In August 2000 a gang of rapists lured 12 victims from train stations and via the internet in a series of planned attacks. One 16-year-old was staked to the ground by a dozen men and raped repeatedly. Another young teenager was assaulted by 14 men up to 25 times at three different locations.
In 2002 the ringleader of the rapists was sentenced to 55 years for his part in the gang rapes, making headlines across Australia and internationally. After appealing the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal reduced Skaf’s 55 year sentence to a maximum of 38 years, with parole available after 32 years. Apart from the acts of violence, the rape cases caused volatile debate about race and religion in Australia. The rapists were Lebanese Muslims and, in several cases the men used racial slurs, calling their victims ‘Aussie bushpigs’ and telling them they should try it ‘Leb style’. The cases focused attention on the whole idea of multiculturalism and what it means to be Australian and they split the Muslim/Christian communities of western Sydney.
This book will tell the full story of each of the cases – beginning with the first rape which occurred just as Sydney was dressing up for the 2000 Olympics. It will cover the police investigations, the crucial role of an Arabic speaking, Muslim police officer who first discovered a link between the attacks, the stories of the women and their vindication after the massive jail sentences delivered in court, and the thinking of men and women in the Muslim community so wounded by the actions of its 14 sons.
This book reads like a crime novel and, like the best components of crime writing, it is almost impossible to put down. But unlike crime fiction, this is a story that will stay with you for a long time.
In August 2000, a gang of rapists lured 12 victims from train stations in a series of planned attacks, with some of the young women being assaulted by more than a dozen men. In 2002, the ringleader was sentenced to 55 years (which was then subsequently reduced). The cases caused a volatile debate about race and religion.
This book covers the police investigations, the role of one crucial Arabic speaking Muslim police officer, the stories of the women themselves, and the thinking of the Muslim community so wounded by the actions of a few of its sons.
Here for the first time are the accounts of the brutal attacks on these young girls told in a matter-of-fact, non-sensationalised way. Reading it will incense you, and make you realise that as much as there is good in the world, there is also evil.
Reviewed By Toni Whitmont, Booktopia Buzz Editor
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