August 30 2015
THEY were hate crimes, racist crimes. The Lebanese Muslim gang rapists who rampaged through Sydney on the eve of the 2000 Olympics chose their young victims on the basis of religious and ethnic identity.
“You deserve it because you’re an Australian” they told one victim.
“Suck on it, Aussie pig” another victim was told while being raped 25 times by fourteen men in a degrading six-hour ordeal.
They called her a “slut”, told her they would rape her “Leb style” and asked her if “Leb cock tasted better than Aussie cock”.
The 18-year-old victim code-named Miss C later testified: “I looked in his eyes. I had never seen such indifference.”
She had been sitting on a train, dressed for a job interview in her best suit, reading The Great Gatsby, when she was approached by the youths, who stole her mobile phone to lure her off the train.
Police investigated as many as 70 similar gang rapes which occurred in August and September 2000.
Women and girls as young as 14 snatched off trains and from shopping malls and driven to southwest Sydney to be assaulted by groups of men summoned by mobile phone: “I’ve got a slut with me bro, come to Punchbowl.”
At the time, detectives were struck by DNA evidence which showed many of the rapists were blood relatives, including at least two sets of brothers.
In the end, 14 youths, including ringleader Bilal Skaf and his brother Mohammed, were convicted of raping seven women, and sentenced to jail terms of between 11 and 55 years (reduced on appeal).
Justice was done, thanks to the courage of the victims submitting themselves to trials and retrials, and the competence of investigating police and Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen.
But a sinister pall hung over the case. A stifling political correctness sought to suppress the truth of those gang rapes, pretending they were just like any other crime, with no religious or racial motivations, and that racists were lying to create a “moral panic”.
It was the beginning of an Orwellian push by the social engineers of the Left to demean and damage anyone who spoke honestly about the cultural and religious faultlines that would soon lead to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and endless social disruption since.
As one of the journalists involved from the beginning in the story of Sydney’s gang rapes, which broke in July, 2001, I was staggered, naively, by the pressure to sanitise the victims’ accounts.
This pressure came from fellow journalists, judges, lawyers, academics, politicians, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, even feminists.
Careers were made by twisting second-hand facts to prove a conspiracy against Muslims in the Australian media and criminal justice system. Police, prosecutors and journalists involved first-hand in the case were accused of being Islamophobes — the launch of that now well-worn slur. Whole books and PhD theses were written about “Islamophobia in Australia”.
NSW Anti-Discrimination Board president Chris Puplick published a 123-page pamphlet wrongly claiming the media was infected with institutionalised “anti-Arab, anti-Muslim” bigotry which created “moral panic” in the community.
In the August, 2001, case of three men convicted of gang raping two 16-year-old girls, then NSW District Court Judge Megan Latham, (now the ICAC commissioner who accused Cunneen of perverting the course of justice over a car crash involving her son’s girlfriend) imposed ludicrously lenient sentences, which were later more than doubled on appeal.
At the time, Latham made a point of debunking the racial element: “There is nothing said or done by the offenders which provides the slightest basis for imputing to (the rapists) some discrimination in terms of the nationality of their victims,” she said.
One of the victims later complained her victim impact statement had been “censored” of “ethnic” references by prosecutors. But the facts had an inconvenient habit of asserting themselves in court.
When District Court Judge Michael Finnane sentenced ringleader Skaf to a record 55 years in jail, he said: “By their own actions and their own words they have drawn this completely unique slur on their own culture by asking some of the victims do they like it Leb-style, suggesting that in some way they, themselves, are part of some separate group that isn’t really part of this community (and) they are wreaking revenge on the other group, the Australian group, if you like.”
The emphatic nature of the convictions still didn’t convince the distortion merchants.
Cunneen was heckled when she addressed a conference on the prevention of violence against women three years later. The hecklers asserted the gang rape cases were “nothing but racist prosecutions”.
To its eternal shame, the leftist establishment has never acknowledged that young Muslim men singled out non-Muslim women to rape on the basis that they were “Aussie pigs” and “sluts” who asked for it. A PC stance on multiculturalism is more important than the safety of women.