As the European Union works to accommodate millions of refugees fleeing the war-torn Middle East, many western countries are witnessing an increase in crimes against women. Complicating the refugee crisis in Europe are reports that hundreds of German women were raped during New Year’s Eve celebrations using an Arabic practice called “taharrush.” This war on women uses group rape as a weapon of subjugation against females and it’s been around for centuries.
German authorities said the phenomenon is responsible for a rash of sexual attacks in many major cities.
The taharrush ritual is carried out in public and almost always at large public gatherings where attackers can find safety in numbers and chaos. Even though numerous women have come forward and reported the sexual assaults, authorities say the crimes usually go unpunished because there are multiple perpetrators and the victims are unable to personally identify them.
So far, the German police have arrested 19 men for the alleged rape — all were foreigners, according to a report by Mr. Jäger, a German interior minister.
Meanwhile, weekend raids in Düsseldorf rounded up dozens more foreign criminals. Frank Kubicki, a police officer in charge said, “We expect to get insight that could bring investigations [in Cologne] forward.”
Responding to the public outrage, the Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker suggested: “There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length—that is to say to make sure you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you.”
That response prompted massive demonstrations in Cologne Germany to end the violent crimes against women by foreign nationals.
The sound of acquiescence also came from Vienna Police Chief Gerhard Purstl, who said, “Women should in general not go out on the streets at night alone, they should avoid suspicious looking areas and also when in pubs and clubs should only accept drinks from people they know.”
This reporter first described the increasing rapes in Germany back in November on San Diego CW 6 News. German Air Force Colonel (ret) Paul Werner Schoendorf spoke about the growing crisis and the realities that come with accepting 1.5 million Middle Eastern refugees in such a short period of time. “This is a very difficult question. They have another cultural background. They don’t accept German law they think they have their own law, Sharia law,” he said. “Refugees are coming in and they need housing and I think this will be a source of social conflict in the future.”
One of the first known instances of ‘taharrush’ reported in Western media came from 60 Minute’s reporter Lara Logan. She was sent to cover the Arab Spring in 2011 when she was attacked and raped in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. She described the horrifying event on TV; “The camera battery went down and we had to stop for a moment and suddenly Baho (inaudible) looks at me and says we have to get out of here… I thought not only am I going to die here, but it’s going to be a torturous death that’s going to go on forever an ever and ever.”
Another UK female TV producer Natasha Smith explained she was attacked in a similar manner. “I have been forced to leave Cairo prematurely following a horrific sexual and physical attack in Tahrir Square.” She wrote about her experience and said she begged God to make it stop, even though she is not religious. “Please God. Please make it stop,” she wrote.
Angie Abdelmonem, of Arizona State University, recently published a report regarding taharrush during the Egyptian Arab Spring she wrote, “Between 2011 and 2013, sexual harassment became common at protests in Tahrir Square, exemplified by a number of highly publicized violent attacks that demonstrate how women’s bodies became objectified and dehumanized during the uprising.”
Another study found in a 2008 survey by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights,” Mona Eltahawy writes; “More than 80 percent of Egyptian women said they’d experienced sexual harassment, and more than 60 percent of men admitted to harassing women. A 2013 UN survey reported that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women experience street sexual harassment. Men grope and sexually assault us, and yet we are blamed for it because we were in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing the wrong thing.”
This phenomenon now appears to be working its way through Germany and Europe. Police authorities acknowledged that they mishandled the New Year’s Eve celebration. However, the police as well as the victims, said they have never encountered anything like this gang rape before. As a result of the increased crime wave, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been forced to try and assimilate the refugees at a time when patience and tolerance is dwindling.
German authorities are scouring surveillance cameras from the police and state railway as well as nearby businesses and hotels hoping to identify the perpetrators. The police said they have 135 officers examining 350 hours of video.
The New Year’s Eve attacks have prompted some German cities to cancel Carnival celebrations on February 8th. Carnival revelers typically dress up in costumes throughout Germany and parade throughout the streets drinking alcohol. “However, the attacks in Cologne have left some German officials worried that migrant men with little knowledge of the annual tradition could misinterpret or take advantage of the raucous atmosphere to commit similar sexual assaults,” according to DW. “Germans were shocked when allegations emerged that about 1,000 men – many of them of migrant backgrounds – sexually molested women near the main train station in the western city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve. The episode has increased the pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose unpopular refugee policies have led to criticism from politicians on both sides of the spectrum.”
Unfortunately, the welcome signs that encouraged millions of displaced refugees to flee the Middle East wars and seek refuge in Germany and other EU nations are now giving way to mass protests against the refugee influx. German police admit there has been a steady increase in crimes like robbery and rape of women who do not dress modestly, according to Islamic standards.
A consequence of this violence against women has lead to the piecemeal, abandonment of the Schengen Agreement that prohibits imposing restrictions on movement within the European Union. This extreme remedy is being employed in an effort to stem the entry of immigrants and to limit escape by criminal elements within the EU.
The clash of cultures is no more readily evident then in taharrush where rape is a crime in Europe but in Islam it is just another form of punishment.