You may have encountered this article in The Independent claiming only three of the people under investigation for the Cologne sex attacks on New Years Eve were recent refugees from The Middle East and North Africa.
However, The Associated Press reported Cologne prosecutor Ulrich Bremer telling them that the the majority of suspects are asylum seekers, describing recent reports of only three of the suspects as refugees as "total nonsense." However, Bremer did tell The Local that he couldn't give specific figures as to how many were refugees and how many were illegal immigrants. Only revealing that the majority of suspects arrived in Germany in last year and they come from countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Iraq. The Independents error was that they misintepreted comments given by Bremer in an article by German newspaper Die Welt which at no point does he give numbers on the asylum status of individual suspects.
It was very interesting to observe media sites like Huffington Post, Metro and Russia Today run with this story since it supports their predisposition to idealize the refugees and ignore any faults or imperfections that may be among them.
With this in mind, I will address this article in the same site by a serial merchant in dishonesty, Nabila Ramdani. She seems to suggest that concern about the problem of sex crimes among recent migrants into Europe, most of whom are of Middle Eastern and North African stock, therefore means you are playing into the agenda of Neo-Nazis.
In all fairness to Nabila, she calls out far-right propaganda that do
otherise and generalize all refugees as rapists or foreign, Muslim, sexual
creatures thirsty for native European women. Moreover, their selective outrage in being champions of women's rights; They'll fly the flag of feminism if European women are attacked by Muslims, but say nothing if the same crime is perpetrated by non Muslims . That's good. And yes she is absolutely correct in saying "Brown men are not inherently more misogynistic or brutal than white men,
and Muslims are just as likely to be family-orientated, peaceful
citizens as their counterparts from other religious and cultural
heritages." The problem is
she mixes this up with deflection and denialism.
Firstly, she makes a small, yet critical error. She claims Pegida are a "Neo Nazi" organisation. Whatever your opinion of Pegida, (and I am not a fan by any means) a reasonable person has to admit this claim is false. Pegida's ideology is not Neo-Nazism, they don't have Nazi imagery or portraits of Hitler at their rallies. In fact they actively try to keep out Nazis from their rallies because they know it will hurt their image therefore it is disingenous to say they are Neo-Nazis. Amongst other things this is just lazy journalism.
Let me be clear, this is not to say Pegida are not a problematic group, they are. Neither to say they don't evoke bigotry, they do. My point is in order to defeat one's enemies you have to know them, understand them and be truthful about what they believe. Hurling slurs like 'Neo-Nazi' when it is inaccurate only serves to debase the term of any meaning.
Secondly, she is using false information to support her argument. She claims Ulrich Bremer told her that, "of the 59 suspects pinpointed so far, just four are from war-torn countries (Syria and Iraq)."this is false, because as I have demonstrated previously, the majority of suspects fall under the general category of refugee.
When Raheem Kassam of Brietbart (Yes, I know its Brietbart) tried to confront Nabila on Twitter on the false information she used. She quickly rebutted by throwing ad hominems at him, thus avoiding his point which is correct, as I have demonstrated earlier with Ulrich Bremers remarks. Will Nabila call him a Neo-Nazi?
Thirdly, She underestimates the problem of sex crimes committed by migrants/refugees of a muslim background or sex crimes amongst the Muslim communities in Western socities. She completely focuses on Cologne, yet ignores there were other similar incidents in other European countries like: Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and other cities in Germany, all done by migrants. Ignoring this; implying concern about this trend is "racism" is unwise . On a side note, I dont think this is a religious issue, it is more cultural in my opinion, or at the very least there is a cultural element.
I understand the discussion around migrants and refugees in Europe is awkward, complicated and sadly, increasingly more toxic. Moreover, I understand the far-right and the anti-immigrant brigade will use the increasing suspicion in addition to mistrust of refugees as a platform to lauch their anti-immigrant propaganda. Of course, I oppose those cultural jerks. Their idea that any amount of people of a Muslim background - no matter their individual beliefs- will all of a sudden destroy European Christian identity, therby making Europe into Eurabia. Nevertheless, you have to be factual, distorting facts is not the answer even if it is uncomfortable. We cannot deal with the problem if we don't know the truth.
I do hope the media sites that did run the original story would correct their mistakes.
If you wish, here is my piece on how to address the Cologne attacks, plus the wider phenomenom of sex crimes committed by migrants without falling into Denialism or Bigotry.