India Insight

Attacks on Indians in Australia: racist or recessionist?

June 19, 2009

A spate of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney has seen the Indian media accuse Australia of being a racist nation.

Newspaper articles warning of a culture of “curry bashings” in Australia have sparked off debate and people around the world have spoken out against the attacks in online forums.

Some insist the majority of attacks may have been purely criminal.

As an Indian studying in the U.S. for the past three years, I am yet to come across any instance of Indians being targeted on the basis of their race.

I have never heard my American friends say anything against Indians or students of any other nationality.

Does that mean Indians are safer in New York than in Melbourne?

The attacks on Indians did take place in Australia, but then they could have happened anywhere.

Even in India, there are cases of what some may call racial bias. In fact, there is a debate on whether discrimination on the basis of caste is the same as racial discrimination.

While the attacks in Australia are wrong, unjust and unfair — some say it’s difficult to classify them as racist, others feel the numbers are too high for them to be random acts of violence.

Even those who think the attacks were race-based blame the global economic slowdown.

“Racist outrages are an expression of a deeper malaise,” Sitaram Yechury, a communist party leader, wrote in his party organ — “People’s Democracy” — this month.

“The Australian Prime Minister has declared, for the first time, that the economy has moved into a state of recession,” Yechury said.

In his Business Week blog, Mehul Srivastava agrees that not all of it is “simple racism”.

“It’s anger and resentment tinged by economic envy and by anxiety over their own financial conditions.”

Some 93,000 Indian students study in Australia. Last week, hundreds of them marched through Sydney calling for more action by authorities to protect their rights.

On Wednesday, a public interest petition was filed in the Supreme Court urging the Indian government to engage in pro-active diplomacy to prevent similar incidents.

Now it looks like even Bollywood is taking up cudgels on the students’ behalf. Filmmaker Mohit Suri has announced he’s scripting a movie based on the attacks in Australia.

What do you think? Are Indians in Australia being preyed on by petty criminals? Or are these racist attacks?.

Comments
36 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

“What do you think? Are Indians in Australia being preyed on by petty criminals? Or are these racist attacks?”

The answer is: probably neither.

You mention a “spate of attacks”, but I’ve only seen evidence in the media of 15 such attacks in the past six weeks. That really is not very many, when you consider that in Australia, there are, on average, 60 assaults per 100, 000 people, per month (feel free to check that at aic.gov.au, or nationmaster.com). There being 93000 Indian students in Australia, a little under 60 of them should get bashed per month, statistically.

I’ve heard of claims by activists that “Fifty” Indian students have been assaulted in the past year in Melbourne alone. But again, on the same basis, that is a puny amount, hardly suggestive that Indian students are being singled out in any way.

So clearly, the numbers are NOT “too high for them to be random acts of violence.” But of course, if the media gives each individual attack front page coverage, the situation seems a lot more grave than it really is.

As to the claims that the attacks are racist, in a lot of cases that’s questionable. For instance, CCTV footage of the attack on Sourabh Sharma, clearly shows the attackers are Asian. In the recent attack on Sunny Bajaj, one of his two attackers was African. Quite a lot of the attacks in Sydney are reportedly perpetrated by Lebanese youths, if the Indian residents of Harris Park are to believed.

The point of all that is that if these attacks are done by racists, they are peculiarly multicultural racists. At the very least, they’re obviously not white supremacists.

Bottom line is that there’s no basis for believing that Indians are being targeted because of their race at all. At least not in Australia. But quite obviously, the media which is profiting from all the hysteria around the issue, has an incentive to make it look like there is.

Posted by Flavian Hardcastle | Report as abusive
 

@but I’ve only seen evidence in the media of 15 such attacks in the past six weeks. That really is not very many, when you consider that in Australia, there are, on average, 60 assaults per 100, 000 people, per month ……There being 93000 Indian students in Australia, a little under 60 of them should get bashed per month, statistically.”
- Posted by Flavian Hardcastle
-You mean since the attacks are still below national average, there is not enough reason for Indians to complain. The right question is how much is the national average against Indians? I assume lower than the national average you stated. Has it increased now, hence complaints?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Rachel:
@Even in India, there are cases of what some may call racial bias. In fact, there is a debate on whether discrimination on the basis of caste is the same as racial discrimination.

