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' THEY' RE TERRITORIAL, VILLAGE PEOPLE' The group at the table - a Lebanese Muslim, Fijian-Indian Catholic and Burmese atheist - look uncomfortable, and begin talking among themselves. Leigh feels that he's the one who doesn't fit in, and suffers the discrimination. I've had people yell at me - look, look, an Anglo!
The man's words show how a resentment of immigrant populations still permeates everyday life in one of Australia's most multicultural areas. "I can't park my car in the street where I live. because I'm secretary of a large strata plan and people don't like to abide by the by-laws." Whether it's the laws or a more personal conflict, the tension and distrust seem to simmer just under the surface in a suburb where so many different nationalities and religions converge. "One of the biggest problems with these people is they're territorial, village people, only concerned with themselves, not the community." As sweating workers in the bakery behind him shovel traditional Lebanese bread manoush into the oven, Mr Chinappa is telling his friends he just received a clean bill of health from the doctor, which he puts down to occasional short sprints. She and his father moved from India to then-British colony Fiji as indentured labourers.
"It's taken focus away from the Parliamentary process that led to this and the Australian Christian Lobby that was running the campaign.
"Our leaders taking the decision to support the No campaign, they've justified the attention it's getting. You can walk into a shop and find all these different things. We've got loyal customers, good people who know who we are.
Mr Gazal is rushed off his feet preparing for New Year's Eve parties, Christmas gatherings, family celebrations. She's more troubled by her demanding, middle-aged female customers. "It's not like in Bankstown where everything is a set price, even if it's on discount, they still bargain. Her family is from Egypt, which she didn't like when she visited.
The the men were sexually aggressive, even young boys threw rocks in the street and her mother wouldn't let her speak in taxis for fear her Aussie-accented Arabic would see them ripped off.
"He's really Aussie-minded," she says, and "doesn't care" whether she wears a headscarf.
There's still a huge percentage of people who are not Muslim in western Sydney who voted no." But Mr Ali says Muslims need to accept homophobic attitudes exist, and work on changing them now the Yes vote has succeeded. There's a photo on Facebook, an Arab guy wanted a photo and he insulted her, she just keeps on smiling." ' THE DAY THEY COME HERE, THEY LOVE IT' Frank Gazal, owner of popular Jasmin restaurant, doesn't get involved with politics, because it's all about "flashy cars and suits." But the 39-year-old, whose father came to Australia from Lebanon when he was nine, is pitying of Ms Hanson. It's very multicultural, people from all walks of life ...
"The past couple of years have not been kind to the Muslim community," he says. "I'd love to bring her here, have some nice food, see what it's about. It's vibrant." Shop assistants Hala Mohamed and Claudia Terangi say it's certainly vibrant, all right, directly in front of their workplace.
"I've been wearing this for a long time, but no one tell me anything," she says. "We prefer Muslim to marry Muslim, so they don't have problems in the future," she says, giving the example of deciding whether to send children to church or the mosque.
"Everywhere is bad and good people." Her Pakistani neighbour wears a full veil, but "doesn't follow the rules", she says, neither praying three times a day nor fasting at Ramadan. "But if your kids say, I want to date this woman, there's nothing you can do." Like many in western Sydney, she voted no to marriage equality.