If the American Left’s newfound concern for protecting female virtue is to be believed, one would think that the violence and sexual assault plaguing Germany might elicit greater concern than the lewd talk of Donald Trump and accusations of unwanted advances leveled by women. But it does not. Rather, anyone who suggests such a thing is apt to be dismissed as “scary.”
“Scary”? Why? What’s being insinuated here? That the very thought of wanting to avoid what is happening in Germany is “racist”? “Xenophobic”? “Islamophobic”? Or is the growing influence of these politically correct sensibilities, in Germany and here, what is truly “scary”?
A Real “War on Women”
Germany professes to care deeply about gender equality but, at the same time, does little to ensure the safety of its women. In August 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would put no limit on the number of asylum-seekers it would accept from Syria. Over a million—mostly Muslim—migrants flooded into the country. Their arrival has accelerated incidents of violence which have become, in recent years, increasingly regular features of European life—e.g. terror attacks, sexual assaults, and honor killings.
In July, for example, a 17-year old axe and knife wielding Afghan asylum-seeker shouting “Allahu Akbar” hacked five people riding a train in Wuerzburg; a 27-year old Syrian asylum-seeker pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, detonated a nail-packed suicide bomb outside a wine bar in Ansbach, injuring 15 people; and a 21-year old Syrian migrant wielding a machete killed a woman and injured two others at a fast food restaurant in Reutlingen.
These attacks plainly endanger men, women, and children. But German women and girls are paying an especially high price, enduring attacks which, in their very nature and scope, recall the dark days of Soviet occupation at the end of, and immediately after, World War II.
Most notably, last New Year’s Eve migrants from North Africa and the Middle East attacked revelers in Cologne. Though the men “pickpocketed and robbed males and females,” Heather Mac Donald reported, “they directed most of their violence against women: grabbing their breasts and buttocks, inserting their fingers into the women’s vaginas, and, in a few instances, raping them, while shouting sexual insults. A total of 653 victims filed reports with the police.”
Similar attacks were reported in 12 German states, including another 400 cases in the city of Hamburg. In July, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest paper, reported that leaked government documents indicate police now estimate 1200 women were assaulted by as many as 2000 men across Germany’s major cities. More chilling still, Germany’s minister of justice, Heiko Maas, later stated that these attacks appear to have been planned and coordinated in advance through social media.
What happened at New Year’s is now happening on a smaller scale in every German state with alarming frequency.
In July alone hundreds of German women and girls (but also some boys and older men), ranging in age from 9 to 79, were sexually attacked by migrants as they went about the most ordinary of activities. They were attacked on playgrounds and the street, in grocery stores, shopping malls, train stations, taxis, swimming pools, parks, public restrooms and even at a cemetery.
As disturbing as all this is, the subsequent response of German authorities is even more troubling. Merkel’s government could frankly acknowledge the source of the attacks and make policy changes designed, minimally, to forestall their increase. This is what Hungary has done. It has tightened restrictions on asylum-seekers and sought to strengthen its 110-mile border with Serbia by erecting a four meter high, razor-wire wall. (Bulgaria and Austria have also built walls.) But Merkel has steadfastly refused even to do this.
Concealing the Threat
Worse, German authorities are also deliberately concealing, whitewashing and otherwise downplaying the attacks.
“There are strict instructions from the top not to report offenses committed by refugees. Only direct requests from media representatives regarding specific crimes should be answered. … It is extraordinary that certain offenders are deliberately NOT being reported about and the information is being classified as confidential (nicht pressefrei).”
Rather than alerting the public to the danger, the police are taking the “extraordinary” step of concealing it. Moreover, as Kern notes, when the authorities do describe the assailants they only refer to them with oblique “politically correct euphemisms” like “’southerners,” “men with ‘dark skin,’” or “southern skin color.” They also, “almost invariably” downplay the attacks as “isolated incidents,” the work of lone wolves, rather than a problem national in scope.
But at least Germany is throwing the book at the perpetrators, right? Wrong. Most of the attackers are never even located. Of the few who are, very few have ever been convicted. According to Minister of Justice Maas, only 8 percent of rape trials result in convictions. Most assailants, moreover, will never be deported.
