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Thread: Australian riots.

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    Default Australian riots.

    SYDNEY, Australia The racial unrest that broke out in Sydney's beachside suburbs over the weekend has spread to two other large Australian cities, where people of Middle Eastern descent were assaulted by whites, police said Tuesday.

    In New South Wales, where Sydney is located, lawmakers scheduled an emergency session of the state Parliament to consider legislation cracking down on the rioters who rampaged through the city's suburbs for two straight nights, the region's premier said.

    Seven people were injured and 11 arrested after youths rioted in the suburbs Monday night, smashing the windows of stores, homes and parked cars. The youths appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, leading police to believe the destruction was in response to racially fueled attacks on a Sydney beach a day earlier.

    Calling the rioters "ratbags," New South Wales premier Morris Iemma said police would be given special "lockdown" powers to stop convoys from forming and driving into communities to carry out acts of retribution. He also said he would urge lawmakers to pass legislation toughening prison sentences for rioting offenses.

    Opposition lawmakers have already called for tough new laws and are expected to support the legislation. The state Parliament session is scheduled for Thursday.

    "I won't allow Sydney's reputation as a tolerant, vibrant international city to be tarnished by these ratbags and criminals who want to engage in the sort of behavior we've seen in the last 48 hours," Iemma said.

    He added that rioters had "effectively declared war on our society and we won't be found wanting in our response."

    The rioting began Sunday on Cronulla Beach when about 5,000 white youths, many drunk and wrapped in Australian flags, attacked people believed to be of Arab or Middle Eastern descent after rumors spread that Lebanese youths had assaulted two lifeguards earlier this month.

    Police, who had stepped up patrols on the beach after learning of cell phone text messages urging people to retaliate for the attack on the lifeguards, fought back with batons and pepper spray.

    Carloads of young Arab men then struck back in several Sydney suburbs, fighting with police for hours and smashing dozens of cars with sticks and bats, police said. Thirty-one people were injured and 16 arrested in the first day of unrest.

    On Monday, police said they discovered weapons including firebombs and rocks on the roofs of some houses in the beachside suburb of Maroubra. Some of those arrested were armed with machetes and baseball bats.

    Elsewhere, Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio reported Tuesday that a family of Middle Eastern origin was attacked in the western city of Perth by a group of 11 white men, who threw eggs, shouted abuse and kicked their garage door.

    The 42-year-old father, who did not want to be identified, said his family was badly shaken by Monday night's incident.

    "I don't know if we were mistakenly identified," he said. "What I definitely know is it was something linked to the escalation in New South Wales."

    Perth police Superintendent Shayne Maines said authorities could not rule out a link between the attack and the racial violence in Sydney. "There was some suggestion they did make ethnically-related comments to the occupant of the house," Maines said.

    In Adelaide, a taxi driver of Lebanese origin, Hossein Kazemi, was injured when he was punched by a passenger during an incident Tuesday.

    "There was some sort of discrepancy and argument over the fare," a South Australian police spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity. "Apparently during the assault, the victim, because he was of Lebanese origin, was taunted about the stuff in Sydney and Cronulla beach."

    More violence seemed likely. New text messages circulated Monday, one of which called for more fighting next weekend: "We'll show them! It's on again Sunday."

    Another message warned of possible retaliation from Middle Eastern groups.

    "The Aussies will feel the full force of the Arabs as one 'brothers in arms' unite now," the message said.

    Prime Minister John Howard has defended Australia's policy of tolerance, noting the nation has successfully absorbed millions of foreigners. Before leaving Tuesday for a summit of Asian nations in Malaysia, he said he didn't believe the rioting would affect Australia's overseas reputation in the long-term.

    "You have outbreaks of domestic discord that happens to every country and when it occurs there's publicity, but people make a judgment about this country over a longer term," he said.

    Television images of the violence shocked Australians who pride themselves on their tolerance and credit an influx of immigrants with helping build up the country in the post-World War II years.

    However, tensions between youths of Arab and Middle Eastern descent and white Australians have been rising in recent years, largely because of anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States and deadly bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, in October 2002.

    In the 2001 census, nearly a quarter of Australia's 20 million people said they were born overseas. The country has about 300,000 Muslims, most in lower income suburbs of large cities.

    The unrest recalled three weeks of rioting in France that began in the suburbs of Paris on Oct. 27 and spread nationwide, baring frustration in communities with high immigrant and Muslim populations.

    Associated Press
    Ok, Aussie posters, what the hell is going on over there?
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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    I am not an aussie.

    I have read some new stories about middle eastern men making verbal and physical attacks on european aussies who were on the beach.

    I have read new stories about the same thing happening in sweden.

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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    The article pretty much explains the current situation which was sparked when a group of Lebanese youths attacked some anglo surf lifeguards on Cronulla beach a couple of weeks ago which was a pretty low thing to do. The local anglos organised some retaliationary attacks against anyone who looked Middle Eastern and so it escalated, especially when the white supermacists got involved (yes, we have them here too). The police have cracked down HARD and have confiscated a lot of weapons, and even some vehicles and, so far, things are fairly quiet.