Rachel: That’s poor. That’s like saying: Assuming casteism = racism in India, Indians should shut up about attacks in Australia. I do not know if racism is the basis of the attacks. There is no need to bring in the Indian issue here since that serves no purpose to address the issue at hand.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Victoria police (thats part of Australian govt as a republic country) has admitted that some attacks on Indian students were racist if not all.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India  /Some-attacks-on-Indians-were-racist-Au stralian-High-Commissioner-in-India/arti cleshow/4666446.cms

http://www.theage.com.au/national/attack s-on-students-clearly-racist-overland-20 090610-c2l9.html

And there was a recent research done that mentions australian employers are racist.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20090618/90 0/twl-australian-bosses-are-racist-when- it.html

Sol Trujillo was true when he said in BBC Australia is a racist and backward country….

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/sto ry/0,25197,25559172-2702,00.html

Basically the background of this article is this:

Indian students have been targeted in Australia for last 2 years. It has got escalated in last few months. Melbourne Police has said that some attacks are racist. All the victims mention that they have been racially abused before or during or after the attack.

The Australian media has put this issue under the carpet with minimal reporting of the issue. Indian media has published this issue that has prompted the Australian Government to take note. More than 1400 reported cases of attack on Indian students has been filed last year.

Number of cases could be 3 times more as Indian students claim they have not been reporting it to Police.

Posted by indianpatriot | Report as abusive
 

Well if 60 Australians get bashed per month per 100,000 people, and 15 Indians got bashed up in six weeks, then applying plain unitary method, ten Indians get bashed up in a month which means 16.67 percent of whoever gets bashed up in Australia per month per 100000 people, are Indians.

Flavian I would get darned worried about that!!!

Does it look statistically significant now?

Posted by think again | Report as abusive
 

Flavian

one need to look at the whole picture.

I sa on youtube bunch of white kids thrashing a victim with vengeance, not just in a simple case of robbery wherein you grab and run.Go on the youtube and look it up ourself.
Agree with what you say, crime is universal and Indian student need to be careful while using the public transportation system especially travelling late hours etc. I sense a lack of police presence in cities like Melbourne.Police should petrol and carry out identity checks on kids hanging around in the areas. If the fear of police crackdown is not there, the attackers will not stop their activities. In US the police force overreact on such incidents and make sure the attackers learn their lessons.

 

@ indianpatriot

“Victoria police …… has admitted that some attacks on Indian students were racist if not all.”

I don’t think anybody’s actually denied it. My point is that not all are, and there’s only been a puny number of attacks against Indians cited in the media anyway. In many of those cases cited (the attack on Sourabh Sharma, Sunny Bajaj, and the Harris Park attacks in Sydney) the perpetrators were ethnic themselves.

I acknowledge your general thesis that Australians are “a racist and backward” people, though I don’t accept it. However, the evidence that your people are being targeted in Australia just isn’t there. Sorry.

@Azad
“I sense a lack of police presence in cities like Melbourne.”

Melbourne has some rough areas, no error. But the assault rate in Australia is actually lower than the US, Canada, UK, and New Zealand.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_as s_percap-crime-assaults-per-capita

Posted by Flavian Hardcastle | Report as abusive
 

The attacks in Australia are racist in nature. History proves that Christians in time of even a small difficulty resolve to violence which is usually targeted against a group which can be somehow distinguished from natives. Example are attacks on Jews, Hate towards Black, Recent attack on Romanians in UK.

Posted by rohit | Report as abusive
 

For many, who would like to lynch me for my comments, please go through all items appearing in wikipedia under racism. Rachel, you who believe that there is no racism in US can go through “Racism in US” in wikipedia. It may open your eyes. Some Googling also may help.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

Rohit: You cannot assume the cause behind the attacks on Indian students in Australia is based on the hatred of one religion towards another.
For example, an Australian Christian missionary and his two sons were burnt alive in India in 1999 but the attack was clearly based on religion. Not racism. They were part of a string of anti-Christian attacks.

Also, I do not believe that there is no racism in the U.S. There are cases of racism everywhere in the world. No country is without it. I simply said that I have not witnessed racist attacks against Indians or another nationality. Actually if anything, people get into arguments over what their political affiliation is rather than where they are from.

Rajeev: I never said assume that the caste system is equal to racism. But yes, both the caste system and racism are forms of discrimination. The reason I referred to the caste system was to bring some objectivity.

