The West is refusing to accept the unpalatable truth behind the assaults on women in Germany
The nature and scale of what happened in German cities on New Year's Eve has been an eye-opener. Hundreds of sexual assaults on women, including harassment, molestation and rapes, were reported to police in Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and Düsseldorf. The women said the perpetrators were mostly Arab and north African migrants.
Even more remarkable has been the response. First, the German authorities misleadingly reported merely a small handful of attacks by German-speaking men with no evidence of immigrant involvement. Then social media, and the Breitbart news website, started to report the victims' graphic testimony and a very different picture emerged. In Cologne women were sexually assaulted and both men and women robbed by a throng of migrants a thousand strong. The victims identified virtually all these attackers as of north African, Arab or "dark" appearance.
The women described being groped by mobs who ripped off their clothes and touched them "everywhere". Not surprisingly, the police said this was "a completely new dimension in violence".
From the start, however, there was a neuralgic resistance to identifying these men as migrants. The mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, said it was "completely improper" to link the attackers "who appeared to come from north Africa" with refugees. Yet the Cologne police chief, Wolfgang Albers, confirmed that the onslaught had been perpetrated mostly by north African and Arab migrants, a situation he said was "intolerable".
Until now, any implication that the mass influx into Europe of mainly Muslim migrants is not an altogether positive development has been vilified as Islamophobic and a callous dismissal of the plight of refugees. Well, some are indeed genuine refugees. But many don't behave like people grateful for any safe haven. They display an aggression and contempt towards both women and the West which makes untold numbers of them a threat to both.
Most are young men. One fifth of those who have reached the EU are under 18, half have travelled alone and, of those, more than 90 per cent are boys.
This fact has now been seized on as the latest alibi for religious or cultural violence. Apparently the root of the problem is not Muslim society but men. Valerie Hudson, a professor at Texas A&M University, says sex crimes are more common in "highly masculinised societies". The influx of so many young migrant men is unbalancing European sex ratios, with increasing violence the result.
Certainly, young men are often associated with a range of social problems. But Prof Hudson's argument makes little sense. Over the past ten years, Sweden has taken in proportionately more Muslim migrants than any other European country. It has developed at the same time an incidence of rape ten times that of other European states. Prof Hudson claims that, adding migrants to the indigenous Swedish population, there are now 123 16 and 17-year-old boys for every 100 girls. Bingo! That's the reason for the rape rise.
If that were so, however, indigenous Swedish youths should be equally involved in sex attacks. But that's not the case. A 2002 survey by Karlstad University found that 85 per cent of those sentenced to at least two years in prison for rape were foreign born or second-generation immigrants. And as long ago as 1996 a report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention concluded that immigrants from north Africa were 23 times as likely to commit rape as Swedish men.
In Syria there is no sex-ratio imbalance. Yet a Syrian refugee reportedly allowed his wife to be repeatedly raped by people smugglers almost daily attacks in which he himself participated as payment for his family being trafficked to Europe.
A 20-year-old Syrian woman, who last year was unearthed from a shallow grave in the small German town of Dessau, had been stabbed to death by her father and brothers after she was gang-raped by three men. The rape left her "unclean" and the mother allegedly demanded the killing to restore the family's honour.
Of course Muslim men don't all behave towards women with such violence and contempt. But it is worse than idle to pretend there is no cultural factor fuelling such sexual pathologies. If men come from societies where women are deemed inferior and non-believers despised, and where the dominant values are honour and shame, it is hardly surprising that the rate of sex crimes against Muslim women and female "unbelievers" is so high.
The West's deep reluctance to acknowledge such problems in Muslim society is nothing new. What continues to astonish is the silence from feminists about the oppression of women by Muslim men. When this newspaper revealed the scandal of child sex-trafficking gangs in the north of England among men of Pakistani Muslim heritage which had been ignored partly because of the authorities' terror of being called racist this cultural factor was widely censored or downplayed.
Such silence has arisen partly through fear of provoking the sizeable Muslim population in Britain and Europe. Partly it's through the belief that minorities are powerless victims and so can't be blamed for any misdeeds. Partly it's because the whole issue was toxified by the fact that the only people who did draw attention to it were true bigots like the BNP or European neo-Nazis.
But censoring it has resulted in the creation of real victims, from Rotherham to the Ruhr.