On New Year’s Eve, something happened that I don’t really want to talk about. It happened not to me but to about 100 women in Cologne and other German cities, some of whom probably didn’t want to talk about it either; it often takes a while for victims to report sexual assault to the police.
But that’s not quite why it has taken nearly a week to piece together the story of a spate of muggings and sexual attacks carried out that night by seemingly organised gangs of young men.
Many Germans are asking why politicians, police and broadcasters seem so reluctant to discuss what happened under cover of the crowds (the state broadcaster EZF apologised for not covering the attacks until Tuesday), and whether it’s because the attackers are widely described as looking Arab or north African. Which is why, of course, liberals like me are reluctant to talk about it.
…. Too often anti-immigrant feeling stems from what’s really a long-running failure of the state – to protect children at risk, to provide enough social housing or school places, to police what has reportedly been a rough area of Cologne for years – which becomes more visible as the population grows. And since that growth can’t be turned on and off like a tap, whatever some politicians say, the answer is for governments to do what we elect them to do: rise to the challenge, calm the fear that breeds extremism by demonstrating they can cope.
Which in this case means treating this crime wave exactly as they would any other: policing more effectively, with extra manpower if necessary, and being upfront at all times about doing so. Bluster and blame fools nobody. But neither, it turns out, does queasy silence. [6127 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 2131 votes] Finally, after several days of refusing to report the biggest story of 2016 so far because it does not fit with its highly ideological driven narrative, this paper is allowing comments on a story which has shown its contempt for victims of sexual assault. It’s predictable enough that the first writer to tackle this does not ask why the Mayor of Cologne and many on the left are blaming the victims themselves for their own rapes.
The writer should at least acknowledge the only solution left available to citizens, when the police cannot protect them from clear danger and politicians blame victims for the crime simply because the perpetrator was a foreign male of arabic extraction, is to arm themselves.
Please never print another article on women’s rights ever again, you have no credibility on this issue and owe those on the opposite side of the political spectrum who have now been proved correct a massive apology. I write this as a guardian reader and buyer of 17 years and someone who has always voted for left of centre parties (both of which I won’t be doing ever again).
[2ND 1071] “The same isn’t always true of young male migrants exchanging life under repressive regimes, where they may at least have enjoyed superiority over women, for scraping by at the bottom of Europe’s social and economic food chain.”
The point is that if you claim to be fleeing a repressive culture, you don’t go and practice the same culture in your chosen safe haven. If you do, you have lost all credibility as a refugee. In consequence, this is precisely why so many question the true motives behind the influx of migrants. Are they refugees or simply opportunists?
[3RD 990] “Let’s not shy away from asking hard questions about the Cologne attacks” – and this article does exactly that. [Guardian Cif] Read more