Posted by Rachel | Report as abusive
 

I am not saying that attacks on Indians is based on religion hatred. I am saying that Christians (Main religion of Australia) resort to violence in times of difficulty. I think you may have been hurt by the word “Christians” but truth is truth.

The attacks may not be against religion like in case of Romanians in Scotland recently.

There are ample proof in history to support what I say. Wikipedia has good collection of such events under topic Racism. I am quoting couple of examples which are post genocide of Jews.

EXAMPLE 1
State racism contributed as well to the formation of the Dominican Republic’s identity and violent actions encouraged by Dominican governmental xenophobia against Haitans and “Haitian looking” people. Currently the Dominican Republic employs a de facto system of separatism for children and grandchildren of Haitians and black Dominicans, denying them birth certificates, education and access to health care. These governments advocated and implemented policies that were racist, xenophobic and, in case of Nazism, genocidal.

EXAMPLE 2
During the Congo Civil War (1998-2003), Pygmies were hunted down like game animals and eaten. Both sides of the war regarded them as “subhuman” and some say their flesh can confer magical powers. UN human rights activists reported in 2003 that rebels had carried out acts of cannibalism. Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti pygmies, has asked the UN Security Council to recognize cannibalism as a crime against humanity and an act of genocide.

Hard to digest but it’s true believe it or not.

Coming down to casteism, casteism is a term coined by westerners for their convenience. Every society has (whichever it may be) four divisions (1) Brahmin (One who devotes time in learning truth)… For convenience of understanding, religious torch bearers like Mullah or Evangelists or Rabbi (2) Kshatriya (One whose duty is to protect the three classes and establish rule of law)… For convenience, police and army (3) Vaishya (One who does business)… For convenience, folks like Ambanis, Buffet (4) Shudras (One whose duty is to serve the three class)… For convenience, people employed in service in companies like GE, Reliance etc

This is truth of what you term as casteism and it is universal.

What you understand from casteism is that there are certain surnames which classify a person into Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra and the first three (more severely, the first two) suppress the last one. If this is what you understand then casteism is racism because certain people who due of a surname think they are Brahmins and therefore superior is nothing but racism.

I do not want to start off another discussion on the missionary who was burnt as it it irrelevant but would definitely like to convey it to you that even Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was against the cunning tactics of Christian religious torch bearers.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

Sorry I meant recent racist attacks against Romanians in Ireland and not Scotland.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

What is there to think and feel, when the victims themselves have revealed what went on as a confrontation between the victim and attacker was based on racist remarks? Before having to write a big post on this, Rachel, did you bother to have some inputs from the victim? You are simply trying to justify attacks as being “happening anywhere”, have you thought what if the victim was you?

Posted by Mendei | Report as abusive
 

It’s quite probable that one weak group may be easily be targetted by another in any a place in any a country, whether the two groups belong to a same country or not. But the future of the relation mostly relies on how the group mentality is steered. As far as the asault on Indians in Australia concerned, the Indians need to form think-tank sessions to exhibit the love and affection on Australia and its people. It should be visible that Indians blend with the land very well and strive for Australia’s growth and prestige. Every body knew that every group has got (a) silent spectators, ( b) active participant for good and ( c)active participant for bad. By spreading good intentions by a group, i tell you that both the “active participants for good” and “the silent spectators” in another will spread the message og goodwill which will resist negative action in the time to come. let us sow seed of love.

 

Rachel:

I do not know how does Indian Christian issue here or casteism fit here. They do not in any way address the issue and nor fulfill the purpose of having objective. “Stolen generations” warrant a mention in thread to address the history of racism in Austarlia.

Racism is not a foreign concept in Australia if you look at the history. Even into 1970s racism was practiced. Remember “stolen generations”?

Watch “Rabbit-Proof Fence” if you have not already.

http://www.epinions.com/review/mvie_mu-1 114595/content_211500764804

A good site to read about “stolen generations” is:
http://www.eniar.org/stolengenerations.h tml

Stolen generations: “Between 1910 and 1970 up to 100,000 Aboriginal children were taken forcibly or under duress from their families by police or welfare officers.”

“Most were under 5 years old. There was rarely any judicial process. To be Aboriginal was enough. They are known as the ‘Stolen Generations’.”

“They were taken because it was Federal and State Government policy that Aboriginal children – especially those of mixed Aboriginal and European descent – should be removed from their parents.

