Numerous reports have emerged from Cologne of assaults against women – many of a sexual nature and at least one of rape – by “foreign looking” men during New Year’s Eve celebrations in the German city. It is true that the German authorities and the international media have been slow in the uptake of this story, and this has been for, perhaps not good, but understandable reasons. Over the past months the German government has led the way in an otherwise reluctant Europe to open its doors to people fleeing conflict in North Africa and the Middle East, and in light of these reported crimes the far-right across Europe has been keen to capitalise on them in order to create panic.

Women have the same right as men to a normal life in a civilised society without fear of harassment or abuse (be that verbal, physical, or sexual), and those responsible for these criminal actions – whoever they are – must face the legal consequences. It is for this reason that the events of New Year’s Eve in Cologne must be left in the hands of the German authorities. Yet from the moment that it was suggested that the perpetrators looked foreign a great effort has been made by some to generalise this awful behaviour to criminalise all refugees in Germany and Europe.

Right leaning media outlets and the racists of social media have predictably raised up their standard with this news, and they have done this because, as this story involves white European female victims, it suits them. Women and girls are once again the real victims of male violence, but the real victims – as individual human beings – are of little consequence to the racist agitators who have already cast this ghastly event as an assault against the instrumentalised “our women.” In this regard these real women victims have been dehumanised further as the property of the ethnic or racial nation of the racist imagination. To this horrid worldview the crime is a crime only insofar as it is an assault on the female property of “one of our nations.”

Yes, the sexual assault or rape of a woman is a crime, and a vicious and despicable crime at that. The race, religion, language, or ethnicity of the victim has absolutely no bearing on the gravity of the offence. Those attempting to persuade others that the actions of these criminals is a reason to close the doors of Europe on all (non-white and non-Christian) refugees have long since decided the issue and have merely jumped on the pretext of an incident which is reminiscent to them of the myth of the white slave trade to stir up more hatred and fear. This has been a crime; not a racial clash, and so it must be dealt with as a crime, and the guilty brought to justice.

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