Kazimir Malevich 1916 Suprematist composition (blue rectangle over purple beam) 88 x 70.5cm, private collection
The GREAT EUROPEAN REFUGEE DEBATE –
DON’T GIVE UP! HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY?
Cologne and beyond – get the facts and face them!
Michael Bradley in the ABC’s The Drum (Thursday 13th January 2016, link appended below) makes a very good point re the New Year’s Eve Cologne crowd sexual assaults.
Mainstream media and commentators seem embarrassed by the apparent facts, reluctant to say much beyond reporting the apparent facts:
· The culprits appear to be mainly of North African / MidEast background.
· The culprits also appear to be mainly drawn from the recent (2015) influx of refugees arriving via Greece.
· The assaults were not random and appear to have been at least partly co-ordinated via social media.
Opinion from the Right and Far Right on the other hand has been quick to pounce, to use the apparent serious criminal behavior to justify their strident opposition to migration to Europe by Muslim refugees.
It’s always essential to get the facts, face them, and act appropriately.
Yes the facts, if verified, are serious, and a problem.
BUT the facts here do not necessarily appear to threaten, jeopardise the long term opportunity for Germany / Europe/ the World from refugee, unless they are allowed to.
The apparent constructive news in Germany is that crime rates by the existing resident Muslim population in Germany, ie excluding the recent big influx, are not much different, or worse, than for other relevant population segments.
So any crimes committed by people among the recent Muslim refugee influx is a separate problem, and to be dealt with.
This means police action to identify, charge and prosecute offenders.
And it means actively working with refugee representatives to discourage any further similar offences. This means dealing with, confronting, the alleged matter of sexist attitudes by MidEast men, including evidence of these regressive attitudes in collective behavior in crowd situations.
So the big challenge for the German Federal Government, and all relevant Government authorities, and for all the relevant Muslim organisations in Germany, is to work constructively so as NOT to allow Cologne to de-rail grasping the longer term collective opportunity.