Between 10 and 30% of all Aboriginal children were removed, and in some places these policies continued into the 1970s.

The main motive was to ‘assimilate’ Aboriginal children into European society over one or two generations by denying and destroying their Aboriginality.
Speaking their languages and practising their ceremonies was forbidden
They were taken miles from their country, some overseas
Parents were not told where their children were and could not trace them
Children were told that they were orphans
Family visits were discouraged or forbidden; letters were destroyed.”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Against the backdrop of increasing attacks on Indian students in Australia, a new survey has said that 85 per cent Australians feel that racial discrimination is rampant in the country with one in five of them being a victim of verbal abuse.

A 11-year study by a collaboration of Australian universities has found that a considerable number of the 16,000 Australians surveyed feel that although cultural diversity is good for the country, the differences may stop everyone from getting along.

Over 40 per cent of those surveyed feel that cultural differences pose a threat to societal harmony, Kevin Dunn from the University of Western Sydney’s school of social science said.

“The Cronulla riots and the recent attacks on people of Indian descent are an example of this. The figures show that 85 per cent of Australia acknowledge there is racial prejudice in the country,” he said.

“So if you take that alongside the 87 per cent that are pro-multiculturalism, clearly you’ve got a third of the nation that tolerate cultural diversity but are concerned at the impact it will have on society,” Dunn said.

The study also said that 6.5 per cent Australians were against multiculturalism.

Posted by Manohar | Report as abusive
 

All Indian Students should file a Law Suit and Claim Compensation for Damages caused by this Racism

Posted by Ram | Report as abusive
 

Rachel

–The caste system is an age-old socio-economic issue & not remotely comparable to the wide spread genocide of natives of the australian & american continents indulged by the white supremacists & inqusionists.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive
 

In a way, I don’t blame Australians. Indians definetly forget to follow the fact that “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
I am an Indian, but I would say that India is the most racist country in the world. We are divided by religion, region, caste, colour, language and what not ? North Indians don’t like South Indians, West Indians hate the Eastern race. Everyone make fun of Sardars… and it goes on. Within the Hindu religion itself we have a variety of racism. Brahmins are the most fanatic of all. Brahmin supremacy is still prevailing even after 50 years of independence.

First of all, let’s fight against these atrocities within our country and then think about preaching to the world.

Posted by NairG | Report as abusive
 

NairG

you are living in the past, whereevr it maybe.
Independence is over 62 yrs old not 50
Sardars are made of fun? A sardar becomes second time Prime Minister.
I dont want to give the list of Muslims, christians and Dalits who are in the ruling class currently, just ask around.
The hindus are getting converted at alarming rates, So they will oneday disappear from India, Im sure you will be glad to see that day.
Changes are happening at their own pace, this is a bloodless revolution, dont forget.

 

Nair G:

With all due respect to you there is difference between racism and cultural diversity. North Indians do not like South Indians, West hates East etc are all crap. Micro level examples exist but at macro level no North Indian hates South Indian. If this was the case then PV Narsimha Rao would have never become Prime Minister of India. There are many examples. Better travel around India, interact with people and clear your mind.

How would you like the cultural diversity of India (which you term as racism) to vanish… Everyone should speak one language, wear a dress code say like white shirt and black pant, Sardars should stop wearing turban and growing beard?

On Casteism vs Racism, readers have commented before so I won’t take another shot on it but would advise you to read some comments that have been posted by readers before.

When in Rome do as Romans do… Are you advocating that if one has to go to US, then, one should

1) Change religion to Christianity
2) Go to a church every Sunday Morning
3) Listen to Jim Morrison, REM, 50 Cents etc every day
4) Go to a gentleman’s club
5) Indulge in live in relationship
6) (Considering that one is vegetarian) Start eating beef, pork etc
7) Undergo some treatment to convert entire color of body to white

And numerous similar activities?

And before this, tell me, will you if you move to W Bengal would you start imitating Bengalis, or would try to live in peace without disturbing them and expecting the same in return. Would you expect a Punjabi who moves to South to live in peace so that he does not disturb natives and is able to live in peace and harmony or you would expect a punjabi to start speaking mallu or kannad or telugu or tamil and start imitating southerners?

God forbid what would you do if you had to move down to place like Iran? Will you ask your wife to wear a burqa and will you go to mosque five times in a day in order to do as Iranians do?

