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    Bin Laden in the suburbs: criminalising the Arab other

    Poynting, Scott, Noble, Greg, Tabar, Paul and Collins, Jock (2004) Bin Laden in the suburbs: criminalising the Arab other. Sydney Insitute of Criminology. ISBN 0-9751967-0-7

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    This book examines public worrying over 'ethnic crime' and what it tells us about Australia today. How, for instance, can the blame for a series of brutal group sexual assaults in Sydney be so widely attributed to whole ethnic communities? How is it that the arrival of a foundering boatload of asylum-seekers mostly seeking refuge from despotic regimes in 'the Middle East' can be manipulated to characterise complete cohorts of applicants for refuge - and their immigrant compatriots - as dangerous, dishonest, criminally inclined and inhuman? How did the airborne terror attacks on the USA on 11 September 2001 exacerbate existing tendencies in Australia to stereotype Arabs and Muslims as backward, inassimilable, without respect for Western laws and values, and complicit with barbarism and terrorism? Bin Laden in the Suburbs argues that we are witnessing the emergence of the 'Arab Other' as the pre-eminent 'folk devil' of our time. This Arab Other functions in the national imaginary to prop up the project of national belonging. It has little to do with the lived experiences of Arab, Middle Eastern or Muslim Australians, and everything to do with a host of social anxieties which overlap in a series of moral panics. Bin Laden in the Suburbs analyses a decisive moment in the history of multiculturalism in Australia.

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