Wednesday 20 January 2016

‘No to Sexism, No to Racism’: Syrian refugees


The heinous attacks on women in Cologne cannot be condemned enough. More should have been done to prevent them and more must be done to bring perpetrators to justice. This is an expression of rape culture, of patriarchy, misogyny that exists in all cultures and all places. But here it is only being discussed because of the Arab or North African appearance of the attackers. Even the victims themselves are being ignored. 

The attacks are being exploited by anti-refugee/right-wing protesters to malign and stereotype all refugees. Organisations like Pegida say sex attacks were "in principle bad for the women, but good for us, because the people are being woken up." Indeed no one is more pleased with such a backlash against the refugees than Daesh themselves. It completely reaffirms their agenda and their attempts to alienate and polarize Muslims in Europe. 

Morever people like the Czech President Milos Zeman further assist Daesh by making statements like “The experience of western European countries which have ghettos and excluded localities shows that the integration of the Muslim community is practically impossible,” Ignoring the fact that there are many well integrated Muslim communities in Europe indeed European countries like Bosnia and Kosovo are Muslim!

Therefore is is imporant to not give in to the steretypes and to share news which also shows refugees in a postive light.

In Cologne, Syrians gathered with plaques condemning the attacks that took place in the city, and to thank the country for taking them in.

Refugees also gave out flowers to passers-by, and held signs saying: ‘We respect the values of German society’ and ‘We are all Cologne’. 

An American woman has told how she was rescued from being sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in Cologne by a group of Syrian refugees. She remains friends with one of her rescuers, a refugee who condemned the attackers saying they had “lost their minds” on drink and drugs.


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