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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 05:12 am

Commenter Percypup drew attention last week to this piece by The Age’s Karen Kissane:

Melbourne has racism. You often hear it from taxi drivers. It can show itself coarsely in the oaths of cricket crowds or delicately in the poisonous patter of dinner parties. The veils of Muslim women can be torn off in the street, and they and their children can be spat upon by strangers.

“Just wondering,” wrote Percy, “is this veil-ripping an urban myth? Can anyone turn up any evidence that it ever happened?” Kissane has since been in touch with Percy, who reports:

Kissane has forwarded me a report from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which contains the following submission: A Muslim man described how his wife and daughter were assaulted in a supermarket in north-western Melbourne in late 2002 by an angry woman who tried to remove his wife’s scarf then broke her tooth.

This legitimates Kissane’s assertion, although it is a single incident not plural as she writes (and I won’t quibble about distinctions between streets and supermarkets). So well done, Kissane!

I’m less inclined to give Kissane a pass on this. One veil-removal episode—four years ago—doesn’t justify the prominence of her racism claim. If indeed the attack was provoked by racism; possibly the women assaulted were of Anglo background.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/25/2006 at 08:31 AM
    1. I had my veil ripped off!

      Mind you, it was part of the act when I was doing the dance of the 7 army surplus blankets at the Lakemba RSL, but it happened ‘cos of racism!!!

      And whats more, the bulk of the crowd there insisted I put it back on, so poo to all you Aussie nazis, and your barbecue Australia day hoooeee- I bet none of you skips could get a good kebab on the go if your life depended on it.

      Posted by Habib on 2006 01 25 at 09:46 AM • permalink


    1. One veil ripping—which appears to be a case of assault, and to have been (deservedly) prosecuted.

      Now, let’s talk about the assaults, rapes, etc. carried out by the “cultural time bombs” who think anyone not in a veil is “asking for it”.

      Posted by Rob Crawford on 2006 01 25 at 10:06 AM • permalink


    1. I guess when anyone gets in a supermarket catfight the rending of garments constitutes a hate crime. Or an episode of “Girls Gone Wild”.

      Posted by Some0Seppo on 2006 01 25 at 10:12 AM • permalink


    1. Maybe the Muslim lady cut in front of the other woman in the checkout line. Or perhaps it was one of those “Less than ten items”, express checkout flare-ups. In any case, it’s hard to see how this one incident equates to mobs of middle-eastern “yoots” roving the beach and beating people up at random.

      Posted by paco on 2006 01 25 at 10:16 AM • permalink


    1. I’m beginning to think that Ming the Merciless from Planet Mongo has found a way to perform remote Perspectivectomies (with some kind of electrified surgicatron) on Earthlings, who then become Liberal. Let us glance at another recent example.

      Adolf Hitler: Began war with Poland, France, England, Russia, the United States, etc., etc.; killed 6 million Jews; known to murder anyone in his way, up to and including the personal killing of allies; would not know a “civil liberty” if it fell out of the sky and danced on his head

      George Bush: Took fight to enemies who had declared war on the U.S. and attacked Americans on our own soil. Ordered eavesdropping on calls between suspected terrorists and persons inside the country, with Congressional approval.

      Ergo, Hitler = Bush.

      Posted by Monroe Doctrine on 2006 01 25 at 10:49 AM • permalink


    1. If indeed the attack was provoked by racism; possibly the women assaulted were of Anglo background

      Tim, I agree with the suggestion of some of your commenters that you’ve gone too easy on Kissane. If the women assaulted were not of Anglo background, does it necessarily follow that the assault was motivated by racism?

      Posted by tim maguire on 2006 01 25 at 10:53 AM • permalink


    1. That was too strong. By “suggestion of some of your commenters,” I mean “hinted at” by Paco.

      Posted by tim maguire on 2006 01 25 at 10:56 AM • permalink


    1. “A Muslim man reported — “

      Well, that just pegs my “trust” meter.  Was he posing with an artillery shell, er, missile, in a massacre’d, er not so much, Palestinian refugee camp?  I want a police report.  Hell, I want story security video footage.

      A muslim wife with a broken tooth?  My first suspect ain’t a complete stranger in a supermarket…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 25 at 10:57 AM • permalink


    1. #2, Robert Crawford.

      One veil ripping—which appears to be a case of assault, and to have been (deservedly) prosecuted.

      I’d be more inclined to believe the story if there had been a prosecution, but I don’t see any mention of that. Experience suggests it is more likely to be a complete fabrication – possibly generated in response to the explicit requests from ethnic lobbies for tales of ‘islamophobic’ backlash.

      Posted by SteveGW on 2006 01 25 at 11:11 AM • permalink


    1. Well, jeez, rm, we *all* know that Muslims never, ever, ever lie to non-Muslims, right?  Isn’t it against the precepts of the Religion of Peace (TM)?

