Hasan Suroor

LONDON: In a case that is said to highlight a rise in racially-motivated crimes against white people, three men of Pakistani origin have been jailed for life by a court in Scotland for killing a white teenager "only because he was white,'' the judge noted.

Sentencing Zeeshan Shahid, his elder brother Imran Shahid, and Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq all in their twenties and alleged to be members of a local gang in Glasgow the judge declared that "racially aggravated violence from whatever quarter will not be tolerated in Scotland."

The three were found guilty of abducting and murdering Kriss Donald (15) two years ago for no other reason than that he was white. It was stated that they wanted to punish any white person as a revenge for an attack on Shahid by a "white boy'' the previous evening.

The court was told that on March 15, 2004 Donald was walking down a street in Glasgow when the three men driving around in a car dragged him into the vehicle and sped away. Even as he pleaded "What have I done? I'm only 15'' they took him to an isolated spot and stabbed him 13 times before setting him on fire. The accused who fled to Pakistan after the incident and were later extradited to Britain, have denied the charges against them.

The judge Lord Uist told them: "He [Donald] was selected as your victim only because he was white... This murder consists of premeditated, cold-blooded execution of your victim by stabbing him 13 times and setting alight with petrol while he was still alive. It truly was an abomination.''

The case was seized by the far-Right British National Party and tabloid editors to claim that whites were the new victims of racism. They complained that race crimes by non-whites against whites were not given as much attention as cases of white racism. Donald's mother called for restraint. "It doesn't matter to my family what colour these men are,'' she said blaming her son's murder on the new gang culture in the region.