The point I want to drive is that Indians are extremely peaceful and tolerant of each other. All Indians have basic ethos of courtesy and respect for everyone. This is proved by the fact that are living in harmony and peace with each other and also Jews, Parsis, Zoroastrians have lived with us without any problems.

Stray individual events do occur but they do not matter when one takes macro level view.

Casteism, Suttee was a big time problem as India got invaded by muslims, christians but as of now, these problems are dying away. They were more related to development of society and as India has developed, all metros have become melting pot of all people and culture from all parts of India. We have ladies like Mayawati who wield power. What could be better example (for you) than Sonia Maino Gandhi. Do you know that she is undergraduate and was a waitress before she got into the family of one of the most powerful families of India? Have you listened to her Hindi? What do you make out of her Hindi? Did she learn it before she moved to India or learnt it only when she felt the need to learn it? What do you make out from Chiddu who hardly speaks in Hindi? Is he hated by North Indians so much that he has to work out from Tamil Nadu?

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

NairG:
@In a way, I don’t blame Australians. Indians definetly forget to follow the fact that “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
—And what is that “specific” that Indians do not follow and you think these goons in Australia get RIGHTLY upset.

@First of all, let’s fight against these atrocities within our country and then think about preaching to the world.
–Really, I am thankful you were not born in MK Gandhi’s times when he was in South Africa and suggest him to keep quiet and suffer at the hands of those racists in South Africa and “stop preaching” because there were related problems back home in India that were unsolved. Get your brain rewired buddy.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

You people are getting hysterical, because of out of the thousands of people who are assaulted in Australia every month, fifteen of them were Indian.

Posted by Flavian Hardcastle | Report as abusive
 

Media is just giving it too much attention, I;d actully like to see a few indians killed in these attacks…

Then may be it will be an issue…as for now its just a pitty issue

Posted by Ding dong | Report as abusive
 

@You people are getting hysterical, because of out of the thousands of people who are assaulted in Australia every month, fifteen of them were Indian.
- Posted by Flavian Hardcastle

–Do you have a point in this post?—-I see none.

I am not sure about hysterical people but I do see some over-defensive (perhaps) Autstralians, who show (wrong) stats to say there is no need to pay attention to ongoing anti-Indian crimes. May it is hunky dory for some, not for others. Isn’t it?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

@rajeev

What wrong stats, sir? If you don\’t trust the stats at nationmaster.com, have a look at the stats at the Australian Institute of Criminology.

http://www.aic.gov.au/topics/violence/st ats/assault/

There you will see Australia has around 15000 per month. Against that, you are talking about 17 assaults against Indians over the space of 6 weeks as if it\’s some kind of racial crime wave. How is that not hysteria?

Posted by Flavian Hardcastle | Report as abusive
 

Hi,

I think I know why the Australians are suddenly turning racist against Indians. I think they cant tell the difference between Indians and Lebanese(who were involved in lots of race crimes against them in the recent past). Indians looks similar to Lebanese.

Ron.

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive
 

Being an indian , rather than criticising the issue i would like to look into the matter and see whats causing all this….i dont undrstand the hype that is being given by the media….and the result is indian students are now afraid to go and study in austrlia….how many of them actually know that this is happneing all becuase of the fraud agents tht are running in india and are responsible for ruining their career….there is a regulatory body called AAERI(Association of Australian Education Representatives in India), the self-regulatory body of education agents and an initiative of Australian Education International (AEI).They are working closely with Indian and Australian government to weed out any issues that concern the security of Indian students in Australia.Its high time people are awaare of these kind of important important information and get help taking the right decision through correct information…
http://www.aaero.org

Posted by mayur rolls | Report as abusive
 

this article is hilarious. 1st Rachel Paul is a student in USA and she is saying there is no racist bias against indian students in USA. Rachel , I got news for you. The attacks are allegedly happening in australia not usa. you cannot take USA as a sample to determine whats going on in australia. both countries have different histories. America is one country which takes race allegations quite seriously. I wouldn’t expect same from any other nation.

another hilarious comparison is recessionist ? who in the world would have thunk (except rachel paul) that people get jealous on students because of recession ? Everybody knows students aren’t that rich. lol. they are not stealing anyones jobs. usually crime due to jealousy of prosperity happens on immigrant workers not students.

plus america has a much bigger working indian population than students. if there was any attack due to jealousy it would be on those working and not on students.

third funny comparison is india’s caste system as a bias . but rachel caste bias is not = to race based crime being alleged here. you care comparing apples and oranges.

i conclude recession hasnt struck the aussies but reuters for hiring such sub par bloggers. i had a good laugh. hope everyone did.

