For a number of years now islamic lebanese youfs (youves?) have been viewed with ever increasing antipathy within Sydney. This perception isn't solely due to the media's coverage - as some islamic clerics have suggested - nor is it solely due to anti-social behaviour of said youfs. Rather their reputation is a complex concoction of self-inflicted notoriety and media imposed vilification.
The vilification element has been discussed in other places but anyone who's read the various 2UE talkback radio transcripts can see that the dark underbelly of racism is well and truly alive in Australia. Indeed if you go and read through some of the posts in this forum it becomes particularly apparent that there is a depth of feeling in the (predominately anglo) "surfing community" toward the Leb Youf that is simply disturbing.
But is some of that feeling justified? Are the racial stereotypes which lebs are on the receiving end part and parcel of their cultural upbringing and/or mysoginistic religious teachings?
We must remember the 14 islamic lebanese youf who taught sydneysiders what was meant when "aussie pigs" are done "leb-style". I still remember hearing reports of the trials, when the rapists expressed a complete and total lack of remorse for their crimes, even to the point of making death threats against the victims within the court.
And we were reminded of this type of behaviour when a gang of Boyz from Beruit beat the snot out of a pair of lifeguards who were reportedly defending women from the polite attentions of these would-be suitors. And then - according to eyewitness accounts - the thugs then returned on the tuesday to dish out retaliation after one of them got nicked for the bashing.
And in a wonderful display of escalation, after the fed-up locals + the sms reading rent-a-crowd made a show of solidarity and force, the boyz went and torched some churches.
By my count that's a fairly one-sided score card in the grievance stakes.
But of course we must remember dear readers that its all the sensationalist media's fault. Its not just the "lebs" that harrass women on the beach, anglos do it too... And really when you think about it, there isn't that much of a difference between: "show us yer tits luv" and "ya fucking pig-slut - We'll show ya leb-style".
Let's also not forget the various antics of the Canterbury Bulldog's supporters who, it seems, take a leaf out of their team's playbook when it comes to behaviour in public.
So for all the "community leaders" and their empassioned pleas for calm and understanding, for people to "reach out" to the "troubled" youf of lakemba - what I think is needed is a pretty clear condemnation of the insidious culture that leads young men to think that its okay to force themselves on 14 year old girls or that its okay to walk down a beach and threaten violence on beachgoers, and indeed visit that violence upon people.
Maybe the "community" ought to look at the values that they hold that have lead to this dark racist place in Australian history?
One commentator I read somewhere reminded us that violent mysoginism was once a feature of Australian culture. That the women's temperance leagues were indeed established to try to curb licentious and violent behaviour in the colonies. And they have a point.
We had a problem with alcoholism and domestic violence in Australia - and we confronted it - we took on the issues of womens rights and domestic violence and took action to curb them. And sure, we still have problems, but (and this is a big but) at least we don't glorify those problems or pretend that they are an intrinsic part of our culture and religious teachings.