Last month, the German Parliament did finally pass “no means no” legislation designed to make it easier to punish sexual assaults and deport migrant offenders. Whether these laws actually deter further sexual violence will depend upon how vigorously they are enforced. But Germany’s recent track record is not encouraging. “When it comes to immigration,” Kern observes, “political correctness often overrides the rule of law in Germany where many migrants who commit sexual crimes are never brought to justice, and those who do stand trial receive lenient sentences from sympathetic judges.” Where the perpetrators are migrants and the victims are its own female citizens, in other words, the German judicial system shows greater solicitude for the migrants.
But there is one area in which Merkel’s government has energetically attacked the problem. Almost as soon as she announced her open door refugee policy, Merkel was overheard pressing Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to crack down on users posting “racist” and “xenophobic” comments. One might suppose Merkel’s concern with social media stems primarily from the way terrorist organizations have used it to foment and coordinate violent attacks on the German people. But, given her concern about “xenophobia,” Merkel seems at least as concerned about curbing Germans who use social media to criticize those who are attacking them.
In January, Facebook capitulated, and, with a truly Orwellian flourish, styled its new censorship program an “initiative for civil courage online.” (Censorship, it would seem, is about empowering people!) The aim of the new policy, Douglas Murray explains, “is to remove ‘hate speech’ from Facebook—specifically by removing comments that ‘promote xenophobia.’”
In May, the EU announced it too had reached agreement with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to delete “hate speech” from their platforms. In a statement announcing the new policy, Vera Jourova, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, reassuringly declared: “This agreement is an important step forward to ensure that the Internet remains a place of free and democratic expression, where European values and laws are respected.”
Those are fine words. A mere two days after the agreement was announced, however, Facebook deleted journalist Ingrid Carlqvist’s account where she had posted a short video, released under the auspices of the Gatestone Institute, in which she coolly explains the origin and magnitude of Sweden’s own appalling migrant rape epidemic. Watch the video and mark carefully the substance of the speech that was apparently deemed “xenophobic” and thereby cast out of Jourova’s vaunted “free and democratic discourse.”Astoundingly, not even a veritable epidemic of rape justifies criticism of migrants.
Facebook’s sanctioning of Carlqvist provoked considerable backlash. Unlike most users, Carlqvist has a degree of prominence. Although Facebook subsequently restored her account, it would be foolish to expect such a reserve to last long. Since the Spring, Maas and key members of Merkel’s CDU have continued to press Facebook and other social media outlets to censor posts more aggressively. “There is still too little, too slow and too often the wrong thing is deleted,” Haas complained in July. Facebook’s efforts fall “well short of what we agreed together in the task force[.]” In October, a key leader in Merkel’s CDU publicly declared Germany would begin imposing significant fines unless Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks police users more aggressively.
After failing to act to reduce the threat to which it exposed its own people, after failing to pursue, identify and prosecute its migrant offenders vigorously, Germany’s politically correct authorities are vigorously seeking to cut off their citizens’ access to the most effectual channel they have to publicize what is happening to them and to galvanize political redress. What else would Merkel have her female citizens do? “Relax and enjoy it”?
Coming to America?
All of which brings me back to Trump and the choice we face in November. Hillary Clinton is an ardent champion of the politically correct views that are wreaking such havoc in Germany. Trump’s “irredeemable” “basket of deplorables,” remember, contains “xenophob[es]” and “Islamophob[es].” Clinton has also promised to take Merkel-like steps with regard to Syrian refugees and on immigration policy more generally.
Whereas Clinton has called for increasing President Obama’s 2016 “target” for admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees to 65,000 annually, Trump wants to suspend immigration from Syria and Libya. Whereas Clinton declares that “we have to go back to being a much less harsh and aggressive enforcer” of immigration law, and favors a comprehensive reform package to provide a “full and equal pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens, Trump favors building “an impenetrable physical wall” along the southern U.S. border—where, last year alone, more than 30,000 illegal immigrants from “countries of terrorist concern” entered—and subjecting those seeking legal admission to an “extreme vetting” process designed to ascertain whether they “share our values and love our people” and, more specifically, how they view women, gays and other minorities, honor-killings, and radical Islam.
Trump, for all of his supposed hatred of women, possesses an unusual, and desperately needed, willingness to challenge the PC orthodoxies and policy stances that have proven to be a real danger to German women, children, and men. Should we let the opportunity to elect such a man in America slip, it’s far from clear we will have another chance.