The first point I want to make is that the CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/charlie-hebdo-alan-kurdi-cartoon-1.3403085 )reaction and the reaction of others to this cartoon is exactly the right one. Disgust and denunciation. We need to rely on people’s sense of decency to react properly to this type of screed. I oppose censorship, and blowing up the publisher because freedom of expression is a fundamental value, but freedom to express does not include the obligation to listen. Turn off or don’t purchase is a valid manifestation of OUR free expression.
That said, the comment that only 18 arrests took place in Cologne requires some examination and honest assessment. First I disagree with the expression “only” 18…that is a lot. I remember that Ontario Hydro boor outside a Toronto Soccer game last year being vilified. He was just one guy, but he was rightly excoriated as was the entire vulgar subculture he represented.
But the real problem is that it wasn’t “only 18”, or even “only 21” (the new number). The actual statistics in Cologne are astonishing. The latest number of complaints in that city is 809, of which 521 are sexual assaults including at least 3 rapes.
On that one night.
In that one city.
But Cologne was not the only city where this happened. In Germany, it happened as well in Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Frankfurt. It happened in Helsinki, Finland. It happened in Salzburg, France. It happened in Vienna, Austria and in multiple places in Sweden (more comment on Sweden below).
The technique used was the same in all these places. Large groups of Middle Eastern men (Germany has now admitted that the vast majority of these were refugee claimants, so far as they can tell) would break off into groups and surround the women. They formed a ring around the women and the men on the inside would molest, grope and otherwise assault the women, while the men on the outside of the ring prevented anyone from coming to the aid of the women, including police. The number of attacks overwhelmed the Cologne police such that they could not address the attacks and protect the public. Because the women were so terrified and the other witnesses were the participants, there are virtually no witnesses who can come forward and identify the individual attackers.
This is why there have been so few arrests in the face of this mob of sexual assaults.
You might recall this same technique was suffered by CBS news reported Lara Logan, who was raped in Cairo when covering the Arab Spring. Her account of what happened to her mirrors what the women of Europe suffered on New Year’s Eve.
Another casualty of this horrific even is the truth. Originally Cologne’s police were ordered to cover this up and avoid mention of refugee participation in this (this order ended up costing Cologne’s police chief his job). Interestingly, in Sweden last summer something similar happened. A swarm of sexual assaults by Middle Eastern men occurred during a five-day music festival in Stockholm. Again the police covered up the attacks and who did it.
I recall many years ago some would say that women, if they didn’t want to be harassed (or worse) by men, they should wear less revealing clothes. Feminists screamed that this was blaming the victim. (to be clear, I support the mini). Yet, today we hear that the Mayor of Cologne is now telling women to travel in groups and not alone, and to be careful where they go and who they find themselves close to. The Viennese police chief has said something similar and been attacked.
So, in order to be politically correct, we are supposed to immediately abandon our values? I have always hated political correctness (which is, to me, a soft way of saying fascism). I think it can kill us in the end.
One German politician has stated that the New Year ’s Eve attacks must have been coordinated. Maybe. It might be easier to believe this than to think that it is ingrained in Middle Eastern culture (though I keep thinking of what happened to Lara Logan, and the general treatment of women all around the middle east).
But let me worry about something. If there IS a cultural component, and since we know that over 70% of the refugees are able bodied young men, is it realistic to assume that this cultural component will disappear the minute they cross some border?
I don’t know.
I do know that I hate the kind of vulgarity represented in the Charlie Hebdo cartoon reproduced. But that does not mean that we must be completely politically correct and ignore real questions that can arise out of a clash of cultures.