By Daniel Hannan ~
What was your reaction when you heard that there had been a series of organized mass sexual assaults across German cities? Sympathy for the victims? Anger at the perpetrators? Concern about the future? If so, you’re evidently not a German official.
Ralf Jaeger is the interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, where the worst attacks happened. He was in no doubt about what the real outrage was. Not the assaults and rapes, but the online comments by his political opponents.
“What happens on the right-wing platforms and in chatrooms is at least as awful as the acts of those assaulting the women,” he said. It’s the “at least” that is so staggering here. The police logged 516 criminal offenses in Cologne’s main square on New Year’s Eve, 40 per cent of them sexual assaults. But Herr Jaeger is less fussed about women being groped and robbed than about some skinhead loser posting obnoxious comments online.
I wish I could tell you that Herr Jaeger’s bizarre sense of moral priorities is unique, but he typifies his caste. Let’s recapitulate what happened in front of Cologne’s mammoth railway station that night. There was an orchestrated mob sexual assault of a kind not seen in Europe in centuries.
It has been seen before, however, in Tahrir Square. Egyptians even have a name for it: “Taharrush game’a.”
The Cologne police were overwhelmed. “The situation threatened chaos or serious injury, if not fatalities,” said their internal report. They attempted to clear the square but were “repeatedly bombarded with fireworks and bottles”. All the while, tearful women complained of assaults.
How did the police, in their public statement, summarize those monstrous events? “Ausgelassene Stimmung” – “Exuberant mood.” I suppose that’s one way of putting it.
In the days that followed, details began to leak out online. It transpired that almost all the men involved were Arabic-speakers, and that many of them had entered Germany as asylum-seekers. It emerged, too, that there had been similar organized attacks on women in cities across the country. And yet Germany’s police, politicians and pundits said nothing. The state broadcaster ZDF willfully ignored the story, later admitting that it didn’t want “to spread a bad mood.”
The mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, who has campaigned vocally for refugees, told her female constituents that it was up to them to keep men at arm’s length when walking in public. Meanwhile, German MPs pushed ahead with a law to ban hate speech against migrants.
Think about that for a moment. The German state lacks the resources to protect its female citizens from sexual assailants, but it has the resources to prosecute people who insult the assailants.
It’s this official denial that is causing such rage, and not only in Germany. People understand that being a refugee doesn’t make someone a saint, and that if you indiscriminately invite a million people into your country, some of them will turn out to be criminals. What they can’t understand is why the authorities seem to elevate the rights of migrants above everything else – free speech, sexual equality, personal security.
I wrote in this space a couple of weeks back that, in Britain at any rate, most Muslims are patriotic and glad to be living in a country where they can practice their faith without harassment from either bearded mullahs or secular dictators. The idea that there are no-go areas in our cities is a fantasy of Donald Trump’s.
Britain, in this respect, may be luckier than Europe. The majority of my Muslim countrymen came ancestrally from English-speaking, common law countries. They are long-settled, well-integrated and increasingly successful. Our problems come less from the tiny fringe of radicalized Muslims than from the oafish political correctness of the authorities.
Tommy Robinson, who set up an anti-Islamic protest movement called the English Defense League, dates his radicalization from a failure of policing in his hometown of Luton. During a parade for soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment returning from Afghanistan, some loathsome jihadis protested against the troops, calling them butchers and murderers. When local people confronted the protesters, it was they, rather than the radicals, who were threatened with arrest.
For the next four years, the English Defense League and the jihadi loons enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, each serving as the other’s recruiting sergeant, both claiming in common that no Muslim could be the loyal citizen of a Western democracy. All because of those ham-fisted racial awareness courses that coppers in Luton had had to go through.
Shortly after those events, David Cameron told British public bodies to drop the failed multiculturalism that was, as he correctly said, stoking rather than soothing tensions. Sadly, in Germany, multi-culti orthodoxy still trumps everything else. This won’t turn out well.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Daniel Hannan is an British writer and journalist, and has been a Conservative MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for South East England since 1999. He speaks French and Spanish and loves Europe, but believes that the EU is making its constituent nations poorer, less democratic and less free. He is the winner of the Bastiat Award for online journalism.