Posted by Vivek.Vikram | Report as abusive
 

To: Think again
At a glance your argument is indeed compelling and highly disturbing… but fortunately for all tolerant Australians it is incorrect. In your statement you mentioned that 16.67% of all assaults are committed against Indians per 100,000 people, a worrying figure to be sure. Yet you fail to realise that the assault of 15 Indians over the past 6 weeks is not per 100,000 people but for the entire population of Melbourne. As Melbourne populates over 3.8 million people (and 60 assaults are committed per 100,000 people in Australia) this would mean that, regrettably, approximately 2280 assaults are reported every month. This means that on average less than 0.5% of all assaults are committed against Indians. Whilst I am certain that a racist element does exist in some of these attacks I am wary to concede that this is true to all cases. While I in no way condone these acts and do in fact despise the cowards who commit them, I reject the belief that Australia is a racist country.
I do not believe Australia to be a racist country, but I certainly acknowledge the disgusting (small though it may be) element of racism that exists in Australia, along with every other country on our planet. As Rohit stated in one of his articles, on a Micro level racism exists in India, and this is true to Australia as well. The micro level of racism that exists in this country can certainly manifest itself in the form of violence, but on a Macro level this is a despised practice that most Australian’s abhor.
While I feel the utmost sympathy for all victims of these vicious assaults and believe that the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, it is offensive and wrong that all Australians should be labelled as racists because of the actions of a few fools too ignorant to realise that violence has no place in our society.

Posted by Bob7659 | Report as abusive
 

So when a major Australian Newspaper such as the Sydney Morning Herald publishes on 10 January 2010 the following:

“Indians are 2½ times more at risk of attack than other Melburnians” .

they are exaggerating facts and figures and misleading even the Australian Populace?

The Headlines read:

Horror Indian summer
January 9, 2010
Indians are 2½ times more at risk of attack than other Melburnians

and if you want to read the rest, you can at:

http://www.smh.com.au/national/horror-in dian-summer-20100108-lyw0.html

Having said the above, I leave it to others to judge.

Posted by aussieman79 | Report as abusive
 

Personally I dont think the attacks on Indians are racist. For example, while all the Tv stations in India are yelling ‘How could this happen’, there are in fact more attacks in India than Australia.

Plus, for anybody that watches the Australian news, have you every heard the Tv announcer saying ‘At about 5pm today 3 white Australians have been beaten, the whole nation is in shock.’ I can guarantee you that nobody has said that on tv. No one in Australia cares if a white man or an Asian man gets assaulted or robbed do they? It isnt reported at all in the Australian media.

Thus said, I do not believe that the attacks on Indians arent racist, and the Indian media needs to stop showing propaganda that Australia isnt a racist nation.

Posted by thatguy3189 | Report as abusive
 

Indians killed the Indian in Australia.
An Indian burnt his own car and claimed it was a racist attack.

Those above that jumped to the conclusion that these were racist attacks without anymore evidence than their personal predjudices against Australains have proven themselves to be the real racists.

