‘We’re Not Multicultural, but … ’

Shakira Hussein, Scott Poynting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article reconsiders the 2005 Cronulla riots after ten years. We begin by examining three examples of events misread ten years ago, to illustrate some key changes that have since shaped Australian racism. The first two, concern the rallying call to ‘Leb and wog bashing day’ at Cronulla in December 2005, and the attack there on two Bangladeshi students. These are shown to be indicative in a shift in the focus of racist Othering in Australia, from the ‘Arab Other’ to the ‘Muslim Other’, as Islamophobia becomes increasingly mainstreamed in Australian culture following the trend throughout the global West. Second, the incongruous chivalry-cum-feminism of the beachgoers who participated in the riot and were interviewed in the 2006 Four Corners television documentary, Riot and Revenge, illustrates some key features of Islamophobia as it has developed and become entrenched: such as accusing Muslims of hyperpatriarchy, and purporting to ‘rescue’ Muslim women while targeting them for racist vilification. We trace these and related ideological elements of Islamophobia inherent in the Cronulla riots, and show how these have unfolded in the Australian mainstream in the ten years since, becoming further enfolded into the commonsense as part of the ‘new normal’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-348
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 04 May 2017


Dive into the research topics of '‘We’re Not Multicultural, but … ’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this