It’s amazing what a difference skin colour makes to how violent street riots are reported.

The Sunday Telegraph ran a story in its print edition about an incident in London on Friday, a special occasion for Muslims as it marked the beginning of the last 10 nights. Friday was also the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Two far-Right, including the newly formed English Defence League hosted a rally outside London’s largest mosque in Harrow. Previous EDL marches have featured skinheads making Nazi salutes and shouting slogans such as  “I hate Pakis more than you”.

Last month’s rally at a Birmingham shopping centre ended in “violent skirmishes and running battles through the city’s busy shopping streets on Saturday evening”.

EDL’s website carries an image of remains of the bus destroyed by a suicide bomber at Tavistock Square in London on July 7, 2005. Among the dead on that bus was a 21-year-old English woman named Shahara Islam. Ironically, the other far-Right protest group calls itself Stop the Islamification of Europe, has as its slogan: “Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense”. Yep, the terrorists and their alleged opponents from EDL and SIE  want to remove Islam.

The UK press, including Murdoch’s papers, focused on possible links between the EDL and the neo-Fascist British National Party whose leader wants to visit Australia. But the Sunday Telegraph chose to paint the far-Right thugs as an innocuous “anti-Islamic group” carrying out a “protest” with “peaceful” intent.

The Tele website reproduced a somewhat longer story from AFP, which described “angry Muslim youths” throwing “bricks and bottles” at police officers and who “confronted” and “surged” upon protesters who were described as “a dozen mostly shaven-headed protestors” (a pleasant way to refer to skinheads). It also included this typeset observation: “Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar”.

Unlike the sugar-coated Tele reports, a British Cabinet Minister had no qualms in calling a spade a spade, “warning of ‘parallels’ between right-wing groups planning protests in Muslim neighbourhoods and Oswald Mosley’s incendiary marches through Jewish areas of east London in the 1930s”.

So skinheads making Nazi salutes are mere innocent protestors in the eyes of the Tele. But what of young men in Auburn, who describe police from the Middle East Crime Squad as “kefeirs” [sic.] invading “brother’s house” on Facebook posts? Well, they’re described in today’s Daily Telegraph as “troublemakers” who “flash up inflammatory references to police and rally their friends for a confrontation”.

The incident was described as “A RIOT by Muslim youth in Auburn”. What the halal does that mean? Auburn has the highest concentration of Muslims of any local government area in Australia, totalling about 16,000. Around half are aged 15-30, some 50% of whom are blokes. Imagine a line of Auburn police officers having to confront 4000 Muslim youth. Somehow I doubt the cops would last long enough for the Tele photographers to arrive on the scene..

And anyway, what kind of “Muslim youth” are we talking about? Would the Middle East Crime Squad be raiding the homes of Bosnians? Or Afghan Hazaras? Or Bangladeshis? Or Turks? Or Albanians?

Maybe next time these young boys want to start a riot, they can avoid negative reporting by taking a cue from the Sydney tabloid’s preferred thugs by making Nazi salutes. Better to be a London Nazi skinhead than a Sydney Lebanese Muslim.