Australia Race Riots

Australian thugs beat up random Arabs at a Sydney beach yesterday after reports that Lebanese youths had assaulted two lifeguards, spawning rioting in Sydney’s large Muslim population.

Racial Unrest Strikes Australia on Yahoo! News (AP)

In one of Australia’s worst outbursts of racial violence, thousands of drunken white youths attacked police and people they believed were of Arab descent at a Sydney beach, angered by reports that Lebanese youths had assaulted two lifeguards. Young men of Arab descent retaliated in several Sydney suburbs, fighting with police and smashing 40 cars with sticks and bats, police said. Thirty-one people were injured and 16 were arrested in hours of violence Sunday.

The city was calm Monday, and police formed a strike force to track down the instigators, some of whom were believed to be from white supremacist groups. Police said they were also seeking an Arab man who allegedly stabbed a white man in the back.
Prime Minister John Howard condemned the violence, but said he did not believe racism was widespread in Australia. ”Attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated by all Australians irrespective of their own background and their politics,” Howard said. But he added: ”I’m not going to put a general tag (of) racism on the Australian community.”

Australia has long prided itself on accepting wave after wave of immigrants — from Italians and Greeks after World War II to families fleeing political strife in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In the last census in 2001, nearly a quarter of Australia’s 20 million people said they were born overseas. However, tensions between youngsters of Arabic 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 88 Australians in October 2002.

About 300,000 Muslims live in Australia, the majority in large cities.

”Arab Australians have had to cope with vilification, racism, abuse and fear of a racial backlash for a number of years, but these riots will take that fear to a new level,” said Roland Jabbour, chairman of the Australian Arabic Council.

Quite ugly. Still, Howard is likely right that this is not likely to be the start of regular race riots in Australia.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Uncategorized, World Politics, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. cj salzberg says:

    WE here in Australia have a huge problem. The aggresive ,disrespectful and very un Australian nature of a sicnificant group of Lebanese. They bash people in gangs , taunt women at beaches and where ever else they may be, cause mayhem in clubs and restaurants,it did start last weekend when a group of Lebanese youths bashed 2 young life guards on the beach. Why are they such an angry race & yes they were born in Australia.Friends i have in Canada say they are trouble there as well. We here in Australia say, if you cant go anywhere without causing trouble then go back to where your poor parents fought so hard to leave and start a new life here, then you may realise how graet OZ is, we are not racist, everyone can practise any religion freely here, we have just had enough. PEACE & HARMONY to all,,,, regards cj AUSTRALIA

  2. Rustam says:

    The problem with all Muslims is Islam.

    Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) killed people that disagreed with him, and claimed without a shred of evidence that he talked to angels!!! Those who questioned him, were put to the sword. And then he went and slept with 9 year old Ayesha, making him a pedophile. To top it off, he ordered that all humanity till eternity has to obey his demented conversations with the angel. You would think that such a person with such fantastic claims ordering humanity to submit to his wishes would have the decency not to screw a 9 year old.

  3. Des says:

    We have a similar problem in the UK i.e. biased reporting and this idea that only WHITES can be racist and that “people of Arab decent” (Muslims, although we can’t use this word unless we’re peddling islamo-liberal propaganda ) are innocent victims of “gross misinterpretation” of the “religion of peace” because “Islam means peace”.

    The fact of the matter is that while multiracial societies CAN exist as long as we all adhere to one single culture (of course aspects of others’ cultures can be introduced and juxtaposed nicely with ours as long as it doesn’t try and displace our culture as Islam is) MULTICULTURAL societies cannot exist because they all fall apart by virtue of the fact that we all have different aims, beliefs and values as dictated to us by our religion and creed.

    Another fact is this: ISLAM IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE WEST. Western nations and other predominately white, Christian nations such as Australia and New Zealand share the same peaceful Christian ideals. These ideals clash with the cult, woops, sorry, I mean pseudo-religion of Islam. Why? It’s very simple; in Islam you have two types of people – the believers and the non-believers and it is a Muslim’s duty to wage Jihad on the infidels to turn you from your religion.

    Here a just a few verses out of hundreds from the not-so “peaceful Koran”:

    Sura 2 Ayat 214 “They will fight you until they turn you from your religion”

    Sura 5 Ayat 32 “If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people”

    Of course, retaliation for the war in Iraq alone provides immediate Koranic justification for the very islamic terror which struck British shores in July, let alone all the “mischief in the land” e.g. no Sharia Law, homosexuals being allowed to walk the streets, women having equal rights etc.

    Sura 9 Ayat 123 “O believers, fight those of the unbelievers who live near and let them find a harshness in you”.

    The fact of the matter is that whenever Islamo-liberals say that Islam embraces peace, love and freedom it is only peace, love and freedom for Muslims. For infidels, it means death, hatred, racism, bigotry, religious apartheid and so on.

    However, I think that finally the penny has dropped in Western World (where we’ve been lucky enough to have been sprinkled with the ever-peace-loving fairy dust of Islam), as previously sleeping Western nations are waking up to the Islamic cancer which is permeating malignantly throughout the West, manifesting itself in terrorism and endless orgies of mindless destruction and violence, keeping our nations vibrant and diverse in the form of burnt cars, blood-spattered walls and scattered limbs. It’s about time because time is fast running out.

  4. dfane says:

    We have the same problems in America with the Hispanics and the blacks, but the muslims scare me more cuz they are weak mentally and do not respect any other religion or life style.

    But they are good and righteous people according to liberals, but right conservatives are consider a danger to society. I was happy to hear the Australians fought back because 1 thing I learned with people like them is sometimes they only understand violence unlike the french people who hid and blamed the cops. We dont have a problem with muslims yet I think cuase like the Australians most Americans will not stand for that and they will get destroyed.

  5. Adie says:

    Actually, here in the states I notice more of a problem with fundamentalist christians being annoying and harassing people (say, gays, or abortion clinics). I’ve had problems with white punks trying to mug me, but strangely, no minorities! I wonder why that could be? Maybe because people are people, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, and trying to kill everyone in such a group because a few members of said group are a pain in the ass is astonishingly hypocritical.
    What’s more, I’m eveb more amazed anyone not in a mob-fenzy, but in fact, supposedly thinking about the situation, can do anything but condemn it.

  6. ami says:

    anyone who has a problem with islam tell me that what is good about your is your cultur which is all about sex,no respect for your elders even your parents.when they get older u throw them away into old houses.u like to wonder around naked on the beaches with your parents ,sisters.the most degraded people in the world are those who treat others on the colour of there skins which is the basis of your cultur.u donot see ur own brothers sisters for years,that is your culture.u cannot even trust ur wife as she will be ur wife but will sleep with someone else,thats your what is in ur culture which is in some way better than u.and the last thing if u expect minoraties to live according to your way of life than why dont u tell your own hundreds of thousands of hungry people who live in middle east to live like them and dont drink and dont fuck there

  7. Ishfaq says:

    to Rustam who posted his article at December 13, 2005 00:22 about Muhammad (SAW);
    shut your bloody mouth….

  8. mymatch2005 says:

    In this Headline below – why are the Australians called “Thugs” while the Lebanese are just referred to a “Youths” Sounds like very biased reporting…

    “Australian thugs beat up random Arabs at a Sydney beach yesterday after reports that Lebanese youths had assaulted two lifeguards, spawning rioting in Sydney’s large Muslim population.”