Stand by for Collision

One of the more interesting aspects of the European cover-up of mass sex assaults by so-called refugees is that it abets abuse inflicted on Muslim women as well.  Before the story of the Cologne attacks broke, Katin Bennhold of the New York Times wrote a piece on the abuse of refugee women on the migrant trail.  The story should have set alarm bells ringing in the West about what was coming up the trail towards them but it didn't.

Interviews with dozens of migrants, social workers and psychologists caring for traumatized new arrivals across Germany suggest that the current mass migration has been accompanied by a surge of violence against women. From forced marriages and sex trafficking to domestic abuse, women report violence from fellow refugees, smugglers, male family members and even European police officers. There are no reliable statistics for sexual and other abuse of female refugees.

Among the more than one million migrants who have entered Europe over the past year, fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, men outnumber women by more than three to one, United Nations statistics show. “The men dominate, numerically and otherwise,” says Heike Rabe, a gender expert at the German Institute for Human Rights.

Even before the NYT article was published, academic researchers were already writing about a malignant practice called taharrush, which has become the term for mass sexual harassment.  It began as a public issue in the Middle East, as these things often do,  with a debate over the meaning of the word.

At one point, a heated exchange arose between an older man walking through the street festival and HarassMap members, about the existence of the phenomenon of el- taḥarrush el-ginsy, or sexual harassment, in Egypt. The crux of the man’s argument was that taharrush was not a problem in Egypt. Instead, he noted that muʿāksa, often translated as flirtation, was prevalent, though he qualified this by stating that muʿāksa also existed in other countries, even America, and was not unique to Egypt, but that taḥarrush was a “big word” that should not be used lightly.

Whatever the name of this dark rite there was little doubt, as foreshadowed by the attack on Lara Logan Tahrir Square, that something bad was afoot. Yet the warnings  sounded in Egypt were  ignored in the West even after a movie was made out of it.

During the 2006 Eid el-Fitr holiday, groups of young men who turned away from a sold out movie at a cinema in the downtown area went on a mass sexual harassment spree, attacking women and girls (Ilahi 2008). What made this event significant is the fact that it was caught on video by mobile phones and was widely broadcasted via YouTube by prominent Egyptian bloggers, such as Wael Abbas and Malek X ...

In December 2010, the popular movie 678 was released, which was the first feature film produced in Egypt that focused on taḥarrush as a problem for women in public spaces.

The New Year's Eve crimes in Cologne were therefore what Naseem Nicholas Talab would call a White Swan -- not the unforeseeable Black Swan that he was famous for describing -- but the obvious thing heralded by banners and brass bands that should have been noticed by the authorities. Yet there are none so blind as those who will not see. The Swedish police are now being accused of covering up assaults going back as far back as 2014 at a music festival. Karl Ritter of the Washington Post reported that  festival"organizers received reports already in 2014 of groups of young men and boys groping girls in a systematic manner. Efforts were put in place, including more security guards, to prevent a repeat in 2015 but instead the problem got worse".