    There is a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment in certain areas, particularly in Sydney where immigrants from the Middle East tend to live in 'ghetto'ised' communities. They can't or won't assimilate into the 'Australian way of life' and this causes suspicion and fear among the anglos, especially the uneducated and unemployed 'underclass'. I'm amazed there have not been more problems like this. A couple of years ago a group of Lebanese youths gang raped a girl (they phoned their mates to come and join in) and the court case produced a lot of anger and hostility towards the Lebanese community in general. I'm afraid these youths also have a reputation for sexually harrassing anglo girls (their own young women are kept firmly at home until marriage) and I have witnessed Lebanese kids in public park play areas being aggressive and rude to other kids (and their parents) and if you try to intervene they call their big brothers/uncles/cousins over and you find yourself surrounded by a gang of big, angry, abusive men. There are certain parks you just stay away from, particularly on weekends.
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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    I am not an Aussie either, but from the ones I've talked to in Japan,
    the Aussie - Indo relationship has always been one of mutual
    suspicion, and the Aussies rely on Americans to spy on the
    Indos for them.

    Consider their geographical relationship first:


    The Indonesian islands form a natural barrier between Aus and the
    rest of Asia.

    CIA Factbook -- Oz --- 20 million people, mostly Christian

    CIA Factbook -- Indo -- 241, 973,000+ people, mostly Muslim

    So the Americans have a military base on land in the north of
    Australia. They pay a token rental fee of -- get this -- 1 peppercorn
    per year to the Oz gov't. In exchange for this absurdly low fee,
    the Americans spy on Indonesia, its troop movements, its boats
    of refugees, etc. (This secret comes from an Aussie barmaid.)

    This paranoia seems to validate my theory that,
    the smaller a country, the less receptive it is to immigrants
    of a different culture receiving citizenship and forming
    balkanized ghettos in its cities.
    Last edited by ourmaninBusan; December 18th, 2005 at 12:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    The problem in Australia is this - geographically we are part of Asia, but culturally (for the last 250years anyway) our whole social structure is white European. The Aborigine population is treated like SHIT - you have no idea. FAR worse then indigenous American Indians. It's partly because the Aborigine culture, tradition and mindset is TOTALLY different. They are not 'warriors', they do not believe in 'possession' as such, their culture is one of passivity and being at one with the land in a very spiritual sense. When the Europeans arrived here to colonise they faced almost no resistance from the Aborigines who believe they are guardians of the land, not its owners (unlike, for example, New Zealand whose Maori original inhabitants were warriors and fought to retain their land and rights).

    As for more modern racial/cultural conflicts, in general people get along pretty well here. I have never seen overt black/white racism but I live in a big, multicultural city. Go into the country or outback Australia and you will find your share of white rednecks believe me. However, there is this constant undercurrent that we are 'vulnerable' to some kind of foreign invasion (the Japanese came within a whisker of invading Australia during WW2 and it was only luck, timing and geography that prevented it. Nevertheless, our northernmost city Darwin was bombed by the Japanese and Sydney harbour was infiltrated by Japanese submarines).

    I know it's a very subtle distinction, but I perceive the racial problems here as xenophobia (fear of anything foreign) rather than actual racism.
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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    Yeah,I've heard about those.

    What I do not get,is why is this made into all about races and religion?If a gang of Lebanese men raped a girl,why is it seen as if all of them are like that?When the Somalians started to come here after the Somalia war in 93', they faced some hardships and discrimination because just of what SOME Somalians would do in causing trouble.

    We have a HUGE Lebanese community over here,bigger than Australia's. Actually,most of them are middle-class,and they own a lot of business around here. They are considered to be more of the gino type,rather than urban. Gino as in like those Italians. Some of them just try too hard to cop that style. The ones who are more urbanized around here are the Arabs from the Iraq-Kuwait(the Bidouns), and Somalians and other minorities.

    But where I live is a big melting pot of culture and diversity, and there is sometimes your fights with different races,but very minor. I don't think I'd ever see an upscale race riot here,but you never know...

    I have heard that in Australia,Muslims have been facing discrimination ever since the 9/11 attacks. I also heard that some European mimmigrants (I think it is "wogs" or "wops" as they call them), face a bit of prejudice over there. But I've been hearing different views from both sides. Depending on who you talk to, or what you read, this situation is looked upon from different perspectives.

    Hopefully,this situation will be controlled and calmed down before it is too late.

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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    Yea why did they go crazy? Did they just flip out or did some ARAB do something to offend them? I ask this with the utmost respect b/c my hubby is an ARAB!

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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    It's racial tension that's been brewing for a long time - the attack on the lifeguards was the final trigger.
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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    Quote Originally Posted by A*O
    It's racial tension that's been brewing for a long time - the attack on the lifeguards was the final trigger.
    I read articles implying that the attack on the lifeguard was not even racially motivated. It was a scuffle between the lifeguards and the Arab men. There is differing stories what happened. But from what I have read about the incident,both were at fault. Do you know what happened exactly with the lifeguard incident?

