Even using the euphemism "Middle-Eastern" instead of what he really means -- Lebanese Muslim -- does not let him off the hook. And in a way that is right. "Middle Eastern" tends to unfairly condemn Lebanese Christians -- who have been remarkably successful at integrating into Australian life -- and have in fact been making a large and positive contribution for at least 100 years. So the Leftist nonsense about it being wrong to call a spade a spade can hurt people who do not deserve it at all
A new underworld documentary series, in which a senior police officer claims Middle Eastern gangs in Australia have "perfected" crime, has become embroiled in a row over racism and ethnicity before it has even aired. Channel Seven's Gangs Of Oz has already been labelled "damaging" by Australia's race discrimination commissioner. His concern has been echoed by legal experts, a former detective and a leading group involved in community diversity which called on the network to re-edit the documentary before broadcast.
In the first episode, titled Middle Eastern Gangs, Detective Superintendent Ken McKay, the head of the state's Organised Crime Directorate, makes the remarks which have sparked outrage. "The Middle Eastern groups are involved in everything. If they didn't invent it, they perfected it in terms of crime," he explains. He then adds: "The criminal, in the Middle Eastern sense, is more cowardice [sic] than your general criminal. They'd rather use a gun than stand in a fistfight."
After watching the show, federal Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma said Superintendent McKay's casual use of terms such as "Middle Eastern" caused communities to feel stigmatised. "Ethnic descriptors used by NSW police, and in particular the descriptor 'Middle Eastern appearance', is seen by the community as contributing to stigmatisation."
While Gangs Of Oz claims to be an expose on organised crime, its critics suggest it only serves to illuminate Channel Seven's "sensationalist" reporting techniques. Dr Michael Kennedy, a lecturer in social justice at the University of Western Sydney, who previously spent 18 years as a detective in the NSW Police Force, said: "What Ken has said in this show is completely counter-productive to what the police are trying to achieve. "Using cliches and one-liners will only serve to alienate the community who have Middle Eastern heritage and I'm afraid it will be officers on the ground that will have to put up with the backlash from these remarks."
Yasser Solimon, executive director of Diversity International and a prominent member of Victoria's Muslim community, said: "It's very sensationalist and deliberately tries to shock. I would like to see it re-edited before going to air or at least some sort of introduction put on which attempts to balance the views in the show."
The producers of the documentary, which is set to air on Wednesday night, are former Today Tonight host Neil Mercer and veteran tabloid reporter Steve Barrett. Mr Mercer said: "Ken was calling a spade a spade." "We are so used to police officers dancing around things and not engaging in plain speaking but nobody could accuse him of that." "He's a very senior member of the NSW Police Force and experienced in talking to the media. I certainly didn't take his comments as racist and I don't think anybody else should."
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