There's a very strong article in the Telegraph here by Jessica McCallin about the Cologne and elsewhere attacks on women by mainly Arab and North African men. The author details her experiences while a young woman in Istanbul and some of the horrendous treatment she was subject to. Having personally seen how women are treated in Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries it all unfortunately rings just too true.
What is to be done ? McCallin says :
If liberal Europe wants to continue with the current level of Muslim immigration it needs to have an urgent debate about how much cultural relativity it is prepared to tolerate. It needs to stop clinging to the idea that “cultural imperialism” is a purely white western thing, or that to criticise aspects of another culture is to criticise all of it. We need to decide what our values are, protect them and insist that new arrivals respect them.A excellent statement that should serve as a rallying call to rebuild the Liberal Left out of the morass of intellectual nonsense it has sunk into.
One element of the above could be amended however, as the author mentions she has has not met with the same treatment in all Muslim countries, in Sub Saharan Africa and Indonesia these problems are not such an issue. The problem is mainly specific to the culture of North Africa and the Middle East. This fact destroys the basis for the charge of racism or Islamophobia being shouted at anyone bringing up this issue.
So how should we deal with countries with this culture ? Should we single out countries in some way because we find their culture vile ? We could start with being very strong about our dislike of the policies of eg Saudi Arabia, but for a government to try to do this is problematic - look what happened to Sweden when the Foreign Minister Margot Wallström criticised the Saudis here. Wallström has not given up however - hopefully she will be seen by other governments as a beacon of change.
As for immigrants from Syria and the Middle East driven out by war, well most now see how Germany's policies of letting anyone in has been a disaster especially as many of the immigrants have been young single men. The UK's policy of only allowing in people from UNHCR camps seems like a far more sensible approach.
As to what we should do about immigrants who flout our laws and values by a backward violent attitude to women, the Germans are looking to change laws to allow deportation to be made easier :
On Tuesday, German officials outlined plans to make it easier to deport foreigners. They say the plans could be passed into law as early as next month.
The new rules would lower the threshold of criminal offending for expulsion, allowing authorities to deport offenders found guilty of sexual or physical assaults or resisting police officers.
Previously, foreigners could be deported only if they were found guilty of crimes punishable by a sentence of one year or more.This sounds like a reasonable first step and no doubt other practical changes could be made in eg the education of immigrants who want to come here.
The main good thing would be of course for the Liberal Left to start robustly standing up for its values at home and abroad and to stop indulging in ludicrous false equivalences and whataboutery. There are signs this is happening at last but its been a long and frustrating road.