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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    I don't know exactly what happened and now the media has become involved there are all sorts of conflicting stories. People tend to believe the story that suits their own agenda. It was probably a fairly minor incident that escalated, fuelled by too many young men (of all religions/races) with too much time on their hands and too much beer in their bellies.
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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    I've heard for a long time that Lebanese and other Arabs
    will corner part of the beach and harass any woman in a bikini,
    calling her a 'slut' for exposing their flesh. They even say this
    to young girls who are pre-teens and have no idea what the
    men are talking about. How long has this been going on,
    I wonder?

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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    Yes. I'm afraid you are right ourman. And because they regard these girls as 'sluts' they are therefore fair game for gang rape. A 14yr old was raped by at least 10 Lebanese youths because she was anglo and therefore she had it coming. This has happened several times and in one infamous case the perps were acquitted because the rape victim was too scared to testify. Is it any wonder there is a section of our society who feels this kind of thing gives them justification to retaliate with racial violence. I despair.
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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    Quote Originally Posted by ourmaninBusan
    I've heard for a long time that Lebanese and other Arabs
    will corner part of the beach and harass any woman in a bikini,
    calling her a 'slut' for exposing their flesh. They even say this
    to young girls who are pre-teens and have no idea what the
    men are talking about. How long has this been going on,
    I wonder?
    That is what I have been hearing in the Australian media also. But when I talk to Arab Lebanese Austalians they say it is exaggerated.


    If SOME Arab Lebanese do that,it does not mean all of them are like that. I am sure SOME Australian men are like that too.It does not mean we have to pit them all into one.That is what I see as it is in this case.

    Infact, Lebanese tend to be the most liberal out of all the Arabs. Their women go out in bikinis in Lebanon all the time. Sex is not as taboo for them as for the other Arabs. In their societies, some Lebanese tell me that now some girls not being virgins before wedlock is not as controversial as much as before. Lebanese music videos from female artists are the ones that are the most sensual and sexualized with objectifying women as sex objects. So that is why it seems a bit weird to me that some Lebanese men are doing that to some Australian women because some Lebanese women are known in the Arab world for frolicking in skimpy outfits.

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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    Of course it's exaggerated by the media, but it's not a religious issue Hazel, it's a socio political and cultural issue. I know that Islam is an intrinsic part of Arab culture, but you will find that a large proportion of the Australian Lebanese population are, in fact, Christian.

    There is a large Lebanese community in Syndey which over the years has tended to become ghetto'ised in certain suburbs. Although they are Australians they cling to what they perceive to be their Lebanese culture which over time becomes a distorted version of the truth. The young men are generally poorly educated and have few job prospects apart from manual labour or other unskilled jobs. Those involved in the riots are second or third generation Australians, born and raised here and most have never even left Australia, let alone visit Lebanon yet they do not assimilate into the wider community for some reason. However, because of their lack of opportunities (often self-inflicted by leaving school too young and without any qualifications because that's what all their mates are doing) they feel a great deal of resentment towards those who they feel are being treated better by the very 'system' they often choose to remain isolated from themselves. Of course there are exceptions, but that is the general situation. Of course, it's exactly this type of dispossessed 'victim' who can be easily manipulated by people with a violent political and/or religious agenda.

    They roam around in gangs because they have nothing else to do, and go looking for trouble and the easiest targets are 'anglos' who they blame for all their problems. So they DO hassle young women who they think they are fair game for gang rape - they DO get involved in drugs and other criminal activity and it was only a matter of time before something triggered a riot because the police have not taken this festering tension anywhere near seriously enough in the past. The Lebanese community leaders have been silent too until it was too late. And of course there are equally numerous uneducated and maginalised 'anglos' too who blame the "Lebos" for all THEIR problems. There is a small but vicious extreme right wing movement here who like nothing better than to have some boffo with the Lebos.

    The general opinion in Australia is that this would not happen anywhere else but Sydney where the 'ghetto' problem is the most pronounced. All the other major Australian cities have a huge diversity of cultures but for some reason they seem to be far more assimilated into the general community, which is the way it should be of course.
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    Default Re: Australian riots.

    ^
    Yes,that is a very good explanation of it all. Yeah,I am guessing that maybe most of the Lebanese over there are Christian.It is just that iti s so different here with the Lebanese community in the capital city of Canada. Most surely do not live in the ghetto's and don't take on the urban lifestyle. They are very "gino",as I mentioned before. More of like the Italian style.

    Well,I noticed that the term gino is not international and that it is a term Canadians use. So here is a definition I found of it in the urban dictionary.
    gino

    The classification of Italians that normaly are Canadian from Toronto. They are considered as Ginos because of there musical preference, known as beats and their tight clothing by brand makers such as Diesel. They are The Male verions as the females are called Gina's.

    But that is besides the point. So yes, that is what happens to some communities and minorities when they are marginalized. They become rebellious and turn to trouble.

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