Korea, China, India, Taiwan, South Africa or Hong Kong. The public disturbances from migrants born in North East Asia are practically unknown, although they have much higher numbers here than Middle Easterners. Not to mention the general peacefulness of more traditional migrants from Europe.
It's becoming obvious that "tearing of Australian social fabric" was done for the benefit or profit of the few, not for the wellbeing and health of Australian nation as a whole.
11 Dec 2015 4:00:52pm
100% of those Cronulla Rioters (and their current supporters) don't know what Patriotism is if it slapped them across the heads
Patriotism is when you work for the country you love, you pay your taxes and contribute to the ongoing GDP success of the country.
Patriotism is when you contribute National Clean Up day and dedicate a weekend to cleaning up the designated area
Patriotism is when you volunteer with SES, Life Saving or other such to activity for the sole purpose of love
Finally, Patriotism is when you join the army for a year to learn how to defend your country against foreign invasion.
Sadly, I doubt any of these idiots have any of these aspects other than being drunken, dole-bludgers leeching off the government.
11 Dec 2015 4:00:56pm
Social fabric was at breaking point because of the violence exported by Lebanese muslims from lakema/bankstown to the cbd and beach suburbs. Thats the truth. They wouldnt stay in their own ghettos but wanted to export violence into the anglo areas. No one cares what sort of ridiculous lives middle easterners live, what they do or what they believe, and that drives them crazy, they believe they are the centre of the universe
11 Dec 2015 5:33:30pm
Until recently I thought we'd improved race relations in Australia. The Adam Goodes saga tells us otherwise. If our elite athletes get racially abused, what hope does the average Khaled, Ahmed or Maryam have of a fair go in society?
Um Goodes is booed because people don't like him, not because he is an Aboriginal. If it was just because Aussies were racist why aren't all indigenous players booed? This is just self-serving nonsense.
11 Dec 2015 6:49:09pm
By the writers own words....he's a Lebanese Muslim that just happens to have an Australian passport.
Well, that's a triumph of multiculturalism I suppose....but also the root of the problem. We basically have a large expatriate middle Eastern community.
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Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-11/taha-how-the-riots-shaped-who-i-am-today/7019998