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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 November 2006, 12:59 GMT
Community pain after Kriss trial
By Stephen Stewart
BBC Scotland news website

The scars run deep. Many people would rather forget the raw emotions and community tensions highlighted by the Kriss Donald trial.

As one of Scotland's most high profile racially-motivated murder trials, it has raised issues which many find difficult to deal with.

The area in Glasgow's southside where Kriss Donald was abducted

Racism, gang warfare and murder are topics which do not sit easily with Glasgow's new-found image as a sophisticated, cultured city.

In many ways, Pollokshields, the area where Kriss was abducted, should have been a leitmotif for multiculturalism.

However, it has been thrust uncomfortably into the limelight during a trial which exposed the full brutality of his murder.

The community, on the city's southside, remains arguably one of Glasgow's most vibrant communities with a rich, multicultural mix.

The tightly packed streets are home to one of Scotland's largest Asian populations. In certain schools, four out of five children are from ethnic minorities.

Shops, located at the bottom of the area's aging sandstone tenements, cater to Asian families from across the country.

This has been a very sad state of affairs and a worrying reflection on youth culture
Hanzala Malik

But beneath the seemingly peaceful surface, tales have surfaced of mainly Asian gangs terrorising businesses and families.

Influenced by US gangster rap, some young Asians have been quick to adapt the aggressive style of US hip-hop to the Scottish streets.

Young gang members have graduated from street-fighting to drug dealing and even, in some cases, extortion.

Hanzala Malik, a Labour councillor and a leading figure in Glasgow's Asian community, said: "This has been a very sad state of affairs and a worrying reflection on youth culture.

Youth issue

"This murder has indicated the gang culture which remains in certain parts of the city. The fact that race has been involved is an added disappointment.

"The citizens of Glasgow lose out whatever way that you look at it. A young boy has lost his life needlessly."

Right-wing groups have persistently sought to capitalise on the fact that Kriss was white and his murderers were of Pakistani origin.

But many feel that the murder was more the result of a violent gang culture which has made the area a no-go area for some.

One local shopkeeper said: "The lads in the area tend to congregate in groups and that's when the trouble starts.

"In other parts of the city where the community is mostly white, the gangs will be made of white people.

"It's not a black, white or Asian issue, its a youth issue."



Kriss Donald Murder trail
A look back on how Kriss Donald's killers were brought to justice






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