Posted by gibson | Report as abusive
 

Hi to all on this forum. I am a proud first generation Australian. I love my country, with all its faults. I feel proud that many other races come to Australia to study, live and work. I enjoy learning about other cultures and religions. I live in Woolgoolga NSW, the town with the highest Indian poulation percentage in Australia and have no trouble with the majority of these residents. I am not a racist, but I do have trouble with immigrants that come here and will not integrate. I have lived and worked all over Australia so I cannot be accused of living in only one microcosm of Australia. I find that many immigrants are the TRUE racists. Australia is supposedly a multicultural society, but it is not – yet. It currently is a poyglot of different cultures, all in their separate living areas, with their separate shopping, education, cultural and religious “turfs” …… and to tell the real truth, there is still very little mixing going on. I am a friendly kind of fellow, but I resent the wall put up by other cultures. As a young man I tried to court a Greek girl – only to be told by her father that a serious relationship could never happen as she had been promised when she was 8 years old, and I should leave her alone or she could be considered “sullied”. I have lived in Sydney, and seen the racism by Lebanese …. I could not hold a conversation with a Lebanese woman who passed by my house each day, but Lebanese men were encouraged to chase anything wearing a skirt. Four Lebanese men raped a couple of Aussie girls, ands when caught they tried to use the excuse “We didn’t know it was illegal in your country” – as if rape is legal anywhere. My own father would not let me or my siblings learn my mothers’ native tongue – stating that we were Aussies, and only need to know Australian. So yes, racism does rear its ugly head here in Australia, but it is by ALL residents – not just the white ones. I have noticed some anti-Christian comments on here…yes, the Christian faith had much to answer for – in the middle ages. Christianity currently actively supports many residents of Australia, and excludes none. I believe every religion has it’s ratbags and extremists. I have worked in the media industry, and I know media hype when I see it. I just wish that people were not so gullible as to swallow the rubbish that sells their media on “slow news days”. I recognise that Indian students have been targeted, but so do members of all countries, including Australians!
I have also seen comments like “Australia is a racist and backward country” – well, I feel you are half right, but the racism mostly comes from those coming here as immigrants!
I saw a comment by some loon about “When in Rome….etc” about having to act like redneck Americans. Extremist remarks like these kinda makes that person look stupid, especially as rednecks are a small minority of the American population. No, all the “Romans” want is for people to mix without discord or rancour – something many immigrants are reluctant to do. Most people fear what they do not understand, OR THAT WHICH IS DIFFERENT…..this leads to all kinds of social tensions. Only time, education and INTER-ACTION will overcome these problems….escalation of these tensions by this kind of hype is detrimental to BOTH cultures. I blame the media industry for blowing this issue out of all proportion, and those that support it with inflammatory remarks are racists themselves.

Posted by bigfella | Report as abusive
 

1. Australia is one from the less racist countries in the world, from the most opened and tolerant countries in the world.
2. The terrorist attacks in New York increased the xenophobia and they racist attacks not only against Muslims but against Jews, Sighs and other foreigners.
3. The rapid change of the synthesis of Australian population, only 35% of Australians said that they come from English ancestors ( 2006 census) and less than 18% of Australians are Anglicans created worries to extreme nationalists.
4. The international financial crisis increased the unemployment and local labors saw that they lost their job not only of cause the financial crisis but because migrants work harder for less money and worst conditions and they took the jobs.
5. last years the number of foreign students increased rapidly , hundred of thousands of foreign students, while the government has allowed them to work many hours per semester. Foreign students work with very low wages in very bad conditions and of cause the financial crisis they have created huge problems to local unskilled, low income labors. It is the unskilled, non educated people who become racists and attack the students or migrants.
6. For these reasons and much more has created a dangerous combination of conditions which expressed not only with racist attacks but with many other ways, including the increase of criminal attacks.
7. There are many studies mainly from Western Sydney University and from Australian National University about the race discrimination in Australia and especially in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. We know from these studies that the race discrimination exist and for some ethnic groups as Lebanese in Sydney or Muslims or Asians is very high, higher than the race discrimination against blacks in USA .
8. Unfortunately, Australian governments, Federal or states, Liberal or ALP instead to try to support the victims of race discrimination, instead to try to minimize the race discrimination they try to limit migrant’s role in Australia. The attacks against multiculturalism from federal governments, Liberal and ALP, the citizenship test are sound proves.
9. There is a study from the Western Sydney University about the attacks against Muslims, you can find it in a report of the Australian Human Rights Commission, from this study we learned that more than 90% of attacks against Muslims comes from Anglos, although they are less than 35% of the population, according to 2006 census.
10. Without doubt most racist attacks comes from extrem nationalists, white supremacists etc.
11. Unfortunately many migrants or foreign students do not trust the police and they do not report the attacks at all or on time, this is not helpful at all, we can not expect from the police to stop the attacks when we do not inform them for the attacks.
Antonios Symeonakis
Adelaide

Posted by asymeonakis | Report as abusive
 

@Rachel and all australian…Simple facts about your misconception that 15 attacks are not much how about an Indian bashing you up then it will probably be too much.

2nd point the white race considers superior on what basis through colonization all money which went into making Canada and Australia was actually the money looted from India….Red necks all of you would die hungry or not even exist if that money was not looted.

3rd point – The fact that above racist attacks are being defended shows how degraded your moral values are ethically and morally australians are the inferior race not even 10% of what India used to be 1000 s of years earlier….

Posted by Indian1980 | Report as abusive
 

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