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 01 25 at 11:13 AM • permalink


    1. A similar incident happened in a supermarket to one of my former coworkers’ husband not so long ago.  He got into an argument with a Muslim woman in hijab (no veil), because she was holding up a long line of people at the register while she screeched bloody murder at the hapless clerk over a price she disagreed with.  It got quite heated, and in the end she screamed “racism” (though he had not made any such remarks beyond calling her a pain-in-the-ass), whereupon she called the police (who came, said there was no crime, and promptly left).  No hijab-grabbing, no violence, and no racist name-calling, even though this was a woman who desperately needed to be choked unconscious.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 01 25 at 12:22 PM • permalink


    1. Melbourne has racism. You often hear it from taxi drivers.

      This is careless writing. Are the taxi drivers racist, or are they just saying that Melbourne is racist?

      I suspect Kissane is claiming the former, but in my part of Melbourne, maybe 90% of the taxi drivers are Muslim. So do I draw the conclusion that Muslims are racists?

      Posted by zscore on 2006 01 25 at 04:52 PM • permalink


    1. I went back and read the quote from Karen Kissane’s piece:

      The veils of Muslim women can be torn off in the street, and they and their children can be spat upon by strangers.

      (emphasis mine)
      Gee, she’s right. They can. She didn’t say that they are.

      Posted by ErnieG on 2006 01 25 at 05:50 PM • permalink


    1. How many of these purported “crimes” turn out to be something entirely different when investigated properly!

      Posted by Local oaf on 2006 01 25 at 07:20 PM • permalink


    1. The veils of Muslim women can be torn off in the street…

      Worst. Benny Hill episode.  Ever.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 01 25 at 08:52 PM • permalink


    1. OT Australia day QUIZ.

      definition of an Aussie racist ?
      1) Anyone who does’nt support David Hicks
      2) Anyone who wins an argument with a progressive Liberal.
      3) someone who eats imported Roquefort.

      How does a true Blue measure the distance between Bundy and Rocky?
      1) Count the number of March flies that stick to the windshield on the journey
      2) Count the number of squashed stubbies on the floor of the ute
      3) Ask one of your mates.

      How does a Queeslander romance his missus on the saturday night.
      1) Turn off the footy and take her to the pub
      2) creep in to bed after coming home from the pub and whisper in her ear “Are you awake dear?”
      3) Take her out fishing in the tinny, making sure he packs a soft cushion for the bottom of the boat.

      Posted by davo on 2006 01 25 at 08:53 PM • permalink


    1. At last, a cryptic explanation from The Aged on the absence of a report on a gang of youths of ‘‘middle eastern appearance’’ bashing staff at a suburban pool:
      The were ensuring the maintenance of herd immunity…

      Posted by slatts on 2006 01 25 at 09:17 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve been scoffing at this claim for ages!
      I remember when Middle Eastern youth ran among and abused and pelted police during an anti-Iraq war demonstration in Sydney.
      With cameras and witnesses everywhere, one of these Arab idiots was stupid enough to claim that the attack on police was triggered when a police officer tore off an Islamic woman’s head-scarf. Of course this nonsense was aired on the ABC and SBS. No surprises there!
      The ABC couldn’t give a toss about the REAL racial tensions in Sydney. One example, between Aboriginals and Pacific Islanders in the south west, is continually ignored by the public broadcaster because there are no awful white people for them to vilify and score off.

      Posted by Brian on 2006 01 25 at 09:28 PM • permalink


    1. Yoots? Aren’t those fancy pickup trucks like the American El Caminos?

      Posted by triticale on 2006 01 25 at 11:16 PM • permalink


    1. “an angry woman tried to remove his wife’s veil and broke her tooth”
      Who’s tooth got broke? I hope it wasn’t an Australian tooth!
      Maybe those Muslims are breaking our teeth all over the place and it is being hushed up!

      Posted by waussie on 2006 01 26 at 01:16 AM • permalink


    1. 35 Don’t forget the plastic turkey he murdered -that must tip the scales hitlerwards..
      Out shopping one day saw a lady in a black Burqa with a little girl (presumably an Australlian)also attired thus.Even sunglasses! I was so tempted to say something but constrained by potitical correctness and multi culti…fearing the racist tag..

      Posted by crash on 2006 01 26 at 02:23 AM • permalink


    1. er that’s #5- Plead Alzheimers..

      Posted by crash on 2006 01 26 at 02:24 AM • permalink


    1. Why weren’t all the supermarkets shut down?

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2006 01 26 at 04:25 AM • permalink


    1. #15,



      Hitler was a vegetarian, so presumably he too would have only served plastic turkey (or in those days, Bakelite).

      Posted by Monroe Doctrine on 2006 01 26 at 11:11 AM • permalink


    1. Infidel insults Islamic Invader’s Incisor.

      Ot was it the other way round?

      Posted by waussie on 2006 01 26 at 11:59 PM • permalink


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