Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sydney Racial Riots - 2nd Night of Violence

The unfortunate racial riots in Sydney have escalated into a second night of violence where some of the Lebanese youth gangs were armed with handguns. They went on a rampage in revenge for the violence and indignities suffered by their kinfolks at Cronulla beach where a mob led by white supremacist groups attacked Arab-looking people.

The Lebanese (as one commentator mentioned, let’s not pretend who they are by just calling them people with Middle Eastern appearance) mobs fired shots into the air, disgustingly attacked women and smashed shops around Cronulla. One Lebanese woman, 19-year old Linda El-Hassan saw some of them shamefully threatened a young white woman sitting in her car in Briughton Le-Sands. They put their hands under her skirt. El-Hassan who is against the racial violence recalled that they insulted the woman by calling the terrified woman an Aussie slut.

‘Aussie slut’ was the same insult that Lebanese youths hurled in earlier cases of youth pack-rapes. It’s apparent that those Lebanese youths do not consider themselves Australains though many have been born here. I reckon their sense of alienation have been brought about by a combination of the adverse psychological fallout of the Iraqi and Afghan wars, agitations by extremist mullahs (there are a few here in Australia), and peer pressure.

I find it hard to agree with some Lebanese community leaders who claimed that the youths have been racially marginalised. Of the non-European migrants, in terms of appearances, the Lebanese fit it better in a caucasian society, for they look like Europeans. Not all are swarthy looking, and most times it’s hard to tell who’s a Lebanese or an European. I have many Lebanese friends who look exactly like Europeans and they don't go prowling on the street for fights – mind you, most of them are Christians.

Meanwhile, last night on the other side of the racial fence, around 600 young men, armed with guns and crowbars, prepared for a battle. Police have made some arrests.

The worst case of a victim has been a Bai (Punjabi) again. A Sikh, Hearmohan Singh, manager of 7-11 shop was besieged by Lebanese gangs but his store was saved from destruction by about 50 masked Lebanese youths when police arrived just in time.

Singh had been abused in the past by white gangs who mistook him for a Arab because of his beard. Like his clans men around the world he has often been mistaken for an Arab and suffreed the consequences of racial vilification and abuse. He has been a victim of both sides.

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