Thursday, December 15, 2005

Metamorphosis (1) - Race War into Religious War

The race riots in Sydney, Australia, have unfortunately escalated into a religious war, with 4 churches in Sydney's southwest attacked yesterday.

Churches suffered from lit fires or smashed windows, and carolers were spat on. The churches attacked have been those attended by Chinese and Tongan Christians.

Even the Maronite church, belonging to the Christian denomination of the Lebanese community has not been spared.

In fact, it has been suggested that the attack plus the opening of gunfire outside the church have been to ‘punish’ the Lebanese Christians for not standing up for their Muslim compatriots. Lebanese Christians have been staying out of the race violence which annoyed the Muslim component of the Lebanese community.

A senior leader of Sydney's Arab Christian community said the church attacks were an attempt to inflame the wider Lebanese community. He said:

"There is regrettably an element within the community that sees the Christians as Uncle Toms, as servants to the white man, and they resent them as that.".

Religious and community leaders have all called for a curfew to allow things to cool down and to prevent rioters moving around. Lebanese mothers have been encouraged to restrain their young sons – Lebanese youths worship their mothers so those ladies would have an enormous influence on the behaviour of their wayward sons.

Nevertheless, the NSW Government, police, community and religious leaders are bracing for a violent showdown between the rioters over the weekend.


  1. Various shades of Australian politics and anti Mulims have tried to label the ongoing violence as a problem of race or religion.

    Commentators are increasingly identifying the problem as being a definite group, who are:

    - young
    - male
    - children of Lebanese-Australian parents who entered Australia after 1975
    - Muslim
    - widely involved in drug dealing and gang territorial scuffles.

    These lads don't appear to be religious. They would prefer to drive around all night (as the do) than be seen in a Mosque.

    If Australia wants to make this problem containable it must keep its eye on the ball and not navel gaze about its whole identity.

  2. I don't disagree with your identification of the principal culprits, but like a vortex these clowns will suck the greater Lebanese/Arab community in, especially when there are unscrupulous interest grooup waiting to exploit the explosive situation, in the same way we have seen the neo-Nazis exploited what might have been a typical non-violent B-B-Q cum beach party protest rally.

    I am intersted in your 3rd point "children of Lebanese-Australian parents who entered Australia after 1975". Care to offer some possible causes - I am indulging in a bit of speculation but if you are aware of any social studies I would appreciate your contributions.

  3. The little pearl of wisdom that is my 3rd point I lifted from an article by a Muslim Tanveer Ahmad writing for On Line Opinion Tanveer says "In fact, it is a fairly specific segment of the Lebanese community and a result of the particular migration of poorer farmers and lower class Lebanese Muslims after the civil war in 1975. Their numbers and concentration are greatest in south-western Sydney.

    There is a rampant anti-social character to some of the youth from this segment which stems from unsuccessful child rearing.

    They quickly had large families. The fathers were often absent while they worked multiple, unskilled jobs trying to provide. The mothers lacked the extended family support they may have had at home. Parenting was often focused on the daughters, for in the world the mothers knew women needed more discipline and attention if opportunity and marriage was to beckon. The men were often placed upon a pedestal and few behavioural limits were set. A relatively absent father in many families compounded the problems."

    He's pretty opionated but his posi, religion and grasp of the issues make his claims more plausible than most ignorant commentators who dominate the media.