Is every investigation of every crime against any Muslim ipso facto anti-Muslim persecution? From the Sydney Morning Herald, with thanks to Jean-Luc:
It was an act of “great heinousness” – the betrayal of trust in which four brothers and another man brutally gang raped two teenage girls they had befriended a week earlier.
As sexual assault crimes go, this was the worst in its category, Justice Brian Sully told the NSW Supreme Court yesterday.
Even more disturbing was that the brothers maintained their innocence throughout the trial, despite overwhelming evidence, insisting that they were victims of an anti-Muslim conspiracy and a police set-up.
Rehabilitation would be problematic: they were in “total denial” of the offences, according to a psychologist’s report quoted by the judge, and had no remorse.
But in what became a test case – they were the first to be convicted and sentenced under new gang rape laws which carry a life sentence – Justice Sully did not impose the maximum penalty. He handed down sentences ranging from 22 years to 10.
The brothers – who can only be identified as MSK, MAK, MRK and MMK – were each convicted of nine counts of aggravated sexual assault in company. Another man, known as RS, was also convicted. He was found hanged in his prison cell last week.
The five lured two girls, known as LS, 17, and HG, 16, back to the brothers’ Ashfield family home in the early hours of July 28, 2002. …
After their sentences were handed down, one said in court: “We did not commit this crime, the crime was committed against us. The police set us up because we are Muslims, your honour.”
A man in the public gallery yelled out: “F—in’ dickhead.”
Outside court, the brothers’ father, a doctor, said: “What can I say? I think they are innocent but I don’t know, maybe the jury is right, I don’t know. I’m so stressed. I have four sons . . . who are like dead people for me now because they will be jailed. What will happen? They will not get an education, nothing. That will be their luck. Everything is decided by God.”